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An entrepreneur on how to get the career and life that you want

Louise Biggar (Morning MBA ’11), founder and CEO of DRØM Pepper, knows a thing or two about turning a dream into reality.

Though DRØM — which means ‘dream’ in Danish — is only a year old, the company already has a growing and devoted following. Their customers rave about the company’s gourmet peppercorn products and pepper grinders on social media. And the business has received quite a bit of media attention — including mentions in Toronto Life’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide and Canadian Living’s 2017 February top picks list.


“Find mentors, friends and peers that have struck the success in work and life that you’re hoping to attain. Ask questions and think about how you can get there.”

-Louise Biggar (Morning MBA ’11), CEO, DRØM Pepper


Though launching a peppercorn business might seem like an unexpected career move for Biggar, who previously worked in international development and healthcare, the enterprise came together after much consideration and self-reflection.

“It’s a feeling not a formula. When I feel like I’m plateauing, I know it’s time to look for a change,” she explains. It was by identifying her priorities and with the support from family, friends and her Rotman network, that Biggar was able to make the leap into entrepreneurship.

Taking the plunge: how she did it

Before Biggar founded DRØM, she knew she wanted a career — and life — change. After earning her MBA from the Rotman School of Management, she had steadily advanced in her healthcare career, eventually working as a senior consultant with the Local Health Integration Network in Toronto. Still, she was yearning for a new challenge and a break from the 9-to-5 work day.

“If you’re thinking it’s time for a career change, you should absolutely do it, but do it responsibly,” she advises anyone considering a career transition.


“Starting a new enterprise can be quite daunting — it might seem like there are endless possibilities for your product. The secret is to break each aspect of your business down, component by component.”

-Louise Biggar (Morning MBA ’11), CEO, DRØM Pepper


“Start by figuring out your financial situation and how much risk you can tolerate. Anchor yourself in what you need and what’s most important to you. From there, you can chart your course.”

Biggar and her husband did exactly that.

After examining their financial, professional and personal goals, the couple quickly recognized that they wanted more time to devote to family, travel and passion projects. They needed careers that would offer them more autonomy and flexibility. While they came up with a plan, Biggar and her husband quit their jobs, pulled their eight-year old twin daughters out of school and bought one-way tickets to Cambodia.

It was during their travels, while touring a plantation in Kampot, when Biggar and her family first tasted and fell in love with flavourful peppercorns of the region. The family realized that launching a business aimed at bringing these spices to Canadian and American consumers could provide the new direction they were looking for.

Help from the Rotman network

Back home in Toronto, Biggar and her husband quickly got to work. They researched and made decisions on all aspects of their new business, from designing attractive product packaging to developing the company’s social media and marketing plan.

She credits her Rotman education and network for getting her through the initial planning stages.

“I had the confidence to become an entrepreneur because of my Rotman education. The curriculum gives you a good appreciation of the types of questions you ought to ask when starting a new project,” explains Biggar, who graduated from the School’s Morning MBA program.


“I had the confidence to become an entrepreneur because of my Rotman education. The curriculum gives you a good appreciation of the types of questions you ought to ask when starting a new project.”

-Louise Biggar (Morning MBA ’11), CEO, DRØM Pepper


A few of her classmates were key in helping her think through how to launch and sustain her business. They pushed her to explain how she would differentiate DRØM from its competitors and what the company’s distribution channels would look like.

“Starting a new enterprise can be quite daunting — it might seem like there are endless possibilities for your product. The secret is to break each aspect of your business down, component by component.”

Today, she and her husband are living the life they envisioned. Every day is different: they are keeping on top of their social media channels, working on new recipes, and processing orders. And Biggar is delighted to find that their daughters are interested and involved. The twins often help with packaging and ask questions about business operations.

Ultimately, creating the life and career you want means knowing your needs and leaning on a supportive community, says Biggar.

“Find mentors, friends and peers that have struck the success in work and life that you’re hoping to attain. Ask questions and think about how you can get there.”


Written by Rebecca Cheung

Learn more about our Morning MBA Program »

About Louise BiggarMorning MBA 2011

Hometown

Hometown

Various — born in Sweden, raised in Denmark, educated in Norway

Class

Class year

Morning MBA ’11

Industry

Industry

Healthcare (formerly)
Consumer Packaged Goods
Entrepreneurship

Job Title

Current job title

CEO, DRØM Pepper

Previous Work Experience

Previous education

Bachelor of Arts, Colby College, Waterville, Maine, U.S.

Previous Education

Previous work experience

  • Senior Consultant, LHIN Collaborative, Toronto
  • Team Lead, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Toronto

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