TORONTO— Seven businesses are representing Manitoulin Island at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto this week, all of which can be found at the 15th annual Northern Ontario Agri-Food Pavilion sponsored by FedNor.
Geedah’s Inspirations, owned by Rose Jawana of Wikwemikong, is a small family food business which serves various First Nation communities on Manitoulin Island and the North Shore. Inspired and guided by original founders of the family business, Geedah’s Inspirations prepares, cooks and serves traditional and non-traditional native cuisine such as corn soup, fried bread, tacos, chili and oven-baked fish pie. On Saturday, November 7, visitors to the Fair were offered samples of wild rice casserole, fried bread and Native tacos.
As always, Hawberry Farms was a part of The Royal’s vendor community. Hawberry Farms manufactures and distributes lines of jams, jellies, chutneys, honey dip mixes, garlic sauce, hot sauces and popcorn seasoning. All products are processed on Manitoulin Island. Hawberry Farms participates in 50 to 75 fairs and events annually, and distributes to a large number of retail establishments throughout Ontario. These markets, together with small wholesale outlets, constitute 95 percent of Hawberry Farms’ business.
Manitoulin Botanicals is a Canadian cosmetics business founded and based in Meldrum Bay, which was also in attendance at The Royal. It makes beauty products that are 100 percent natural and vegan, containing no petrochemicals, synthetics, heavy metals or alcohol. The products are developed using essential oils containing natural anti-oxidants that are designed to keep skin healthy. Manitoulin Botanicals’ product line includes deodorant, body butter, insect repellent, face care, lip balm and soaps.
Manitoulin Soap Factory proprietor Sue Garbutt was once again in attendance. This Manitoulin Island company produces and markets handmade soaps, lotions, natural shampoos and body products, using a natural vegetable base made from essential oils. The store and factory in Sheguiandah produce more than 85 different scented soaps, lotions and other products.
Purvis Fisheries was another of the Island businesses represented.
Since the late 1800s, the Purvis family name has been synonymous locally with fresh fish caught and processed from Lake Huron and the North Channel. Varieties of fresh and smoked fish products including trout, whitefish, and sturgeon, as well as smoked fish dip and caviar, will be sold at the Purvis exhibit during the Royal Winter Fair.
Another Wikwemikong business, Shawana Crafts owned by Joni Shawana, represented the Island at the Royal Winter Fair. Shawana Crafts features handmade authentic native crafts from a collective of families and communities from Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island. During the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Shawana Crafts will showcase a wide selection crafts made from porcupine quills, birch bark, hide, fish scales and cedar.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is on now until this Saturday, November 15 at Exhibition Place in Toronto.