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Bestselling author headlines new women’s show in Sarnia

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Cathy Dobson

Quitting a secure day job to take a risk on a new business venture is not for everyone, says Janet Podleski, co-author with sister Greta of the uber-successful Looneyspoons cookbook series.

“We both are more impulsive, more impatient, more determined than a lot of people,” she said. “We’re both Aries, the ram.

“We figured, ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen?’ Our books could fail and we’d go back to our old jobs. But if we didn’t try it, we’d always wonder, what if?”

That’s why in 1996, at the age of 30, Podleski gave up her job at a high-tech software company and began writing Looneyspoons, the sister’s first book of healthy cooking.

Sister Greta left a cushy government job and began working with recipes. It was 14 months of hard work without pay. By the time the sisters were ready to publish, they were $80,000 in debt. Janet sold her car and held yard sales to raise cash.

“But we were passionate about what we were doing and certain we would be successful,” she said.

But every publisher the Podleskis approached turned them down.

“We felt desperate at that point,” Janet said. “It was so stressful.  We went crying home to our mom in St. Thomas (where they’d grown up) and she said we needed someone to help us.”

Two week later, they were talking to David Chilton of “The Wealthy Barber” fame.

The rest is Canadian publishing history. Looneyspoons alone sold 850,000 copies and all four cookbooks have been #1 national bestsellers.

Details of the Podleskis’ business experience will be Janet’s focus when she comes to Sarnia as the keynote speaker at the first Sarnia Modern Women’s Show on Saturday, Oct. 3.

Local businesswomen Julie Jenkins and Leanne Fera are organizing the show, to be held in the former slots area at Hiawatha Horse Park. Admission will be free with a donation to Noelle’s Gift, says Jenkins.

The event includes a fashion show and access to dozens of interactive vendors selling everything from jewelry to health and wellness products.

Tickets to Janet Podleski’s motivational speech will $20.

For details, or to register as a vendor, visit www.sarniamodernwomensshow.com.


New life has been breathed into the former Zeller’s location at 1249 London Rd. with the opening of a new Giant Tiger on Saturday.

The second Giant Tiger Sarnia location has 22,000 square feet offering a wide range of products from clothing to groceries to housewares. It occupies about half the space Zellers once did.

Store hours are Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sundays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.


An incorrect address appeared in a previous column for Sarnia E-Bikes. The store has relocated to 154 Mitton St. North, at Cameron. Sincere apologies to owner Dave Matchett for the error.

Got an interesting business story?  Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985.  

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