Interview: What Community Means to You
Stacey Kohler interviews Cobs Bread franchisee owner Kiran Behl on — What Community Means to You. Kiran has two bakeries located at South Point Annex and at the Semiahmoo Mall which service South Surrey and White Rock.
What does being a part of your community mean to you?
I am a firm believer that you need to do business in the community where you live. I try to connect with my customers, local organizations like Semiahmoo House Society. I am proud to be a part of the South Surrey and White Rock community. It’s very important.
What got you into the baking industry?
I am a bookkeeper by trade, and I am always looking for a good business — something that would do well. I was a single mom who has always been business-driven. I have a degree in business, and it was inevitable for me to buy a business. Baking wasn’t part of the plan, but slowly I learned. I look at bread differently now, it’s amazing what I have learned for this journey.
How long have you owned COBS Bread?
My location at South Point Annex celebrated 20 years this month! I also own the location in Semiahmoo mall at the food court.
What kind of community engagements have you been involved with in the past?
For many years I was a part of Taste of BC (a fun, community fundraising event Semiahmoo House Society used to hold), a lot with SSWR Chamber of Commerce, golf tournaments (sponsorship), the PAHF Pumpkin Run – providing food and snacks, work with the Mayor’s Ball, [Gift cards for the] Ride to Conquer Cancer with the Cancer Society, and quite a bit more. I love it. I enjoy being a part of the community if we don’t do it as business owners then who will. We need to unite and help.
How did you hear about Semiahmoo House Society?
I honestly stumbled across it through the SSWR Chamber of Commerce. When I first bought the South Point (Annex) bakery I met people that were associated with Semiahmoo House Society. This was around the time the building was being built, so I provided bread for the sandwiches for all the workers. Paul Wheeler (previous Executive Director for Semiahmoo House Society) and his wife are good people and I enjoyed doing this.
Have you hired anyone from Semiahmoo House Society?
Yes, I have had two wonderful employees. Both have moved on, but we had fun while we were together!
What made you want to stay engaged with Semiahmoo House Society?
They are a fantastic bunch of people who do amazing work with an amazingly diverse group of people. I admire the relationship we have created. I think it is up to all of us to make a difference in the community. As a business, I support organizations to help them keep going. I hope I can continue to work with Semiahmoo House Society, it’s my pleasure.
This interview was done by Self Advocates of Semiahmoo member, Stacey Kohler for the UNITI 2020 Summer Newsletter.
Great article with lots of insight into Kiran and her businesses. I enjoyed finding out how she became involved with SHS. Thanks for sharing!
Awesome! Stacey you did a wonder job with the interview. Kiran you an incredible asset to our community. Thank you❤️🙏