Limestone Organic Creamery is dedicated to providing fresh, nutritious organic dairy and whole foods to their customers. As a result of their efforts, Limestone Organic Creamery was recently recognized by the Organic Council of Ontario.
In it’s fifth year of celebrating excellence in Ontario’s organic sector, the Ontario Organic Awards was held on April 24th 2015 in Waterloo, Ontario. The awards recognize and celebrate innovation in organic agriculture in Ontario. Awards are given to individuals and businesses which show consistent pioneering efforts within Ontario’s organic sector.
Congratulations to owners Grancis and Kathie Groenewegen!
View all the awards here.
Henderson Farms is a business that springs directly from the old farm tradition of making jams and jellies throughout the year as fruits come into season.
The family farmhouse on Wolfe Island is where Robert Henderson makes all of his products in small batches, and although he uses stainless steel and modern sterilizations techniques in the process of making his award winning products, not much else is different than the way jam and jelly was made on the farm by his mother. In fact, until quite recently his mother did all the jarring for the company.
While the fresh figs and Seville oranges in some Henderson products are not produced on Wolfe Island, other ingredients are still grown on the family farm, just as they were when the company started up in the late 1980′s. “We started out doing organic gardening on the farm, got into jams and jellies to use up leftover fruit, and the jam business took over,” is how Robert Henderson describes how the business developed.
Oh, and there was, and is, a lot of work involved as well. The rhubarb patch at Henderson Farms is a 1/4 of an acre in size, which is a lot of rhubarb, and the rhubarb must be picked, cleaned, cut up and cooked or frozen immediately to be made into Rhubarb Fig Marmalade or Strawberry Rhubarb jam. Not only are the products all made by hand in small batches, but new products are introduced annually to keep the business moving forward and provide a challenge as well.
“It is not just a matter of making something new, it has to be good. That takes trial and error,” said Robert. The newest products on the list are Pear and Raspberry jam, and Garlic Scape Jelly, joining such perennial favourites such as Ginger, Wild blueberry, and Strawberry Jam; Apricot Jalapeno, Lime, Mint, and Wild Dandelion Wine Jelly; and Orange and Lemon and Seville Orange Marmalade.
Then there is the matter of sales. Henderson farms maintains a stall in the Kingston market, here they sell baked goods, cut flowers in the summer and other farm products in addition to jams and jellies. Two years ago, Robert starting making Dairy-free Sorbets forsale at the market in the summertime. They also participate in some small and some very large craft and other shows throughout the province, as well as selling in fine food stores in Ontario and Quebec.
Although the business has grown over the years, it is still very much a family run operation. Robert’s brother works with him full time, his sister on a part-time basis, and his mother is still involved, and even elements such as the design of the labels is done by a cousin, who it turns out is a graphic designer.
In fact, it’s been 20 years since the labels were designed, which is hard to believe because they still have a contemporary feel, and the effect was instant and long lasting. “As soon as we put the new labels on the jars, our sales doubled, and we haven’t looked back,” said Robert. Plans are coming together for Afternoon Teas this summer on the farm in Wolfe Island, as an additional part of the business.
Even with the track record of Henderson Jams and Jellies and legions of customers from across the Province and beyond, it is always necessary to move forward, introduce new products and new ways of marketing, and Frontenac CFDC has helped along the way with advice and loans. “The CFDC has helped with a loan when I re-did the kitchen a few years ago, and I have participated in workshops as well. They’ve been very helpful,” Robert said.
Article by Jeff Green, The Frontenac News
Frontenac CFDC is a non-profit organization offering free business advice and commercial financing to entrepreneurs and those looking to start a business in the Frontenacs and supports community based projects. Click for information.
Another craft brewery has been added to this FAB Region of Ontario. MacKinnon Brothers Brewing is now open and operating on a family heritage farm near Bath, ON.
Entrepreneurs Devin and Leslie Huffman will soon be building what’s considered to be Ontario’s first micro malt house. To be situated in Hastings County, just North of Belleville, the business will be known as Barn Owl Malt.
According to a story by Jerome Lessard printed in the Belleville Intelligencer, the Huffmans say, “We aim to be in production with a one-tonne capacity by the mid, late summer”. The Intelligencer also notes that the business will use a three-step process of steeping (wetting), germinating (sprouting) and kilning (drying) to produce a base grain product used in the production of beer.
This is exciting news for the brewing industry as the Huffman’s will provide brewers with malted grains made right here in Ontario’s Food and Beverage (FAB) Region.
If you would like to invest in this FAB Region as well, contact us today!
The Toronto Star today posted a story about Sophia Pantazi and Peter Stroz who spend their days tending the body, as radiologists in Toronto-area hospitals, and on weekends, they tend the spirit, as creators of boutique vodkas, gins and shochu, the Japanese liquor here in our FAB Region.
Check-out the full story here.
You too can live the dream! Contact us today!
