Culinary Wines participates in a trade mission to Boston with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters in February 07
Boston market 'promising'
By Jesse Robichaud
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Saturday March 3rd, 2007
Appeared on page D2
A delegation of 22 Atlantic Canadian women entrepreneurs are returning from a trade
mission to Boston with some promising contacts and even a few signed contracts.
The trade mission, organized by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Nova
Scotia Division and funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA),
brought two Metro businesses to Boston, Culinary Wines and MedSenses Inc.
For Shediac's Joanne Caissie, owner of Culinary Wines, a manufacturer of liquid
seasonings made from fermented garlic, says she was able to stir up a lot of interest in
her health conscious product in a New England market that is very similar to the
Maritimes, aside from its much larger size.
"Everybody's looking at eating healthier, and specialty food products are very popular
in the New England states," says Caissie, noting the region's strong hospitality
"This was our first export venture, we wanted to see if there was a demand
south-of-the-border, and there is," she said noting that she has already taken a number
of orders from distribution companies and specialty store boutiques.
Caissie plans on returning to the area to develop leads she established over the
"Nothing is guaranteed but the initial response was very positive, they are basically
going to try the product and see what their clientele thinks."
For Caissie, who markets her products primarily in Eastern Canada, exploring export
potential south of the 49th parallel makes more sense than tackling the West. And with
a production capacity of 10,000 litres per month, there is plenty of product to go
"Eventually we'll get across Canada but we wanted to start with what makes more
Moncton's Lynn Casey, co-owner of MedSenses Inc., a developer of online and CD
ROM-based nursing education programs, is equally pleased with the inroads she made
over the course of this week's mission.
She used her time in Boston to meet with five contacts, including representatives of
Mass Hightech Magazine, a technology journal, and the Massachusetts Hospital
Association which represents 80 hospitals.
That represents a huge pool of potential clients, and before even leaving Boston, Casey
was on the verge of sealing a potential sale.
Casey believes her young company is coming along at a time where hospitals can no
longer ignore the benefits of electronic, continued education.
"Hospitals are moving to online continued education. It's a matter of giving them our
catalogue of all of our courses, and they're taking that to their boards."
She too found similarities between the Canadian and American markets for her
product, despite the differences between private and public healthcare models.
"There's still a critical nursing shortage all over the world, and continuing education is
at the top of the list for retaining nurses."
Accompanied by Senator David Oliver upon the request of ACOA Minister Peter
McKay, the delegation participated in a number of conferences and workshops from
Feb. 25 to 28.
"For export firms to grow they have to go meet with people in other countries, and
because Boston is so close it only made sense to go there," he said, noting that 80 percent of the Maritimes' exports head to the New England states.
"This opened the door, and again networking was a major part of what went on. The
more you enlarge your network the greater your possibility."