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Okanagan-Taste

Women of taste

There are many women in the industries of taste – chef-ing, brewing, fermenting, and more – to champion in advance of International Women’s Day on Monday.

This is barely a handful of those in B.C.’s culinary and drinks businesses, but each of these women has been able to successfully pivot, several of them long before the word became trendy thanks to the pandemic.

The Multi-tasker

While her official title could be general manager of Robin Ridge Winery in the Similkameen, the reality is that Caroline Cottrill brings her accounting skills to bear on the layers of paperwork it takes to run a winery

She also has built a trail to attract outdoor enthusiasts in for a tasting, designs labels, updates the website, and works at the Pharmasave in Keremeos.

Therefore, there is no typical day in her world. But she has a passion for organics: the winery has been certified organic since 2018, and Caroline enjoys finding natural alternatives for customers at the pharmacy.

That passion is fitting, as the Similkameen is the Organic Capital of Canada.

The Innovator

For a few years, you could get Winecrush products — edible treats made from the derivatives left after the winemaking process — at some wineries and other locations and pick up.

Those treats have given way to a much bigger picture.

Allie Broddy is part of the team that started the company, which was a recent winner of the Rising Star Award from the B.C. Cleantech Awards.

Winecrush, with Broddy as the application and development manager, is working with leading wine scientists to transform these “leftover” materials into valuable nutrition.

That not only keeps them out of landfills, but also reduces methane emissions and prevents soil contamination.

The Adventurer

Janet Annable is “chief maker” and financial officer of Millionaires’ Row Cider Co., a small cidery on Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive.

She might be grafting trees in the morning, and in the tasting room that afternoon. Why cider? Because it’s a personal favourite beverage, so why not add value to an orchard with a variety of apple trees?

Janet, who arrived in Summerland in 2016, likes all the stages of the cider-making process, from crush to bottle, and loves having a small, family business. Try the Makin’ A Mint (mint, lemon, and hibiscus) if you can find a bottle.

The Problem Solver

Laura Arcangeli, or simply Chef Laura, has catered for the likes of David Duchovny on the set of X-Files, and Duran Duran on tour.

With those gigs mostly gone thanks to the pandemic, what is a chef to do? Make cooking in lockdown easier and tastier for all of us. Enter cheflaura.ca,now home to a growing online shop.

Her spice blends are a good product to start with; beautifully packaged and with tongue-in-cheek names from ‘Don’t Be a Jerk’ to ‘Veg Out’, instead of blending your own and making a mess, use hers in the cooking process.

Look for these in the Okanagan soon.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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