FoodiePages.ca is the online marketplace where you can discover and buy directly from Canada's best emerging independent food and wine makers. Founder Erin Maynes shared her entrepreneurial journey with us (as well as some of her favorite food picks!).
Erin Maynes, founder
What inspired you to start FoodiePages? I’ve become increasingly interested in understanding where my food comes from, and that’s led me to prefer purchasing from smaller, local producers whenever I can. I’d rather buy direct from the producer—the specialist who can explain everything I want to know about the product. As a result, I often buy at markets, but it’s not always easy to access the food I want. Markets have limited hours and are often seasonal. Sometimes I find something that’s further away, and then it’s really hard to access. So, I thought an online marketplace, where producers can communicate the same stories and messages they tell me at the market, would be ideal.
How do you find new artisans, farmers and food producers? Our small team at FoodiePages loves discovering new food finds from coast-to-coast! We are food explorers and, along with a network of passionate Canadian food bloggers, we scour the country to find Canada's most passionate, hard-working food and wine entrepreneurs. We visit farmers markets and craft shows to meet new makers, and we're in the kitchens of chefs learning about the great local purveyors they are working with.
Why is supporting local businesses important to you? Small, local businesses form the heart of our communities. When you choose to support local food makers and farmers, you are voting for the kind of food system you want to support and the kind of community you want to create.
What are the three most popular products on FoodiePages? We have so much delicious local food and wine selling on our pages! Here are some top sellers:
1. DIY Cheese Making Kits (yes, you can make mozzarella and ricotta at home!)
2. Small batch preserves from Montreal's Preservation Society
3. Homemade, ready-to-cook mixes from Edmonton's Mixes R Us. A life saver for busy moms who are looking for quick and healthy meal solutions.
…and your personal favorite? Hard to choose! I'm not an expert when it comes to wine, but right now I'm learning so much about Canadian wine and enjoying the incredible variety of small lot wines that are available through FoodiePages. The FoodiePages Hidden Gems Wine Subscription is the best way to discover and taste hard-to-find small lot wines. Each monthly Hidden Gems Wine Subscription shipment contains 3 bottles, handpicked by Canada's top small lot winemakers. A British Columbia winery is featured one month, and an Ontario winery the next, so it's a fun way to discover new vineyards across Canada. There's nothing like it in Canada!
We love the selection of wine on FoodiePages. Which bottle would you bring to a dinner party? I love bubbly wine for any kind of celebration — I'd definitely bring a bottle of bubbly from Blue Mountain Vineyard in BC or Chateau des Charmes in Ontario.
What has been the most challenging part about starting your own business? In the beginning the biggest challenge was dealing with the extreme highs and the extreme lows of being an entrepreneur. You have to apply grinding, and sometimes unpleasant, work to your efforts. Pushing an idea to success isn’t all about looking the part; working hard and working smart are what will bring real success.
Who inspires you to do what you do? I'm inspired by our amazing community of food and wine makers who work so hard and so passionately to build a business around their craft.
What’s on your shopping list right now? I'll be stocking up on Drip's organic maple syrup and Kimberley's Own gluten-free granola from FoodiePages—perfect for a deliciously Canadian Valentine's Day breakfast.
Use code BRIKA15 when shopping on FoodiePages.ca to get $15 off when you spend $30 on until February 14th!
Did you like this story? You’ll probably like these as well!
- 8 Scrumptious Valentine's Day Treats
- Celebrating Success: MEMI
- Q&A with Illustrator Jacqueline Schmidt