PORT HOOD: The Government of Canada’s first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) is a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.
On July 2, Rodger Cuzner, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced a non-repayable $90,000 WES investment in Galloping Cows Fine Foods.
“Women entrepreneurs make incredible contributions to the country’s economy every day,” Cuzner said. “The Government of Canada is proud to help women business leaders like Joanne Schmidt grow their companies, create jobs, and enhance their communities. Helping these bright, hard-working innovators reach their full potential is the right thing to do for Canadians and the smart thing to do for the economy.”
Founded and led by Joanne Schmidt in Port Hood, Galloping Cows Fine Foods is well-known for its upscale jams, jellies, salsas, and syrups made with ingredients from Cape Breton producers. Launched 24 years ago, the family business is rebranding as it gets ready to make its six varieties of all-natural pepper spreads available in new markets.
New graphics, labels and packaging, as well as bar code scanners to increase the traceability of its products are helping the company expand into Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. This project will enable Galloping Cows Fine Foods to strengthen its long-term business prospects, increase regional wealth and grow employment in a rural area of Cape Breton.
“Pursuing export markets in Mexico, South America and the Caribbean has been a dream of ours for a long time,” Schmidt said. “Our products have generated strong interest in these markets. But as a small family business, revamping and gearing up to meet regulatory, language and production requirements is costly. This financial support from ACOA is critical to our efforts. We’re very excited!”
The Government of Canada said it is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive economy that supports prosperity and a better quality of life for all. A press release from the government said support for this project, and others like it, encourage greater participation by women in the economy, and help more majority women-owned companies grow into world-class businesses that will fuel Canada’s economic growth and build a stronger middle class. It also demonstrates how the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of greater long-term economic prosperity in the region, the government said.
“Our government believes that women’s economic empowerment is not just the right thing to do, it’s good for the bottom line,” Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion said. “That’s why we launched the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a strategy that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by increasing their access to financing, networks and advice. It’s a smart investment with an economic and social return. I’m proud to say that there is no better government under which to be a woman in Canada’s history.”
Galloping Cows Fine Foods’ six all-natural pepper spreads (Red, Hot, Wild Blueberry, Cranberry, Orange and Garlic), are its most popular products. They have been presented in gifting suites at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Golden Globes and the Oscars, along with the company’s jams, fruit sauces, concentrated beverages, chutneys, salsas and gift sets.
The company’s products are currently available at Sobeys in Atlantic Canada, in gift stores, at farm markets and in specialty food stores in Atlantic Canada and Toronto.