20 Canadian food artisans will get help with their business in new program

TORONTO - Twenty food artisans from across the country have been chosen to take part in a program designed to give them skills to increase their business.

The ACE Bakery Artisan Incubator will take place in Toronto June 20-22.

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The artisans, chosen from among hundreds of entrants, run the gamut from a cheesemaker, cidery owner and peanut producer to makers of such products as cold-pressed flax oil, marinated oyster mushrooms, lacto-fermented kimchee, apple vodka and balsamic vinegar.

Participants will attend a seminar about developing an artisan business, including branding, marketing and business planning. Each artisan will also host public workshops and have the chance to be one of two participants selected for further business development.

They are being mentored by 10 luminaries from the food industry, including representatives of ACE Bakery, which started out 20 years ago as a bakery cafe and now distributes its products across Canada, the U.S. and Caribbean, along with culinary activist and University of Guelph food laureate Anita Stewart.

Rounding out the committee are Pete Luckett, gourmet food store and Luckett Vineyards owner in Halifax; Anne Desjardins, executive chef, co-founder and co-owner of Hotel-Restaurant-Spa L'eau a la Bouche in Ste Adele, Que.; chef Lynn Crawford, host of Food Network Canada's "Pitchin' In" and owner of Ruby Watchco in Toronto; Lora Kirk, executive chef at Ruby Watchco in Toronto; chef Connie DeSousa, finalist on Food Network's "Top Chef Canada" and co-owner of Charcut Roast House in Calgary; chef John Jackson, co-owner of Charcut Roast House in Calgary; Robert McCullough, publisher of Random House's lifestyle imprint Appetite in Vancouver; and Michele Genest, writer of The Boreal Chef cooking column for Yukon, North of Ordinary Magazine, in Whitehorse.

For names, locations and details of the artisans participating in the new program, visit http://www.acebakery.com/artisan-incubator/artisans/.

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