National success in sight for Saunders

Local business gets stamp of approval to sell Canada-wide

(l-r) Tanner Saunders with his parents Faith and Gordon are the brains and brawn behind Saunders Family Farm in Windermere

(l-r) Tanner Saunders with his parents Faith and Gordon are the brains and brawn behind Saunders Family Farm in Windermere

Windermere’s Saunders Family Farm recently took two big steps. The local homegrown business is now certified to sell its products nationwide and has set up an online shop.

The family-run business makes jams, jellies and pickled jalapenos in addition to managing a mid-sized farm. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has given its stamp of approval to the Saunders’ produce kitchen, with the family passing the final inspection on Monday, May 13th. The Saunders can now sell anywhere in Canada.

“It’s a huge deal. It’s something that when I first started doing this, I never thought that that’s where we’d be,”  Faith Saunders said.

It’s definitely an opportunity for the business to move up, said Faith’s son Tanner.

The Saunders’ new e-commerce website sells all 22 of their jams, jellies, jalapenos and other products. These two developments along with the rapid growth the business has experienced over the last four years could place the Saunders Family Farm on the same trajectory as Kicking Horse Coffee, a local business that has gone on to national-level success.

“We have been told we’re the next Kicking Horse Coffee. Obviously we don’t know if that will happen, but we’re hoping. We’re striving. We’re not just sitting back and saying we have enough clients,” said Faith.

The Saunders’ key to success is simple recipes — whole fruit, lemon juice and a bit of sugar, said Tanner.

“There’s no substitute for the original taste of the fruit,” he said.

Faith and her husband, Gordon, ran Win-Valley farm for 16 years, beginning in 1986, before selling it and moving on to others things. But by 2009 the couple was back farming again, this time in their current location as the Saunders Family Farm, as well as starting up the jam and jelly operation.

Faith has a family background in jams and berries — her mother used to make great strawberry and raspberry jams and her grandfather farmed strawberries in Windermere starting in 1908, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when she began making jam in her kitchen.

“Just a few jars here and there,” she said. “Nobody else in the valley does jams and jellies, so I thought it would be a good market to get into.”

Business has boomed, more than doubling each year. In the second year, the Saunders built a large produce kitchen in their basement so they could pump out more jars. They moved quickly from selling at farmers’ markets to selling at local stores, such as Village Arts, AG Valley Foods, Grant’s Food, the Quality Bakery and a few more in Radium and Fairmont. They hope to be selling in stores in the Calgary area quite soon.

The Saunders make more than 50 cases of jam a week during the summer.

“The business has grown so much we can’t handle it on our own,” said Faith, so Tanner now helps manage the operation and they employ four other people.

Strawberry jam is still the top seller, but people are often intrigued by spicy options, such as rhubarb jalapeno, said Faith.

The farm has 15,000 strawberry plants and people can come pick their own in the summer.

The Saunders will donate five per cent of their online profits to charity.

 

 

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read