Did you know that most of the world’s mustard seed is grown in Canada?

Tim and Nathalie Harris did, which sparked their dream to make gourmet Canadian mustard to share with the world. From their commercial kitchen in Qualicum Beach, B.C. Tim and Nathalie launched A Cook Not Mad Kitchen in 2019, offering eight artisanal mustards, blended in small batches with unique spices to create mustards like no other.

Despite pandemic slowdowns, Tim and Nathalie had their first sale in 2020, and three years later, their brand, Yellow Deer Mustard, can be found in 75 locations, including farm stores, grocers, restaurants, tour groups, grazing tables and gift basket companies.

“We recently made our first sale outside of British Columbia, and hope to have our products sold across Canada, into the U.S., and even internationally!” shares Nathalie.

Ingredients for Success

Tim and Nathalie’s first out-of-province sale inspired them to explore broader markets, but they quickly found this process to be more challenging than they initially expected. “We had no idea how to sell to other provinces,” confides Nathalie.

While deliberating on how to take their business to the next level, Tim and Nathalie came across a post about Salt Spring Island Sea Salt’s experience with Export Navigator.

Inspired, they reached out to Export Navigator and connected with their Export Advisor, Brady Calancie. They knew that Brady’s expertise would guide them as they entered new markets.

Brady worked with Tim and Nathalie to understand their business goals and assess what was required to take A Cook Not Mad Kitchen to the next level. Brady introduced the duo to workshops that detailed the ins and outs of exporting, providing the education necessary to propel the business forward.

Sharing a Taste of Canada

As a two-person operation, Tim and Nathalie have a lot on their plate. With Brady’s help, the journey towards growth is clear. Brady identified grants and funding opportunities that helped grow their business. Combined with the education and networks Brady has provided, A Cook Not Mad Kitchen is now ready to export nationally and internationally.

“We have a lot more knowledge on what it takes to expand and export our product,” say Tim.

“We would wholeheartedly recommend Export Navigator,” says Nathalie. “Brady has given us the confidence we needed to know that we are on the right path to grow our business.”

One of Tim and Nathalie’s favourite parts of selling mustard is hearing about unique uses for their products from their customers, like adding a touch of spicy Creole mustard to a Bloody Mary. With a broad North American market just around the corner, who knows what other recipes they will uncover.

Brady Calancie