Loves to listen.
Loves to hear everyone’s story.
Loves learning about the the history of Mission.
Loves to help.
Loves our community and all it entails.
Not a lot of people have all of these characteristics, but one person in particular in our community does. Her name is Ellen and she is the owner of What’s On! Mission magazine.
Sixteen years ago, Ellen and her family made the move to Mission from Coquitlam. At the time, longing for a home with a backyard and the Mission real estate being affordable, she was drawn to that small town community that made her feel at home.
Majoring in English at SFU. Ellen began her career as a teacher at Khalsa School, but soon found that her calling was elsewhere. While she worked in a direct marketing firm in Vancouver, she realized the challenges presented having to commute from Mission.
“I would spend all my time at home worrying about deadlines and projects for work,” she tells us. “And then I would spend all my time at work, thinking about my kids and wondering what they were doing.”
She made the decision to dedicate her time to her young family. Just as her youngest was heading off to Kindergarten, the parents decided to open up Jimmy’s Lunch Box. Jimmy's Lunch Box was a family business with Ellen managing the front. It was very much known as a laid-back diner that encouraged coffee and conversation.
“The atmosphere in Jimmy's felt like home. I loved getting to know the customers, who eventually became like family to me,” Ellen explains, “but at the same time, I knew I wanted to pursue something more creative.”
Before becoming the owner of What's On Mission, she would always pick up her copy and flip through to find out what was going on in the community. Her children grew up going to so many of the events that are still wonderful traditions in Mission.
“I remember running in to Cory Cassel and just gushing over the magazine,” she smiles remembering how much admiration she had for the magazine. “I always thought that it would be such a fun job to work in and promote the community I live in.”
When she first considered pursuing this business, only the What's On! Abbotsford franchise was for sale. As an active member of Mission's community, it was always on Ellen's mind that she would love to write, photograph and work in Mission.
When Cory decided that his path was leading him to Japan, the time was right for Ellen to purchase What’s On! Mission.
Ellen is more than passionate about her job. When she is promoting an event or supporting a business, Ellen sees it as supporting Mission. These are the people who are setting up business in Mission, laying roots, raising families and giving back to our community and organizations. By purchasing from them or attending these events, we are indirectly giving back to our community.
“I support local whenever I get the chance,” she says, knowing that she is both a community member and a small business. “I feel that I can truly promote them because I am them.”
What’s On! magazine publishes every two months and is about celebrating the humanity and diversity of Mission. The magazine allows Ellen to be more than just a medium for advertising, She gets to be a part of our community by sharing people's stories and helping raise funds for causes.
“Mission is diverse in so many ways and rich in culture and talent.”
While marketing can oftentimes be expensive, Ellen tries to promote non-profits and charitable organizations that tend to operate on a smaller budget, and when you support her, you are also indirectly supporting these organizations through her.
“I am more than happy to sponsor advertising space,” she admits. “Everyone needs a little boost sometimes.”
During current difficult times, Ellen is getting a broader sense of what it is that originally drew her out to Mission. In spite of our small community, our support for each other is huge. It goes to show that size does not matter.
“Mission is a tight knit community that really comes together when needed. I'm proud to be a part of it.”
Mission, this is true… and we should be more than proud of who we are.