Author - Canadian Women In Food

Make A Difference

There is no going back to the days of a stable, homogenous workforce. A diverse society brings forth change in every arena and a more diverse workforce highlights the need for different and more flexible approaches to work.

However workers today seriously question whether organizations can live up to the task of embracing diversity and it seems to some that the notions of loyalty and job security are dreams of a by-gone era.

They ask us what is left after people have been torn apart by mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, and layoffs?

We say – we have each other!

We believe the ripple effect of changes in the marketplace means one possible antidote to a creeping sense of cynicism is when people find a deeper meaning in their work and their actions. We already know that young people aren’t giving in to the idea that they don’t make a difference. And this energy inspires more and more of us on a quest for greater meaning in our lives.

We can feel it happening, and see it every day as values and virtues are discussed more openly, and people start to think more about their personal and professional legacy. Will I be known as a good person who cared about their community and built relationships or someone who put in more hours than anyone else at the office?

We also believe CWIF can lead the way and take action to create a climate where people can bring their whole selves to work and not just their heads and hands.

Recently, Rosanna Caira, Editor/Publisher of Kostuch Media Ltd stated “It’s clear that in these days of ethical and corporate responsibility, a new breed of restaurant operator has emerged, one who wants to educate and change consumer perceptions, not only about what food is, and what it can be, but also to show how restaurants can contribute to a stronger sense of community.”

With this kind of perspective leading the way, we are inspired that there will be countless opportunities for us to make a difference and to create a sense of meaning in our lives and to build a sense of community that includes us all.

cwif_facepic_cappletonCheryl Appleton
Founder and Community Manager, CWIF



Social Capital

For many of us our perspectives were forever changed by the events of September 11, 2001. Out of the grief an amazing shift took shape as people from around the globe were urged to reconsider their priorities and instead of placing work at the top of the agenda we reminded ourselves to place family and friends first.

So when did it all end? When did the shift towards compassion and collaboration evaporate as we returned to a hyper-competitive 24/7 life? Have profits really replaced people as the top priority?

We say – No way!

We’ve learned that self awareness, social awareness, and interpersonal skills are more valued than ever and at Canadian Women In Food (CWIF) we’re combining business practices with the goal of making a difference instead of always being focused on making a profit.
That isn’t to say that brand-ME or brand-YOU is over but if you want to bet on who will be a successful leader in these times, then it will be the person who values people first, profits second.
Today, the internet has shrunk the globe to the size of a smart phone. We are more connected than ever before. Your customers can send orders from half-a-world away and you can ship it to them for arrival the day-after.

But the internet isn’t just about buying and selling or resolving a customer service issue, it’s about sharing and supporting. So how do we participate in these conversations and add value? How do we harness this technology to move you forward and unlock its social capital?

We believe social capital is the collective value of people who know each other and what actions they will take to support each other. It could be as small as making a warm introduction on behalf of someone else, or it could be as large as inviting someone in to partner with you and leverage your collective resources.

The reality is that it is still about engaging with other human beings to make things happen, and to then utilize your community as a platform to deliver material results. The leaders who understand this concept will be the leaders who will get extraordinary things done. Look around you as you can see them already and they are right in the middle of those networks, connecting with them and stirring them up.

The tragedy of September 11th reinforced this need for connectivity on a global scale. Our alliances are a key support structure in our personal and professional lives. We believe CWIF will be successful because it has the right blend of socializing, giving back to the community, and business action that it will serve to unlock the potential of social capital by putting our relationships to work to help finance your dreams.



cwif_facepic_cappletonCheryl Appleton
Founder and Community Manager, CWIF




Share in the Abundance

Who We Are

Canadian Women in Food was founded in 2014, as a national association to help amplify the voices of female food entrepreneurs and to promote a more inclusive space for all women in food.   The organization has been nourished by the passion, inspiration, and expertise of many within the food industry and reflects their aspirations to ensure a sustainable future for female food entrepreneurs in Canada.

We are challenging the ways the food industry may be minimizing funding needs for women-owned businesses and potentially limiting the pathways to innovation and future success.

We invite you to join us as a member or contribute to our work by donating now.

What’s Happened

Cake Collective event a memorable one!

Our sincere thanks to everyone involved for making The Cake Collective event a memorable one!  Because of your support people are leaning in to share in the abundance that comes from women supporting women. This level of commitment was best expressed by the two women who recently opened a cake shop on their reservation, and drove 15 hours from Mistissini, Quebec to attend. They came to be inspired, and we were certainly inspired by them!

Thank you to our volunteers Richa Gupta, Siobhan Lacey, MJ Gibbons, Michele Chandler, Chantal Vechambre, Chantal D’Aoust, Cindy Caruso, Sabrina Caligiuri, and Alexandra Fernando for raising the bar once again and creating a postive experience for the guests.

Thank you to Linda Jetty, Eileen Terry, and Manda Nongauza for your generous contributions to the raffle. Everyone loved those 5 minute massages!

Thank you to Colleen Isherwood and Kristen Smith of Canadian Restaurant News for your coverage of the event and for making us feel like Hollywood stars, if only for a moment.

