A Look Back
August 2019 will mark the 5th year for SMAK DAB. I mean… whoa. I’m floored!
After we started, I had no doubt about the opportunity and potential for this humble pantry essential, but I’m no less surprised by how far we’ve come.
It feels like only yesterday I was stirring small pots of mustard on the stove of my tiny condo kitchen and selling out at the farmers markets on the weekends in summer. Fast forward to today, we no longer make the mustard on that tiny stove, but you can still find us at the farmers market all summer long. Despite the early mornings on a weekend, and temperamental weather conditions; there’s no place I’d rather be. The markets are where we first met our most loyal, eager and supportive customers. The ones that are still with us today and stood by us while we grew. If you are one of those people we’ve met at a market, or have become a fan in another way, THANK YOU! It is impossible for us to be where we are today without the people that support and believe in our product. (Insert group hug here!)
I’d also like to make an ode to my team. I’ve been so fortunate and privileged to work with the best people; honest, hard-working, passionate, and loyal. I sometimes wonder if my Irish roots have something to do with such luck! There is no amount of gratitude I can muster that could be enough! It absolutely takes a village.
Not only have I had the privilege to build this business with my mom and dad by my side as my production leads and operation managers, but my 87-year-old grandfather as well. Yes, you read that right! (He’s our CFO- Chief Filling Officer, he works the machine to fill the jars!) If you have SMAK DAB in your fridge right now, or you’ve seen it on the shelf, chances are he’s filled it. I consider myself very blessed to be able to share this journey with my grandfather.
My mom, dad and husband Josh have been along for the ride ever since the beginning. In moments of victory, and especially in the face of challenges, it’s been reassuring to have them by my side. In fact, it was them that encouraged me to start SMAK DAB in the first place. Without their support and kick in the butt to get going, I’m not sure I’d have the guts to do it on my own. There would be no SMAK DAB without the three of them.
Anyway, getting back to the mustard! 2018 was a big year. We were voted one of the ‘Best Manitoba Food Products’ in 2018, Ace Burpee named me as one of the ‘100 Most Fascinating Manitobans’ (which was a total honour!) and we are now officially in all the Sobey’s and Safeway stores in Manitoba!
Now, it’s 2019, and it almost feels like we’re already putting last year to shame. This March, SMAK DAB hit the west coast in a BIG way as you can now find us in 25 Thrifty Foods, 11 Choices Markets and 3 Fresh Street Market locations. This has been in the works for a while now, so I’m looking forward to meeting the new challenges and excitement this expansion brings!
If you’ve been with us for a while, THANK YOU, and if you’re new to us, WELCOME! Here’s to a great year and many more after that. We aren’t stopping now!
– Carly Minish-Wytinck
Founder, Red Seal Chef + President of SMAK DAB