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.
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.
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.
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.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.