Artisan Incubator sets small Canadian culinary companies up for future success

~ ACE Bakery & Canada's top culinary names announce artisans to receive additional mentorship ~

TORONTO, June 24, 2013 /CNW/ - There was a flurry of culinary creativity this past weekend, as 20 Canadian artisans took the food industry by storm. Brought together by ACE Bakery and nine of Canada's top culinary talents, these artisans were brought to Toronto to take part in the Artisan Incubator where they were introduced to food lovers through an industry showcase and public workshops, given national exposure and coached by experts in the fields of small business sales and distribution, finance and marketing.  Two artisans were also selected to receive additional business development support: Les Jardins Sauvages from St-Roch de L'Achigan, Quebec and Seed to Sausage from Tichborne, Ontario.

"A large part of ACE Bakery's success in its infancy was due to mentorship my husband and I received from an owner of an artisan bakery in New York," explained Linda Haynes, co-founder of ACE Bakery and author of The ACE Bakery Cookbooks.  "ACE is now paying it forward, both through the Artisan Incubator and the extended support we are excited to provide Les Jardins Sauvages and Seed to Sausage in the coming year.  I know firsthand that this type of mentorship can make all the difference."

A number of different criteria were considered when selecting the two artisans to receive continued mentorship, including adherence to artisan methods and the quality and uniqueness of their product.  Special attention was also paid to the artisans' vision for the future and ACE's impression of their capacity to grow as a business.

"Michael McKenzie from Seed to Sausage has an undeniable love and commitment to the artisan craft and his product - this comes through in everything he does and every bite of his cured and smoked meats," explained Haynes.  "Nancy Hinton and Francois Brouillard from Les Jardins Sauvages are dedicated to reviving lost tastes and traditions, developing approaches to their craft and sharing their knowledge with their community - they truly love what they do."

Each artisan will receive two days of consultation with ACE Bakery or advisors selected by ACE in their choice of the following areas: business finances, product development, retail relations, foodservice relations, distribution, branding, marketing, public relations, human resources.

As part of their involvement in the Artisan Incubator, all 20 artisans each worked with a Tastemaker to develop a unique recipe using their featured products.  For recipes and images, please click here.

One of North America's leading artisan bakeries, ACE Bakery opened in 1993 creating hand-made, European-style rustic breads.  The gentle shaping of each loaf, long fermentation periods, and a stone deck oven all work to create exceptionally flavourful bread with a pleasing texture and crisp crust. The breads contain no preservatives and are made with the finest ingredients. ACE Bakery's baguettes and artisan breads are available at hundreds of restaurants, hotels, caterers, grocery and gourmet food shops across Canada, throughout the United States and the Caribbean.

Community involvement is an essential part of ACE's philosophy. The company donates a percentage of its net profits to charitable organizations in the principle centres where ACE breads are sold. ACE's focus is on food and nutrition programs that assist low-income members of the community, financing culinary scholarships and supporting organic farming initiatives.

For more than 195 years, BMO Financial Group has believed in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. In 2012, BMO contributed more than $87.6 million in donations, sponsorships and events in Canada and the United States to groups, organizations and programs that help build and sustain resilient, vital and healthy communities.

Metropolitan Hotels operates two luxury properties: SoHo Metropolitan Hotel, Toronto, Ontario and the Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia. With more than 285 rooms, Metropolitan Hotels is committed to providing luxury accommodation for business and leisure travellers seeking an independent choice. A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Metropolitan Hotels strives to provide superior service with distinctive accommodations. Award-winning restaurants at Metropolitan Hotels include Senses (SoHo Metropolitan Hotel) and Diva at the Met (Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver).


For further information:

For more information and photos, please contact:
Kate Kurys | Citizen Optimum | | 416 934-8020
Marika Bower | ACE Bakery | | 416 241-3600 x.384

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