Jessica Proeller

Ep 55. Erin Morgan, General Manager of Ontario Bean Growers Talks About the International Year of the Bean!

Erin Morgan is the general manager of Ontario Bean Growers. During the interview, Erin discussed the excitement of the upcoming year as it is the international year of the bean, and emphasized the importance of increasing your bean intake. This interview will give listeners a deeper insight on where our beans come from, and the importance of working with a great team and listening to the people around you.

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Erin was very inspirational and mentioned the importance of accepting the fact that others may have more knowledge than you do, and instead of being discouraged by that, use it and grow from it. She is so passionate about her job, while also caring about the wellbeing and success about farmers, which is an important part of the work she does on a daily basis.

Web: http://ontariobeans.on.ca/

Ep 47. Panagiotis Tsiriotakis, Owner and President of Acropolis Organics talks About the Importance of Knowing what You’re Ingesting

Panagiotis Tsiriotakis, is the owner and president of Acropolis Organics, organic importer of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and other condiments. TheTsiriotakis family prides themselves on producing some of the finest organic extra virgin olive oil in the world. From growing to importing, their family monitors every stage of production to ensure the highest standards are met.

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This interview discusses the importance of knowing what you’re paying for, and where your money really goes when purchasing olive oil. Panagiotis is so passionate about Organic Olive oil, but also genuinely cares for the well being of consumers, by constantly promoting healthy lifestyle choices.

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Web: http://www.acropolisorganics.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/acropolisorganics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/acropolisorg

Ep 41. Michael Girkout, President of Alvarado Street Bakery Talks About Being Organic Before Organic was “Cool”

Michael Girkout is the President of Alvarado Street Bakery in California. After working there for over 30 years, Michael talks about how they currently employ over 100 people and produce and distribute over 30 organic baked goods. The dedication of workers past and present to make the highest quality organic baked goods anywhere continues to be the force behind what they stand for. After all, their slogan is “We are changing the way the world eats — one slice at a time.”

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This interview with Michael will give listeners a deeper insight on what makes bread organic, and why organics are Alvarado Streets Specialty. He talks about the use of sprouted wheat in their breads, and what separates organic bread from standard bread on store shelves. Throughout the interview Michael discusses how successful a business where the leader thinks of his employees as equals can be.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AlvaradoStreetBakery

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alvaradostreet

Ep 35. Adam Van Bergeijk, Owner and Founder of Mountainoak Cheese Shares his insights on what makes his Artisan cheese so “Gouda”

Adam Van Bergeijk, is the owner and founder of Mountainoak Cheese. After immigrating from Holland along with his wife and children, they were determined to pursue their passions of making cheese. After over 10 years of getting their dairy farm established, in 2006 they were finally granted permission to start making cheese on the farm. In this interview, Adam outlines the importance of family, education and creating a product you’re proud of.IMG_8628

It is wonderful to see that Adam is so involved in the business, from meeting with clients, to actually making cheese… while also balancing his family and beautiful grandchildren.  He mentioned that among many people, his wife is his biggest mentor, and guide into making the right decisions. He is extremely passionate about cheese making, which he mentions is a form of art and expression with different recipes and ingredients. His cheese is called “mountainoak cheese” but the recipe follows that of a traditional Gouda recipe.IMG_8626

Web: http://mountainoakcheese.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mountainoak-Cheese-Ltd/426651720706107

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mountainoakc

Ep 32. Taras Manzie, Owner and Founder of Lake of the Woods Brewing and Newest Supplier for the PanAm Games

Taras Manzie is the owner and founder of Lake of the Woods Brewing in Kenora, Ontario. What started as a small brewery has expanded into an expanded 102-year-old fire hall with a 275-seat tap room with an active working brewery. LOW’s signature beer comes in bottles called “growlers” and are the first of their kind to be released into stores. Just last week while in Toronto for business, Taras was asked to be one of the suppliers for the PanAm games this summer!

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In this interview with Taras, he discussed his entrepreneurial experiences, and shared his insights on creating a product people love and enjoy. He is so passionate about brewing quality beer and maintaining a great brand, while also treating his employees the way he would want to be treated, he mentioned that he wouldn’t make his employees do anything he wouldn’t be willing to do. Taras is largely involved in all aspects of the business, from brewing, to sweeping! He mentioned his excitement for the future of the business, as well as his children.

Cheers, Taras!