Robert Henderson had another great showing this year at the 2012 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. Henderson Farms received top honors as Grand Champion Jam and Jelly Maker and won the Judges Choice Award for his Raspberry and Pear Jam. Robert Henderson of Henderson Farms has been making jams for the past 25 years. His market career began at his hometown market in Kingston Ontario and his reputation quickly grew from the high quality of his all-natural products, with a number of ingredients grown organically by Robert himself on the family farm on Wolfe Island. His select variety of products includes not only jams and jellies, but distinct mustards, marmalades and chutneys.
Henderson Farms has been showing at The Royal since 2000 with great success and has been named the Grand Champion Jelly and Jam Maker two years in a row for 2006 and 2007and won the Judges Choice Award in 2008 for his Pear and Quince Jam. In this year’s Competition Henderson Farms had an outstanding showing, Robert won Grand Champion Jam and Jelly Maker 2012 and Judges Choice Award for his Raspberry and Pear Jam. He also placed:
- Jams & Jelly Competition:
- 1st – Blueberry Jam competition
- 1st – Mixed Fruit competition, Raspberry & Pear Jam
- 1st – Marmalade competition, Orange and Lemon Marmalade
- 1st – Spirited Jelly competition, Wild Dandelion Wine Jelly
- 1st – Single Berry Fruit Jam, Elderberry
- 2nd – Single or Mixed Fruit Conserve or Preserve, Fig & Rhubarb Conserve
- 2nd – Single Tree Fruit Jam, Qunice Jam
- 4th – Raspberry Jam competition
- Pickling Competition:
- 4th – Misc. Savory Pickles, Beet Pickle
- Maple Syrup Competition
- 4th – Maple Jelly
Henderson Farms products are available at select fine food shows and a growing number of gourmet shops and specialty gift stores. Some of their flavors like Maple Syrup Jelly or Elderberry Jam are seasonal, but most are made year round. A few of their newest offerings include: Garlic Scape Jelly, Rhubarb & Fig Marmalade, Cranberry & Apple Jelly, Seville Marmalade and Lime Jelly. They fit complimentary with his legendary Red Pepper jelly, Wild Dandelion Wine Jelly, Pear Jam, Apricot-Jalapeno Jelly, Cranberry-Jalapeno Jelly and Pink Peppercorn Mustard.
For a full list of products offered by Henderson Farms and where to buy them visit their website www.hendersonfarms.on.ca
You can also visit them at:
- The Ottawa Signatures Show Nov. 14-18 at the Ottawa Convention Centre (Booth 418)
- The Toronto One Of a Kind Show Nov. 22 – Dec 2 at the Direct Energy Centre (Booth G-19)
- The Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Sale Dec. 6-16 at the CE Centre (Booth 721)
- Salon Des Metiers d’Art Montreal Dec. 7 – 22
2012 Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards Winners
6th Annual Verona Lions Garlic Festival
VERONA, ON – Garlic lovers took over the Verona Lions Centre on the Labour Day weekend to celebrate garlic at the 6th Annual Verona Lions Garlic Festival and the Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards. Started in 1997 the Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards are the official competition for the best garlic produced in the region. “I am very pleased that the Verona Lions have undertaken to host these Awards at the Verona Lions Garlic Festival,” says Paul Pospisil, founder of the Awards. “Verona is central to the Eastern Ontario Region, providing an opportunity for growers from all over the region to participate. This year’s participants give an indication of the wide-spread interest.”
The competition is open to all exhibitors, both home gardeners and commercial growers. The aim of the competition is to encourage growers to strive for excellence in the quality of garlic grown in the Eastern Ontario region as well as recognizing such excellence by public awards.
Congratulations to the 2012 winners:
Champion Garlic Growers 2012
Forest Farm, Godfrey Ontario (David Hahn & Marion Watkins)
Reserve Champion Garlic Grower 2012
Kevin Craigen, Napanee Ontario
Runners Up, tied for 3rd place standing
Dave Cornell, Ashton Station Ontario
Wayne Davey, New Liskeard Ontario
Judging of exhibits was done by Wilma Kenny, OHA judge. Paul Pospisil, founder of the Garlic Awards presented the Woodman and Woodman 2 trophies to the Champion and Reserve Champion. Dianne Dowling, President of Local 316 of the National Farmers Union (NFU) was on hand to present the $100.00 prize to the Champions, David Hahn & Marion Watkins. Diane also made the presentation of the $50.00 prize on behalf of Kim Perry of Local Family Farms to the Reserve Champion.
The Verona Lions will host the 2013 competition again at the festival to be held on Saturday September 7, 2013.
For more information about the Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards please contact:
Founder, Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards
While the rain poured and the wind blew, hundreds came out to enjoy another edition of the Stirling Water Buffalo Food Festival on September 8.
Several chefs and restaurants competed for the prize of best meal using either meat or cheese sourced from Water Buffalo. The results in terms of who won were not ready as of the time of this post.
But a great article appeared in the EMC News providing a great deal more information about how it all went.
