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Two small artisanal food companies chosen for additional mentoring by ACE Bakery

07/04/2013 04:42 EDT | Updated 09/03/2013 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - Two small culinary companies are in for a business development boost after being chosen for additional mentorship from ACE Bakery.

Les Jardins Sauvages, a country eatery from St-Roch de L'Achigan, Que., and Seed to Sausage from Tichborne, Ont., which produces hand-crafted cured and smoked meats, will receive the extra mentorship.

Michael McKenzie started Seed to Sausage as a hobby a number of years ago.

Les Jardins Sauvage, owned by chef Nancy Hinton and forager/farmer Francois Brouillard, creates and sells a line of products derived from wild plants and mushrooms at the Jean-Talon market in Montreal.

The two were chosen for their adherence to artisan methods and the quality and uniqueness of their product. ACE Bakery's impression of their ability to grow as a business was another factor. ACE Bakery started in the family kitchen of Martin Connell and Linda Haynes and now distributes its products across Canada, the U.S. and Caribbean.

The company, along with nine of Canada's top culinary talents — including activist Anita Stewart, chef Lynn Crawford of Food Network Canada's "Pitchin' In," and Connie DeSousa and John Jackson, chefs and co-owners of Charcut Roast House in Calgary — brought together 20 artisans to participate in last month's Artisan Incubator in Toronto. There were public workshops as well as coaching by experts in small business sales and distribution, finance and marketing.

"A large part of ACE Bakery's success in its infancy was due to mentorship my husband and I received from an owner of an artisan bakery in New York," Haynes said in a release.

"ACE is now paying it forward, both through the Artisan Incubator and the extended support we are excited to provide Les Jardins Sauvages and Seed to Sausage in the coming year. I know firsthand that this type of mentorship can make all the difference."

The 20 artisans who participated in the event were chosen from among hundreds of entrants and ran the gamut from a cheesemaker, cidery owner and peanut producer to makers of such products as cold-pressed flax oil, marinated oyster mushrooms, lacto-fermented kimchee, apple vodka and balsamic vinegar.

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