More and more Canadians are becoming hyper conscious about where the products they buy are coming from. It has become easier to purchase products made in your community, such as artisan cheese, home made bread, knitted attire etc, thanks to websites like Etsy and community markets. But what about all the other things we must spend money on, like services and grocery store products.
When I started researching this topic my intention was to have a variety of different companies that provide different products or services, but I was hungry, so everything below is food related. Oops. In my defence, it was like going down a rabbit hole, once you started on one subject, in this case food, you wanted to know more and more about other food companies. So here is an accidental list of Canadian food providers. A lot of these companies also manufacture in multiple provinces, which provide thousands of jobs to the people of Canada yearly. They are proud to be Canadian and I am proud to buy from them!
We are going to start off with most things you can find at your local grocery. McCain’s Frozen Products are not only Canadian owned, they also manufacture their products in Manitoba, New Brunswick and Alberta! That’s a lot of jobs they provide for Canada. If you’ve ever been to a mall in Canada you can always smell a Purdy’s Chocolate shop from a mile away, and yes please! If you’ve never had a hedgehog, stop reading this and go get some, might as well grab an icecream cone while you’re at it! Although they must purchase cocoa beans from outside of Canada (because they’re not grown here) they only purchase sustainable cocoa. Which is good for the world! Speaking of ice cream, I learned that Chapman’s Icecream is Canadian in possibly the most Canadian way, on The Rick Mercer Report! He created his own flavour and it was hilarious as per usual. Chapman’s is produced in Ontario and is delicious. Another great Canadian frozen food company is Pinty’s. they specialize in appetizers like chicken fingers and wings. So, you can feel good when you spend $150 on SuperBowl snacks when you don’t even like football. Cavendish Farms are known for their AMAZING hashbrown patties and other frozen potato products. They manufacture their potato goodness in PEI as well as use their famous PEI potato. FRANK products have a little bit of everything from BBQ peanuts, roasted cashews, to disinfectant and garbage bags. This company is owned by Canadian Tire, which is a publicly traded company, but still very Canadian. I just started buying products from FRANK, and I am hooked. From potato chips to biodegradable compost bags FRANK has it all, and a huge bonus, its affordable. BOOM! You might not think that Canada would be producing anything Tex-Mex that is worth mentioning, but Que Pasa Foods makes some very delicious salsa and tortilla chips. If you haven’t tried them yet, I highly recommend! They are also manufactured in Delta! I was pleasantly surprised when I read that Cheemo Perogies are a family owned company that use products from Canadian farmers. These are my go-to perogies! They started their company 46 years ago and are still going strong. I love tuna sandwiches, and Ocean and Gold Seal canned fish is Canadian! They are owned by the Jim Patterson group, and although they are a Canadian company, they do have plants in Alaska as well, so if you are looking for a strictly Canadian canned fish, make sure you check the label.
I’m not going to lie, I love fast food, and fancy coffee. I do like to support locally owned Restaurants (we have great ones in Abbotsford). But sometimes I just want a burger and fries, or a pizza for dinner. I was surprised to read about the following Canadian “Fast Food” restaurants and will be making a conscious decision to stop and these fine establishments.
Let’s start things off with coffee. Most people thing that Tim Hortons is Canadian, and they used to be, but it was shocking to find out that they are a Brazilian owned company! Second Cup on the other hand is all Canadian baby! They are more like Starbucks (United States) than Timmies but they do have the best brownies, and, in select shops, they have frozen yogurt. When I went to school, I ate Pita Pit EVERY.DAY. The chicken caeser with extra sauce was my favourite. They have great options if you are vegetarian or vegan. A&W has started to gain a lot of popularity in recent years, largely due to that guy on the commercials. He talks about how the cows are raised without hormones, and that there is a new burger on the menu that is plant based! A&W has an interesting history, because they were a part of the American A&W Fast Food Chain when it was founded in Winnipeg in 1956 and 1972 A&W was sold to a British/Dutch company. The management of that Winnipeg restaurant decided to buy out the chain in 1995 eliminating all corporate ties outside of Canada!
I save this restaurant for last because I was shocked to learn that it was founded in Abbotsford in 1986. Panago Pizza is such a great Canadian company. They put money back into their community and it seems like each owner of each store has a real tie with the communities that they are in. They do pizza, salad, and chicken wings. We used to get the taco pizza all the time, it never got old having sour cream and lettuce on a pizza!
Canada is awesome and has so many more great companies! And maybe when I’m not so hungry I’ll write about companies that offer service and are 100% Canadian owned.
The details: I got all this info at a great Canadian website called madeinca.ca. I also fact checked on the website Bloomberg.com, mostly because some things I was reading kind of blew my mind.
-Alyson Whittle UA
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