Two Greater Victoria businesses came away as winners from the BC Food and Beverage Awards with seaweed.
Sidney’s Cascadia Seaweed, won the Innovation Award based on its method of sustainably cultivating seaweed for food in the ocean, with company officials promising more innovation in the future. With the award, the company continues its recent run of success just more than a year after its founding. Various media including Time recently featured the company, which received Vancouver Island’s Best Ocean Products of the Year award from Business Examiner.
Company chair Bill Collins said the excitement lies in the company’s idea. “It’s because we are doing something revolutionary here on Canada’s West Coast,” he said. “We’re doing it at scale and in partnership with First Nations communities. This is just the beginning.”
Sooke’s Seaside Gin by Sheringham Distillery won the Gold Award for Product of the Year during a virtual award ceremony on Sept. 24, the first of its kind for the event organized by the BC Food Processors Association.
“To receive an award like this is such an honour and I just wanted to share my gratitude,” said Jason MacIssac, who runs the business with his wife Alayne. “I know there is a lot of work that has gone into this project and I just wanted to say thank you.”
The distillery, which opened in 2015, specializes in vodka and white whisky forged with water from a on-site natural spring and local organic grains and malted barley. The distillery’s Seaside Gin, which MacIsaac had earlier described as the distillery’s flagship, uses B.C. grain and its botanicals include, lavender, wild rose, citrus peel, juniper berries, and dried wing kelp.
“The idea was to develop a gin that would give the feel of Vancouver Island,” MacIsaac said in 2018 interview. “The kelp comes from the beaches right out front of our distillery.”
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