October 7, 2019
Have you ever made something that just became your signature? A dish that your friends ask you to make for them constantly, and that everyone tells you you should totally sell.
That’s what happened to Joanne Zinter. She made a mean antipasto and often brought it as a hostess gift to friends, who always told her it was too good to simply stay within their circle.
“I finally thought one day, let’s just do this, and me and my friend and partner at the time took some jars to the Strathcona Farmer’s Market and we sold out by noon,” remembers Zinter. “Even so, we started selling our antipasto as this thing we kept on the side of our day jobs.”
Zinter was working as a nurse, and slowly built up a company and a following in the hours she wasn’t nursing. After ten years of double duty, Zinter decided to retire from nursing and go into food production full time.
Today Zinter Brown makes not just the original antipasto, but other condiments too like seasonings, and the best-selling Zinter Brown Pepper Pots; a line of flavourful jellies including Raspberry & Peach Pepper Pots, Red Pepper Pot, Garlic Pepper Pot Jalapeño Hot Pot, Horseradish Hot Pot and Pomegranate Pepper Pot.
“I have an award-winning product that I make with pectin that doesn't have peppers in it. It is made with balsamic vinegar and it has some rosemary and oregano in it for for flavour. We call that our Roasted Garlic and Onion Jamboree. The Jamboree won best new product at the Canadian Fine Food Show in Toronto a few years ago. It's been a good seller for us, for sure.”
Zinter Brown’s pepper jellies are great as a topping for burgers, used as a glaze for barbecued foods, served as a condiment for meat and cheese boards, or to give gravy a unique kick.
“We use local or Canadian ingredients whenever possible in our products,” Zinter explains. “We get our fruit from B.C., like our peaches for the Peach Pepper Pots; those come right from the Okanagan. We use only natural preservatives, like vinegar.”
The heightened interest in buying local, and the growing local food movement has benefitted Zinter Brown enormously.
“Finally, people are recognizing that local is delicious. It’s been a big switch from the times when people felt they could only trust the big food producers. That switch has made a big difference to local producers like us, to have that community support.”
Find Zinter Brown condiments, seasonings and sauces at your local Calgary Co-op store.
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