Picture this: The year is 2011 and you (or your hangry kids!) are in the mood for a snack. You’re rushing, so it needs to be something quick that you can grab on your way out the door. Of course, you want something that actually tastes delicious, but you don’t want it to be full of processed sugar and freaky chemicals… What do you go for? Yeah...there weren't many options.
We couldn’t believe that in 2012, healthy snacking options at our local grocery store were either NOT delicious at all, or NOT actually healthy and full of all kinds of weird stuff…
Just like that, Made with Local was born with its very first mission:
Create a nourishing snack that’s made with real, simple ingredients AND actually tastes amazing.
So we set out to do just that. We sourced quality local ingredients from farmers in Atlantic Canada and launched our very first Real Food Bars at the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market in 2012.
Each and every bar was baked with love by the two of us, and they were a hit. Two years down the road, we both had growing families. Two Made with Local babies meant it was time for us to recruit some baking help to keep up with all of the demand. The way we saw it, we had two options in front of us…
Option 1: The mass-production route.
We’re talking factories that can churn out bars like there’s no tomorrow. A whole bunch of bar-baking robots that can work faster than you’ve ever seen before. Our production capacity would be through the roof and we’d have more bars than we know what to do with, but there was one thing missing… LOVE.
Option 2: Team up with our community.
Since we truly believe that LOVE is an essential nutrient we all need in our daily lives, we knew we had to find a way to guarantee that each and every Made with Local bar would still be baked with love, by hand. We found the perfect production partners in a local social enterprise called The Flowercart Group in Nova Scotia, Canada. They’re a supported workplace program for folks with barriers to mainstream employment, and they were the partners we dreamed of and SO much more.
When we saw the impact this partnership was having on the community, we knew there was a new Made with Local mission we were focused on:
Create a community between farmers and social enterprises, and provide these community members a chance to do something they love.
Since then, we’ve welcomed a second social enterprise into our production family, with the Dartmouth Adult Services Centre in Nova Scotia climbing aboard in 2016, and the Made with Local business has been growing ever since. Without the lovely people behind our real ingredients and kitchens, we wouldn’t be selling bars across the country in places like Whole Foods Ontario, Sobeys, Loblaws, Bulk Barn and more.
Why do we believe these community partnerships are so important?
Simple. All of our foods are actually, truly handmade with love by real people, and we’ve been able to make an impact socially and economically in each of the communities we’re working with. If there’s one thing we believe deep in our hearts, it’s this: LOVE is an essential nutrient.
When our food is made with love, it literally tastes better, and nourishing our body at a whole 'nother level. Why do you think your mom’s stuffing at Thanksgiving is the best no matter what? Why do we think that Aunt always has the best lasagna? It’s because it’s made with love, and that leaves us with one big question for you:
How would you change your the way you nourish yourself if you thought about LOVE as an essential nutrient?