September is harvest time, as a food producer in Alberta you know that this can be a tough time to access facilities. Fall and Christmas seasons are around the corner, so this is the best time to prepare for the upcoming season. This also means that if a producer didn’t book kitchen space already, they will be working odd hours just to get their product made as prep space can be challenging to find. This is especially true if you don’t use a facility on a regular basis, finding those little slots of availability can be difficult.
Just a few short years ago, we were in the same boat. Local facilities that would suit our needs were non-existant. Our most satisfying trek was a five and a half hour drive to access an approved facility with a 5 gallon kettle. It didn’t have an agitator, which meant a lot of stirring, but it still cut our production time enough overall (by compressing numerous batches into two days!) to make the trip worth it. It was exhausting.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the experiences that we have had, we learned a lot and it showed us the opportunity that existed for creating a space that other producers could use, which is now part of our mandate. We now have an approved Food Production Facility with an 80-gallon kettle available for rent in Strathmore! Cian’s Mustard rents the space (complete with kettle operator!) equipped with a commercial kettle for cooking soup, pasta, sauce and a range of other foods that need to be steamed, sautéed or braised. Commercial cooking kettles are ideal for restaurants, catering businesses, cafeterias and more because they cook a wide range of foods quickly and evenly. However, many small businesses simply can’t afford the cost of owning their own kettle. Contact us to inquire about renting our facility.
Operating a small business has its unique challenges and if we can contribute in some small way, adding benefit somehow, I am all for it. Like they say, it takes a village to raise a child….well, like Helen Keller said “Alone we can do so little; together, we can do so much”!