Kawartha Lakes Food Source salsa now available at 15 locations in Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough

Non-profit organization has produced more than 6,000 jars since launching its own salsa brand a year ago

Kawartha Lakes Food Source salsa is available at Burns Bulk Food in Lindsay and 14 other locations in Kawartha Lakes and the Peterborough area. Proceeds from sales help to offset operating expenses such as rent for Kawartha Lakes Food Source, a non-profit organization that procures and distributes food to 35 local agencies and delivers food literacy programs. (Photo: Burns Bulk Food / Facebook)
Kawartha Lakes Food Source salsa is available at Burns Bulk Food in Lindsay and 14 other locations in Kawartha Lakes and the Peterborough area. Proceeds from sales help to offset operating expenses such as rent for Kawartha Lakes Food Source, a non-profit organization that procures and distributes food to 35 local agencies and delivers food literacy programs. (Photo: Burns Bulk Food / Facebook)

Kawartha Lakes Food Source recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its own brand of salsa, a social enterprise that has produced more than 6,000 jars of salsa since it launched on May 20, 2021.

Proceeds from the sale of the salsa help offset operating expenses such as rent for the non-profit organization, which procures and distributes food to 35 local agencies and delivers food literacy programs.

According to Kawartha Lakes Food Source executive director Heather Kirby, the organization hopes the social enteprise will help the organization be “financially resilient in the midst of any future economic uncertainty.”

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“The project will be an ongoing, self-sustaining source of revenue that compliments our regular fundraising efforts,” Kirby says. “Diversifying our streams of income is a priority for our team as a way of mitigating risk and ensuring we can always be relied on by our member agencies and our community during times of need.”

The idea to produce a food product began with an online poll in early 2020, when Kawartha Lakes Food Source asked members of the community what type of food product produced by the organization they would be most interested in purchasing. Move than 70 per cent of respondents voted for salsa.

The organization then worked on recipe development, marketing assessments, and regulatory compliance. The final salsa recipe was developed in collaboration with George Brown College’s Food Innovation and Research Studio, with the salsa produced by Kawartha Lakes Food Source staff and volunteers alongside employees of the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre.

Since its launch a year ago, more than 6,000 jars of salsa have been produced by Kawartha Lakes Food Source staff and volunteers alongside employees of the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Lakes Food Source)
Since its launch a year ago, more than 6,000 jars of salsa have been produced by Kawartha Lakes Food Source staff and volunteers alongside employees of the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Lakes Food Source)

The salsa was originally launched at seven retail locations in Kawartha Lakes — Reid’s Valu-Mart (422 Russell St. W., Lindsay), Farmers Butcher Shop (3 Commerce Place, Lindsay), Mariposa Woolen Mill (1275 Highway 7, Oakwood), Fresh FueLL (172 Angeline St. N., Lindsay), and Burns Bulk Food (118 Kent St. W., Lindsay) — where it continues to be available.

Locations have since expanded to eight other retailers in Kawartha Lakes and the Peterborough area, including Bigley’s Shoes and Clothing (39 Bolton St., Bobcaygeon), Craftworks and Antiques at the Barn (124 Lindsay Rd., Selwyn), Living Local Marketplace (1179 Chemong Rd., Peterborough), The Food Shop (374 Water St., Peterborough), Sobeys Fenelon Falls (15 Lindsay St., Fenelon Falls), Foodland Coboconk (6708 Highway 35, Coboconk), Foodland Havelock (38 Ottawa St. W., Havelock), and The Kawartha Living Store (1475 Highway 7A, Bethany).

The salsa will also be available for sale at pop-up locations including regional farmers’ markets.

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In 2021, Kawartha Lakes Food Source received the Not for Profit Excellence award from the Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, visit kawarthalakesfoodsource.com/salsa.