Verona, ON. August 8, 2012 – The 6th annual Verona Lions Garlic Festival will be held at 9 am – 2 pm on September 1st at the Verona Lions Centre, 5404 Verona Sands Rd. Garlic producers will gather to showcase their celebrated bulbs and compete in the Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards. Garlic themed food will be served, vendors with local produce and products will be in attendance and fun attractions for all ages will be offered.
Garlic is the main attraction. Farmers will be offering dozens of different varieties of fresh garlic. A wide selection of different garlic themed products will be available as well, such as a variety of sauces and spreads. Garlic bulbs will be available individually or in bulk, so visitors can stock up for the year ahead. Knowledgeable farmers will also be providing advice and tips on planting and preparing your own garlic. Guest chef McKenzie from ‘Seed to Sausage’ will demonstrate his skills accompanied by a wine tasting from Bergeron Wineries. “The festival is wonderful. It really brings the community together for a great day outdoors, and there is so much garlic!” says Louise Day, a member of the Verona Lions.
Festival highlights include:
- Egg McLions breakfast at the Lions canteen
Garlic pork sausages, local beef-on-a-bun sandwiches, rabbit sausages, hot dogs, fries, and vegetarian options will be served for lunch. Plenty of fresh garlic toppings will be offered as well.
- Children’s Centre with arts and crafts, mini-golf and train rides on the “Verona Cattail Express”.
- Frontenac Farmers Market with vendors offering farm-fresh corn, garlic nibbles, jams, preserves, maple syrup, fresh bread and other baked goods, soups, local honey, and other seasonal produce.
- Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards hosted by the Verona Lions. Prizes will be awarded for the best single bulb, 12-variety display, educational display, and braid.
The festival will carry on rain or shine. Entry is by donation. Parking is free. The venue is 20 minutes north of Kingston, just off Road 38.
New vendors are welcome for a fee of $75. Not-for profit organizations intending to offer educational displays will not be charged. For more information on vendor applications please contact Wayne Conway at 613.374.3807 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For awards information please contact Paul Pospisil at 613.273.5683. For general festival information please contact John McDougall at 613.374.2516 or by email at email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 2, 2012
BELLEVILLE – Ontario’s Food and Beverage (FAB) Region was recognized with an award at this week’s Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) annual conference in Toronto. The award recognizes the iPad App “How to start a Cheese Making Business in Eastern Ontario” as an innovative use of technology and social media. The App was created in partnership with the Counties of Lennox & Addington, Hastings, Prince Edward as well as the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation.
“We are thrilled to receive this award”, stated Anne Prichard Executive Director of the Frontenac CFDC. “I am also proud of the way that we continue to work with our neighboring counties to pool resources and funding, and brand ourselves as the place to manufacture artisan food and beverages.”
“With sales of small scale and artisan cheese set to grow by $100 million in Ontario over the next decade, we want to position this region to be at the forefront of this growing industry,” stated Stephen Paul Economic Development Manager for Lennox & Addington County. “Our assessment indicates that there is a need for 25 to 50 new artisan cheese makers across the province and helping prospective cheese makers locate here by providing them with a clearinghouse of information ranging from milk supply, equipment, regulations and financing is just smart business,” added Karin Desveaux Economic Development for Prince Edward County.
“The collaboration between the four counties just made sense and those efforts are paying off. We have already had some serious contacts to follow up with as a result of the iPad App being downloaded more than 600 times. Receiving the award is very gratifying and validates for us that we are on the right track”, said Andrew Redden Economic Development Manager for Hastings County.
The iPad App is a how-to guide for starting your own cheese making business in Eastern Ontario. The App contains over 55 pages of interactive content, guidelines and fundamentals for creating a successful cheese making business from start to finish. Topics include an overview of the cheese making business in Ontario, start-up costs, interviews with current cheese makers, types of farms and animals, and much more.
About FAB Region – www.fabregion.ca
Ontario’s FAB Region consists of four municipal economic development offices, namely Hastings County, Lennox & Addington County, Prince Edward County, and the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation. Originally we partnered to market ourselves as Ontario’s Artisan Cheese Region – Invest In Cheese. While we are still keeping that brand, we are now moving forward as Ontario’s Food and Beverage (FAB) Region. This includes investment marketing for craft brewing, wine making, distilling, artisan breads, charcuterie, mustard, condiments…. The list is endless.
EDCO is Canada’s largest provincial economic development association that offers this program as well as professional development opportunities throughout the year. Membership is close to 600 that come from the private and public sector.
- New Craft Brewery MacKinnon Brothers Brewing opens
- iCraft Brew Download the start-up handbook
- Living their dream Limestone Organic Creamery - Frontenac County
- New Winery for Hastings County Living the winery dream
- Living their dream 66 Gilead Distillery - Prince Edward County
- Living their dream Zia Rita's Gluten Free Bakery - Lennox & Addington County
- Living their dream Seed to Sausage - County of Frontenac
- iPad app Own an iPad? You should download our iPad app informing you how to start a cheesemaking business in Eastern Ontario
- Potter's Settlement Vineyard and Winery Learn more about a new winery opening up in our region!
- FAB Region iPad App Wins Award