One year already! On April 20, Ottawa’s Lowertown Canning Company celebrated its first year in business at Oz Kafe. More than 40 guests attended the event enjoying drinks, charcuterie and of course a wide variety of Lowertown Canning products.
“The past year has blown by. It has been exhausting at times, but 100% worth it,” said Simon Brière-Audet, who along with Beth Evans form the dynamic duo behind this up-and-coming company.
For the past decade, Brière-Audet honed his cooking skills at the Lapointe Seafood Grill where he accepted the executive chef position in 2011. A few years ago he also started farming and many of the crops he and his family tend to are transformed into creative Lowertown Canning products, such as sauces, spreads and jams, all made with 100% natural ingredients. “We avoid using artificial thickening, crisping or preserving agents,” said Brière-Audet. When his small patch of land is unable to provide for the company, Brière-Audet and Evans ensure to buy local.
“We source locally as much as possible and support small businesses like ourselves. We understand the economic and social importance of buying locally grown foods and we are doing our part to build a sustainable local economy,” said Evans, the brain behind the marketing side of the operation.
Thanks to her efforts, Lowertown Canning Co. is often present at various events in the online casino National Capital Region allowing customers to pick up tasty Lowertown concoctions and meet with Brière-Audet and Evans to talk. “It’s something we appreciate. In the future we would like to have a greater presence in markets, food fairs and craft shows,” added Brière-Audet.
Future plans also include increasing production while maintaining a local identity. “For our second year, it is important for us to form new partnerships with other regional farmers and add new outlets by working with local businesses,” noted Brière-Audet. Products are presently available at various outlets, including all Farm Boy locations, Seed to Sausage, and Jacobsons.
As Lowertown Canning Co. continues growing their network, the two young business owners are also looking to increase their production. “We are in the process of moving our production kitchen in a gluten free establishment allowing us to have 100% gluten-free products without any risk of contamination,” noted Brière-Audet.
If time permits, Lowertown Canning Co. would also like to experiment with foraged foods like fiddleheads, daisy buds, wild garlic, and so on. However, with so many plans on the horizon the canning pair might need to wait another year before going ahead with that scheme to ensure their health is well preserved.