Tag - inspiration

Member Of The Month – Shelley D’Angelo

Member Of The Month – Shelley D’Angelo

Meet our featured member, Shelley D’Angelo, Founder of Your Food Concierge, a custom crafted staffing solution supporting in-store food demos, farmer’s markets, and trade shows. If you’ve ever wanted to be in more than one place at the same time, selling and serving your customers, then Your Food Concierge can help. Shelley says it was CWIF member support that made her business possible!

What’s the creation story of your business?

After 30 years in the food industry, I have observed great people creating great products and yet they still have a hard time becoming part of the mainstream industry. I’ve always been interested in helping small business grow and I am inspired by people’s stories of how they pour their history, energy, and spirit into what they do.

What is a defining moment in your journey?

When I was asked to become a founding member of CWIF in 2014, it was really the beginning of an exciting journey.

I always knew I wanted to use my best skills and to love what I do. It was actually at a CWIF meeting that one of the members, Seema Pabari of Tiffinday, inspired me to do what I do today. Your Food Concierge grew from that moment very quickly. I went home and couldn’t sleep so I registered the company and the name that night!

Where does your drive come from?

I guess it’s always been a part of me. I love seeing people succeed and I know we can’t do it alone. The more we give out, the more we get back. Seeing people do well and live their lives, it’s a really big part of who I am.

What’s been your biggest milestone?

The day I got my first testimonial, it was from someone I had a huge amount of respect for. It was an amazing moment of validation.   Since then, seeing the recommendations and referrals come in really helps me to know that our whole approach to customer service at Your Food Concierge is making a difference.

It’s because of the support of the members that my business is possible and I highly recommend the value of joining CWIF with everyone I meet.

Any other thoughts?

The CWIF members are hard-working and are really important to building the health of our country – much more so than people may realize.



Member Of The Month – Jo-Ann McArthur

“The Big Five”

Five quick big questions to capture the essence of who we are and what we do

Jo-Ann McArthur is President of Nourish Food Marketing, a full-service marketing agency founded on the belief that by engaging people in a meaningful way, marketing can improve people’s lives.

What’s the creation story of your business?

I spent most of my life in large companies, like Unilever and Procter & Gamble, including divisional president at Molson. I started noticing that our marketing agencies kept coming up with the same ideas, and that the ideas served the agency and not the consumer. They didn’t see that the power of the consumer has far outstripped the power of the brand.

What is a defining moment in your journey?

We knew that 92 per cent of marketing messages were getting ignored, we started getting a lot of food clients, and we saw that there was no full-service food marketing agency out there. We decided to concentrate, to invest in deep knowledge and to build original research.

Where does your drive come from?

To quote Lady Gaga, “I was born this way.” If you find the off-switch, let me know. I love to work and I love what I do. I’ve never been happier in my professional life as I am now.

What’s been your biggest milestone so far?

Hitting the 20-employee mark in Toronto and Montreal. We give staff power to make decisions to do what’s best for the client. We have an unlimited holiday policy. Unless the work suffers, people are free to take time off. Also, establishing the International Food Marketing Alliance last year was a great accomplishment. It’s an umbrella organization for other food specialists, and it also provides boots on the ground around the world.

What will be your next big milestone?

Keeping our existing clients happy. Adding five new clients in the coming year. Continuing to invest in our employees.

Interviewed and edited by Stephanie Ortenzi PistachioWriting.com @PistachioWrites


Member Of The Month – Julie White
Julie White

is the owner of Long Point Honey in Prince Edward County, where she and a million bees, literally, toil to make one of only two honeys ever certified organic in Ontario.

cwif_sm_small_link Long Point Honey


We asked Julie five big questions to capture the essence of who she is and what she does ….

What’s the creation story of your business?

My inspiration began in 2004 during a trip to New Zealand, where bees and honey are revered. I got serious in 2010 and studied hive management at the University of Guelph and the University of Delaware, and the next year I was ready to start up with about 150,000 bees in three hives.

What was the defining moment for you in your business?

It was in my second year, in Spring, when I found that all the bees had survived the winter and were still thriving. It encouraged me to double the number of the bees the next year, which I’ve continued to do every year since.

Where does your drive come from?

There’s a mystical attitude connected to the practice of beekeeping — and from the sheer love of the bees.

What’s been your biggest milestone so far?

Selling to Whole Foods was important, but getting certified organic was even more important. It’s very difficult to achieve, and carries a lot of responsibility and public trust. My history in nonprofits has always been about social change, so also getting involved with larger environmental issues related to pollinators has been important to me. The business wouldn’t be as satisfying without that broader ecological context.

What is your next big milestone?

I’d like to do more outreach and public education about beekeeping and organic agriculture in general, but mostly, I just want to keep making the best honey possible.


Interviewed and edited by Stephanie Ortenzi of PistachioWriting.com

cwif_sm_small_link PistachioWriting.com




Lisa Sanguedolce


Lisa is the owner of Le Dolci Baking and Cooking School, and Foodie-Trips.com, a culinary adventure company providing “money-can’t-buy experiences”.

cwif_sm_small_link Le Dolci Baking and Cooking School

cwif_sm_small_link Foodie-Trips.com

We asked Lisa five big questions to capture the essence of who she is and what she does ….


What’s the creation story of your business?  I was making small batches of sweets in my London flat and delivering them personally all across the city. Later, I began giving cooking classes in a small Notting Hill deli, where I saw how important the education aspect of the business was for me.

What was the defining moment for you in your business? I was starting to get orders, and one specifically from California. A woman had heard about me and wanted a delivery for her daughter, who was also living in London. It fed the feeling in my gut that I should be starting my own business. It told me that I had to make some changes and do something big.

Where does your drive come from? My family. My grandmother, who was still baking, cooking and making fresh pasta at 90. My father owns his own business. My mother works in the business with me every day. I was led by example.

What’s been your biggest milestone so far? Getting through the first year of business was very important. Also, learning how to pick myself up and keep going through the hard times.

What is your next big milestone? Proving the overseas Foodie-Trips.com business model, working with some exciting new partners and developing some Ontario-based experiences.

Interview conducted by Stephanie Ortenzi of PistachioWriting.com

cwif_sm_small_link PistachioWriting.com



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 info@canadianwomeninfood.ca to request rate card and more information