Summer 2023

Manitoba Chamber of Commerce

Issue link: http://publications.winnipegfreepress.com/i/1500140

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29 SUMMER 2023 gluten-free products such as cabbage rolls, oven-ready meals and delectable desserts. "We have over 15 varieties of perogies to offer. Everyone's favourite is our potato and aged cheddar, but my favourite is potato, onion and dill. Our mushroom perogies are also really popular," DeSutter says. "We cater to lots of other different dietary restrictions, including dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, sugar-free and soy-free. We're happy to hit a lot of boxes for a lot of people." Reflecting on her journey, DeSutter expresses gratitude to those who have helped along the way. "I took the Business Planning Program through World Trade Centre Winnipeg and it helped a lot by giving me some tools I could implement right way. It was also a safe space to ask questions with industry professionals that I might not have had access to or known where to look for that kind of information," she says. "It was really fantastic to find a com- munity of other entrepreneurs and to hear their stories and ideas." She's also thankful for support from organizations such as Saskatchewan-based Awesome, Springfield Chamber of Com- merce and Winnipeg Chamber of Com- merce. She points out the significance of Food and Beverage Manitoba, Manitoba Agriculture-Food and Rural Initiatives, and Canadian Federation of Independent Busi- ness, as well as the federal government for its grant programs. Amanda Lynn Gluten Free is earning ac- colades, including the Rising Startup Award with the Awesome program in the team- building category. The business is also nominated for a Spirit of Winnipeg Award with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce in the workplace culture category. Looking ahead, DeSutter hopes to ex- pand within the province as well as outside Manitoba — and maybe even outside Canada — within the next year. "We are looking at expanding our reach within the Sobeys family of stores in Mani- toba," DeSutter says. "Stay tuned or head into your Sobeys store today and ask for our products." DeSutter is also heading to the SIAL Canada food trade show in Toronto with World Trade Centre Winnipeg to introduce the business as a national brand and to create connections with retail chains and distributors. For anyone in the early days of starting a business, she offers some wise words based on her own experience. "Surround yourself with people who complement your skills because you can't be good at everything," she says. "I know it's hard at the beginning, but it's worth it to pay a small staff who believe in you and value you. They'll work hard for you and hopefully you can grow together as the company grows." It's also important to stick to your val- ues, she notes, particularly when making tough decisions. "We value respect and dignity of the hu- man person before anything. That's really important to us. Our work environment is also very important, so we have a very healthy, clean work culture," DeSutter says. "We believe everyone should eat well and enjoy what they're eating, so we fol- low high standards for quality, taste and ingredients." At the same time, the team at Amanda Lynn Gluten Free aims to be good stewards of their resources. "We compost and recycle so we have very little waste. We have a very small footprint," she says. "We choose to purchase our raw ingre- dients from local makers and growers as much as possible. Those are some of the things that we hold near and dear." ■ To learn more about Amanda Lynn Gluten Free, visit www.algf.biz. To learn more about World Trade Centre Winnipeg's programs, visit www.wtcwinnipeg.com. WORLD TRADE CENTRE WINNIPEG Amanda Lynn Gluten Free found its beginnings in 2015 at a Christmas craft sale with gluten-free perogies that stirred up a lot of interest.

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