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Web: http://lowbrewco.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lowbrewco

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lowbrewco

Ep 24. Terry Hannaford, CEO of Omega Paw Dog & Cat Accessories Shares his “pawsitive” Business Insights

Terry Hannaford is the CEO of Omega Paw Dog & Cat Accessories. A large manufacturer of dog and cat acessories including novelty items including “beer” for dogs, “mixed drink” cat treats and their patented scratching posts. Before our interview, Terry took me on an tour of the Omega Paw factory/warehouse where I was able to see his employees (which he knew all by name) making some of the products, and also see the ways in which the items are packaged and stored. In this interview with Terry, he discusses how his business motto revolves around the importance of good ethics  and also the importance of evolving your business with the changing culture.

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Terry talks about how important it is to pursue something you love, and how valuable relationships are, but also being aware of the needs of clients and employees. This interview shows listeners how important being ethical and kind is, but also how rewarding watching your business evolve from one product, to hundreds of products is. Before leaving, Terry handed me one of his self cleaning litter boxes, and many bags of specialty cat treats because I had mentioned I had two cats (they love their new kitty gear). Thanks again!

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Web: http://www.omegapaw.com/ 

Twitter: @omegapaw

Ep 19. Charles Bierbrier, Founder of Bierbrier Brewing and his Transition from Home Brewer to Brewery Owner

Charles Bierbrier is the owner and founder of Bierbrier Brewing in Montreal, and recently expanded to Toronto. Some might say that he was destined to brew beer. His last name, Bierbrier (pronounced Beer-Briar), derives from the German word literally meaning “beer brewer”. Throughout the interview he discussed his transition from studying business, and working in the financial sector to actually owning his own business, and creating a product people love and enjoy. As his motto states “if I’m going to put my name on the bottle, it better be damn good beer.”

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Charles emphasizes the importance of learning from your mistakes, and believe in yourself and go for it. He also talks about the importance of education, and trusting your gut. This interview shows listeners how important pursuing your passions is, but also how rewarding watching your business evolve into something large is.

Web: http://www.bierbrier.com/home.php 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BierbrierBrewing

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bierbrier_mtl 

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/charles-bierbrier/0/4a2/3b3

Ep 18. Kristina Romasco, Owner of Dolcezza Custom Cakes Makes her Childhood Dream a Reality

Kristina Romasco is the owner of Dolcezza Custom Cakes, located in Downtown Brampton. Ever since she was a child, Kristina dreamed of owning a bakery, and she has now made this dream a reality. Dolcezza Custom Cakes specializes in custom wedding/birthday cakes, a daily assortment of freshly-baked muffins, cupcakes, cookies and more in store.

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Kristina has some great insights on owning and operating your own business, while still making it a fun and enjoyable experience. During the interview, she spoke about her inspiration behind owning a custom cake shop and the aspects of the job that make it so rewarding for her.

Web: http://www.dolcezzacakes.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dolcezzacakes 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DolcezzaCakes 

Ep 12. Rhonda Zuk Headon, Owner of The Cheesiry tells the Story Behind her Handmade & Artisan Cheeses

Rhonda Zuk Headon is the owner and head cheese maker at The Cheesiry, an Alberta Cheese farm specializing in handmade artisan cheese. At the farm they do everything from raising sheep, goats and cows to packaging and distributing. While balancing twins with her husband and helping run his family farm, Rhonda has had huge success with her cheeses.

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She emphasizes the importance of travel at a young age, and talks about her journey from student to owning her own cheese farm. At the farm, her family accepts internaitonal students every summer to learn how to make cheese, just as she did in Italy growing up. She believes that learning from others, and experiencing the world will help with your success in life. Rhonda also emphasized a very important point: experiences are worth more than anything with monetary value.

Web: http://thecheesiry.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Cheesiry/120295497982755?sk=info&tab=overview

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thecheesiry

Ep 11. Mike Laba, Co-Founder and Brand Director of The Craft Brand Co. shares his Passion for Craft Beer

Mike Laba is the Co-Founder and Brand Director for The Craft Brand Company. The Craft Brand Company is a Canadian based company that represents beer, & spirit brands that have a respect for quality, craftsmanship and authenticity. Mike will give listeners a deeper insight on the brewing industry is full of people who are really passionate about what they do.  Mike also emphasizes the importance of doing what you love, and what you need to get there.

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The Craft Brand Company grew out of a passion for really great brands, extensive knowledge of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and Beer Store and a consumer demand for unique and intriguing products. Mike is so knowledgeable and passionate about Craft Beers, and the importance of making a name for smaller and up and coming craft brewers. This interview shows listeners how close knit an industry can be, but also how rewarding watching your business evolve into something large is.

Web: http://www.craftbrandco.com/ 

Twitter: @CraftBrandCo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CraftBrandCo