Getting To Know: Ela Made Me Do It!
What is your inspiration to create your products? How did that passion turn into a business?
My grandmother, Ela. It’s hard to put into words the endless streams of food that came out of her kitchen. Anytime that I spent in her home in Poland was in her kitchen. Nothing made me happier than to help her cook. Close second was helping in her vegetable garden where she grew so much of the ingredients she cooked with, or joining her as she visited local farms for eggs, milk and meat. She opened a big wide food-shaped door in my heart that can never be closed! More specifically, she made chicken stock daily to go into her soups. Every day, no exceptions, there was soup on the table. So naturally, my passion for soups was born!
Why is creating small batched soups important as opposed to a larger production?
For one, my suppliers are so small scale that I couldn’t cook on a massive scale even if I wanted to! When foods become mass produced, short cuts begin. It’s the small things like roasting vegetables, caramelizing onions and freshly toasting and grinding my spices that make all the difference. There is nothing more satisfying for me than the smiles on my customers faces when they taste my food, that is what I live for and why I take my time cooking my products.
What local producers do you work with to create your products?
Using meats from suppliers that treat their livestock with respect was one of the most important goals for my business. As a customer of the Coquitlam market it only made sense to use Tim and Flo’s chicken (Rockweld Farm) for my soups, broth and pot pies as it’s what I was already using in my home! There are now 3 other wonderful farmers who provide me with the meat and bones I need to create my products: Redl’s grass fed beef in my pot pies, Stony Mountain’s heritage pork bones in my ramen bone broth, and Forstbauer’s grass fed beef bones in my beef bone broth.
Why is sourcing local ingredients important for you?
Local tastes better, it’s more nutritious (long journeys on the back of a truck can degrade nutritional values of foods) and it helps stimulate our local economy! My soup flavors are definitely dictated by what is in season! When you use products that are not shipped from far away and artificially ripened you don’t need to add nearly as much salt, sugar or fats to make up for lack of flavor.
Where do you hope to see your business in the near future?
I would like to see us continuing to work with small businesses, be it new farmers and producers, or small cafes and independent grocers!