Black & Beck Foods Ltd. is a Rossland-based business that got its start through the Self-Employment Program and went on to obtain funding from Community Futures for product development.
Owner Mary-Ellen Black wanted her unique, BC made, apple-based dipping/marinade sauces to be marketable to as many dietary restrictions and personal preferences as possible. The current selection of sauces are:
- sodium free
- low sugar (sweetened with organic raw cane sugar)
- allergen friendly: no nuts, peanuts, seeds, or gluten ingredients used (not certified)
- no oil (although can extend out with a light oil to make a dressing)
- each bottle contains 50% fruit
- non-GMO ingredients (not certified)
As volumes and pricing allow, Black & Beck Foods Ltd. is looking to add ‘organic’ to that list!
Mary-Ellen and her sauces are a staple at many summer markets and fairs throughout the West & East Kootenays during the summer. Luckily, the sauces are also available at grocery stores in Rossland, Trail, Castlegar, and Nelson. They will also soon be available at locations in Crescent Valley, New Denver, Kaslo, Nakusp, and Revelstoke.
When asked what advice she would share with future entrepreneurs, Mary-Ellen had this to say:
“Being an entrepreneur is for the self-motivated individual who has passion, perseverance and patience as the staples to fulfill a dream and meet the challenges of being self-employed. Networking with others in the industry is key, as they will have different perspectives and it’s always good to bounce off ideas. Even though mistakes will be made, you don’t always have to repeat other peoples’. Trust and self-belief are important, even when it feels like you’re facing into the wind. Know that you are bringing something different to market. Be prepared to flex and adjust to allow growth, knowing that your product or service may look different than how you conceived. It will be better than you imagined.”