Olivia Hunter in her café next to the gas station on Hwy 16 in Telkwa. (Tom Roper photo)

Homegrown Telkwa entrepreneur happy to serve community

Olivia Hunter stepped right out of school into her own business, Olivia’s Café

Do you remember when Telkwa, per capita,

was the restaurant capital of the north?

People, even from Smithers, would venture out of their bubble and drive to Telkwa for dinner.

Things have changed a bit over the years as we have some of the finest restaurants right here in downtown Smithers.

Telkwa can still be a destination though, to meet Entrepreneur of the Year, Olivia Hunter.

This young lady stepped out of school and into business.

With the help of her family, she was able to set up shop in the old Midway restaurant next to the gas station.

“Trixi and Leroy are the best landlords ever, she said.

“Not only do they want me to succeed, they have given me the use of their soft ice cream machine.

Dad helped with building cupboards and my display wall where I show off his pottery.

My uncles have helped servicing the coffee machine and fridges.

Mom has always been there filling in when my staff is sick or busy with other issues.

Not only my brothers and cousins, but the whole community has been a huge support.”

Olivia is homegrown, having lived in Telkwa since she arrived at the age of one.

Her family have been homeschoolers and consequently are connected closely with the community.

“I have worked all my life for a lot of the local businesses in the area,” she said. “I worked milking at a local Dairy for years. I have a lot of connections and try to buy all my supplies locally.”

Running a restaurant can be a tough business, long hours, hard work, why would you choose this direction with your career Olivia I asked.

“Well, I did start off working towards becoming a nurse, but after Dad rented the building and we tried to figure out what we could do with the extra space, I thought, why not let’s give a try,” she said.

“First off I like cooking. I always was the one in the family that helped Mom and I really enjoyed it.

Mom is the best cook and I have learnt pretty well everything I know from her.

Secondly, I enjoy serving the public and it makes me feel good when someone can have a healthy meal and a good cup of coffee fit into their day.

It puts a smile on my face and if I can put a smile on their face, all is good.

“I have several employees on part-time and we seem to have busy periods from 11 till 2 daily.

During the movie shoot The Mother things got a little hectic at times but it was well worth it.

I buy the majority of my supplies from the Wholesale in Smithers.

I get my coffee supplies from Bugwood Bean.

Some of my meat products I source from Rudolph’s Sausage in Telkwa. I also try to buy from Manfred at the W Diamond Ranch.

We have some room to expand and I have some ideas for evening cheesecake coffee house with local entertainment or who knows.

Overall, things have been going fairly well even during these covid times.

I am happy being a contributing member of the community and love Telkwa.”

You can contact Olivia at 250-643-8622 or email at


Thanks, Tom.


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