And a sincere thanks to our sponsors The Cake Collective, The Healthy Crunch Company, Holy Canolli Shells & Cream, Cacao Barry Chocolate, Cottonwood Wine-Spirits Agency, Tea And All Its Splendour, Barocco Coffee, Montellier Mineral Water, B-You-Nique Events, Higgins Party Rentals, Step In Marketing Solutions, and Four Star Dairy for leading the way and being superb community role models for entrepreneurs.

You all know how to stir things up!


We Love Our Dumplings

Thanks to Vanessa Yeung, Chef/Owner of Aphrodite Cooks and the host of our last networking event in April, CWIF members shared stories, did some networking and learned more about the art of making dumplings. Traditionally made in homes in northern China, they’ve now spread around the world. They are shaped like crescents or spheres, pan-fried (kuo tieh) or boiled (jiaozi). Dumplings resemble ancient Chinese money, are stuffed with humble ingredients like pork and cabbage, and legend has it that you will find wealth and prosperity based on how many are consumed.  So we ate ALOT of them!

Click here for Vanessa’s recipe

Join Our Community

Through monthly e-newsletters, CWIF members are the first to hear about upcoming events, workshops, conferences, and other initiatives. Becoming a CWIF member is a great way to amplify your profile and accelerate your business exposure in a community that supports you.

  • Cost if $100 annually
  • Member profile listed in the national member directory
  • Business profile featured
  • Receive a 100% return on your membership with 4 hours of volunteering


Become A Member

Step 1 – Fill Out The Form

Your Name (required)

Your Title

Tell Us About Yourself

Any Special Skills You Would Like To Mention

Why Do You Want To Join CWIF?



Your Mailing Address

Your Email (required)

Phone Number

Profile Image

Step 2 – Pay for annual membership through PayPal

Support Our Community

Feature Sponsor – Step In Marketing

cwif_sponsor_StepTell us about your business, your role, and what fun (and perhaps humourous) connections you have to the food and beverage industry:

A results-driven Marketing & Sales Service company, STEP IN provides innovative thinking, exceptional project management and flawless execution, and a steadfast commitment to meeting clients’ budget and timeline expectations. The company founder – Sue Martin – delivers 20+ years of cross-functional expertise in Tier 1 CPG Brand Management, Account Direction for a promotion agency and Marketing and Business Management leadership in a B2B Foodservice sales organization. She has excelled not only as a client service provider but also as a client herself, so has an innate understanding of the challenges faced by clients in today’s increasingly competitive and fragmented marketplace.

Given such a broad-based professional background, Sue’s expertise lies in her ability to “step into” a business challenge or opportunity that needs to be managed and executed, on a project-by-project basis, and then “step out” when the objective has been achieved. The core capabilities offered by STEP IN are:

S trategic Analysis
T   actical Execution & Business Development
E   vent Planning and Production
P   roject Management

A commitment to these core capabilities allow STEP IN to provide exceptional service in the areas of event management, promotions, trade shows, product launches, digital and web creation, advertising, direct marketing, copywriting, public relations, business development, presentations and support materials. Current clients include: CHD-Expert Canada, Restaurants Canada, Canadian Women in Food, Best Menu Boards, League of Rock.

is equally adept at both the creative and the analytical sides of brand communication strategy and skilled in leveraging relationships and partnerships to maximize synergies. Contact us today to find out how STEP IN can STEP IN to help.


Sue’s commitment to the food industry was more than just a happy accident as she, in fact, grew up in the restaurant business. She’s washed dishes, served customers, cleaned the flattop grill and peeled what felt like a million apples for her Mom’s deep-dish apple pie, a customer favourite at her parents’ central Ontario restaurant and catering business. When people tell you that the food industry gets in your blood, it’s absolutely true!

A pivotal career moment for Sue was when she almost flooded the Direct Energy Centre attempting to break a Guinness World Record for the Largest Bloody Caesar in the World – key learnings included:

  • When people band together for a common goal, it is amazing what they can accomplish!
  • Only 3% of Guinness World Record attempts are ever achieved (at least this is what the Guinness rep said when he reassured her to be proud of the attempt!)
  • Be very thankful that the engineer on the project decided to test the structural integrity of the 10 foot tall acrylic glass one more time, in an outside facility – so when the damn thing imploded the night before the record attempt was taking place, at least there wasn’t a sea of 1000 gallons of Bloody Caesar flowing through the CRFA Show site!

Is there something very special about your product and/or service that you are proud to mention or celebrate?

Broad-based general management expertise means that STEP IN can offer many different types of services to a wide spectrum of clients – every day brings new learnings and exciting opportunities for growth.
The 10-step commute to my home office continues to motivate me!
I’ve been able to combine my true passions – people, food and music – to create what, for me, is the perfect career!

What does it mean to you to sponsor CWIF?

Being a part of building and communicating the vision for CWIF is immensely gratifying. In just a short period of time, I’ve been introduced to so many inspirational food pioneers and I’m thrilled to help them as they continue their journey to success (whatever that looks like for them).

For the record what is the best way to reach you?
Sue Martin
Founder, STEP IN Marketing Solutions


How To Become A Sponsor
Link to to request rate card and more information