Last year on International Women's Day, we celebrated 10 women who have made a big impact at Growing Chefs! We included our founder, classroom volunteers, our female staff, and some of our community supporters. This year we want to celebrate a few female owned and/or run food businesses that are connected to Growing Chefs! As Melinda Gates says, “When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in the people who invest in everyone else.”
Karen McAthy of Blue Heron Creamery and Soil
Chef Karen is a long time supporter of Growing Chefs! She has volunteered in the classroom, been a chef at multiple From Farms to Forks (our annual Harvest Kitchen Party), put on fundraising dinners to support us, and she has been even hosted volunteer appreciation events for us. She recently delivered a plant-based cheese tasting at our 2019 AGM. Chef Karen is the head chef and owner of Blue Heron Creamery making delicious plant-based cheeses and co-operator of Soil, a plant-based eatery in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant community. On top of all her accomplishments, she is also an award winning writer for “The Art of Plant-based Cheesemaking”.
Taryn Barker of The Little Butcher Shop
Taryn Barker is the owner and head butcher of The Little Butcher Shop in Port Moody. Even with most butchers in Canada being male, The Little Butcher Shop has a almost all-female team. Taryn is the driving force behind supplying local BC meat to her customers and being a strong supporter of local food companies. This spring, Taryn is returning for her second year volunteering in a Growing Chefs! classroom.
Gabriella Mayer of Harvest Community Foods
Gabriella is the chef and co-owner of Harvest Community Foods in Vancouver’s Chinatown and former Growing Chefs! classroom volunteer. Harvest Community Foods sells local, organic, and seasonal foodie goodies, as well as has one of best noodle menus in the city. It is also the only place in Vancouver to get a chef-picked CSA (community supported agriculture) bag with produce from local farms. Chef Gabe is a fierce advocate for supporting local food systems and businesses.
Kendall Ballantine of Central Park Farm
Kendall is the head farmer and owner of Central Park Farm. She became inspired to start feeding her family food that she knew exactly what was in it and where it came from, so Kendall left her corporate job to become a farmer and opened Central Park Farm. Central Park Farm raises free-range, pastured, and grass-fed animals. They also have Farmer Ashlee from Inner Peas Market Garden growing beautiful, organic vegetables on the farm. Did you know BC has the most female farmers in all of Canada?
We love to celebrate women and the impact that they have on their communities. But, it’s one thing to celebrate women and another thing to invest in them. Here at Growing Chefs! we challenge you to invest your money where your best intentions are and support more female-owned businesses year-round. We know we will be!
Thank you to all women making an impact on their local food systems and in their communities. And let us know who they are - tell us about your favourite female-owned business. HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!