International Women’s Day: Meet Naiomi

March 8th is International Women’s Day and we’re celebrating by featuring some of Downtown Burlington’s female business owners & managers! With so many incredible business owners downtown we turned to our community to help us in the selection process by nominating a female business owner that inspires you.


Meet Naiomi Gardner, owner of Bodhi Bar who was nominated for “Expanding her family-run business, her inspiring story about her daughter Ryan, and for consistently promoting the downtown community.”

We asked Naomi a few questions:

What was the defining moment for you? When did you know that this was your career path?
The defining moment was quite clear. When our daughter received the results from the CT scan where we discovered her tumours had disappeared after 90 days of organic juice cleansing, I knew I had to share what we learned with as many people possible, starting in our own community! I left an engaging career that I had worked diligently at climbing the corporate ladder so that I could pour myself into research, desperately seeking an alternative approach to help my daughter battle cancer, when the traditional treatments did not work. I learned about the power of plants and became a full-time juice barista for my daughter. If I could do this for my daughter, how many more people could I help? To give up that income from a robust career with more than 20 years of management experience and start from ground zero was frightening, but I have to say that I believe this is my calling. I am so blessed to have a business that helps people!
Who helped you get where you are today/influenced you to achieve your current accomplishments?
There were so many people of have helped me get to where I am today. I am truly blessed to have an extremely supportive husband and family. The person who influenced me the most was my brave daughter though. To start a business in an area that I had never worked before was daunting, but when you witness your child dig in and fight through extreme diversity, pain and suffering just to stay alive, you begin to believe and trust that probably most of us are much more capable than we give ourselves credit for. So I believed in myself. Since opening our doors, I’ve continued to be inspired by our many customers whom I am happy to call family; Individuals who’s health has been transformed with the help of Bodhi Bar juice!
As a celebrated successful female, what advice do you have for the next generation of successful women?
I would say follow your heart and if you are doing something that makes you feel fulfilled, then likely it won’t feel like “work”, allowing you to have more potential for success. Success does not come easily for most. In general, dedication and effort is required! There’s an awesome world ahead of us with technological innovations happening at light speed. Embrace advancements, seek opportunities to leverage technology to your own advancement, but be careful to not get swept up in the minutia. Live life with purpose and be present. And most of all, prioritize your health; body, mind and spirit.

Follow Bodhi Bar @bodhibar.ca

View all female nominees here.