CFN –There was a lot of good stuff to buy at the 5th Annual Ingleside Craft & Trade and Show this weekend held at the Rothwell Osnabruck school in Ingleside. Both the school gym and auditorium were jam packed with 62 different vendors selling everything from hand knitted mitts, delicious fudge and Christmas ornaments to oil paintings and hand made soap, just to mention a few. Of course there was also some terrific coffee, roasted and brewed by yours truly.
I was quite busy serving coffee to the patrons of the show but I did manage to get around and interview a few of the vendors, not all of them, but a few. My first interview was with an entrepreneur with tons of experience developing and marketing his product, and he’s only 13 years old. Justin Whittam-Geskes started making soap when he was only 10 years old after he traded some hand made jewellery for some soap moulds at a craft show. He found a basic recipe for soap on the internet and then started to create his own unique flavours and styles of hand soap and lip balms. He is pictured here with his mom Sara Whittan who tells me that she is only a helper and that Justin is the creative genius behind the product.
Justin Whittam-Geskes and Mom, Sara Whittam
My next interview was with Chris Cotnam of Clarkburn Vegetables. I first met Chris when he was participating in the 2010 edition of the Summer Company program and had a booth at the Cornwall Famer’s Market (the good years). During the growing season Clarkburn Vegetables have fresh vegetables for sale but they also do some terrific canned pickles, jams, jellies and sauces. I know my family cannot get enough of their Grandmas Red Sauce. Chris is moving on in his life having recently been accepted as an electrical apprentice but he still works with his mom, Barb, to put all the canned products together.
One vendor I had to track down was Jack Williams of Candy Majick, A FUDGE MAKER! I saw him come in and could smell the fudge as he moved his stand past me. Jack told me that he has been in business part time making truffles, fudge, cakes, cookies, etc for 21 years. He sells mainly at trade shows and fairs in the cooler months of the year because it is too hot in the summer for his product. It all melts at above room temperature. Now I just had to sample his product, on each day of the show, and I can tell you he is a fudge guru. The fudge was smooth and creamy and flavourful, a perfect companion to a great cup of coffee, or vice versa.
Another food product vendor that I interviewed was Penny Pinch of A Pinch Of Penny salad dressings. Up scaled from her home recipes, Penny, along with her husband George, have been making salad dressings commercially for about 2 ½ years now and currently market them mainly at trade shows and farmer’s markets. Actually I first met them at the Cornwall Farmer’s Market in 2010 where we had neighbouring stalls. This last season they had booths at the markets in Kempville, Metcalf and Brockville. Penny hopes to upgrade the labelling of her products and make them available at selected grocery stores.
The last person I interviewed was Lorianne Bertrand, the local advisor for OnlyGreen, a supplier of eco-friendly products and services. My first contact with Lorianne was when she tracked me down to point out that my paperboard coffee cups were not biodegradable. When I had a break I found her booth and interviewed her about her company and its products. OnlyGreen is a Canadian direct selling company based in Midland. As you see from the picture of her booth her company offers a wide range of eco-friendly health and beauty, baby care, home cleaners, pet care and food products.