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I first met Christine in November 2012 when she was doing a demo of her products at a local butcher shop. I had been buying her products from that shop and wanted to meet her. Camera in hand, I photographed Christine while she handed out samples and spoke with passion about her products. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)
Christine’s company is called Manning Canning, with a product line of jams, jellies, marmalades, pickled items, relish and mustard. My personal favourites are her spicy pickled carrots and spicy tomato jam. Her latest product is a sun-dried tomato mustard which is getting rave reviews, and I am anxious to try it.
Until last year, Christine held down a full-time job and Manning Canning was a part-time endeavour. She worked on weekends developing and scaling recipes and doing in-store demonstrations and was also available for private preserving classes done right in your own home.
Manning Canning was taking up more and more of her time, so in 2013 Christine quit her full-time job to devote all of her attention to her business. In addition to packaging and delivering her products to customers, Christine also attends a few farmers’ markets in the city. One of them is the Fairmount Park Farm Market, an outdoor market that runs from May to October on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Christine’s fame has continued to rise and she has had articles written about her in Elle Canada and Toronto Life, and her products were recently featured in the LCBO magazine Food & Drink.
All of Christine’s recipes are her own and many have been passed down from her grandmother and her mother. This farm girl from Drayton Valley, Alberta, is certainly gaining attention and success in the big city of Toronto.