After five years in business, the ladies of WildCraft Organic Ltd. have moved their organic mustard operation into a new commercial kitchen that’s completely “off-the-grid.”
Diana Richter and Christiane Nauen first met at a volunteer catering event for sustainable food.
“We really clicked in the moment and we always thought, because we’re both from food backgrounds from Germany, we just thought we need to do something (together),” said Nauen.
Nauen’s family has a specialty fish and deli sauce factory and Richter was an organic farmer in Germany.
Both women live organic lifestyles and say they don’t agree with what is considered normal in the food industry.
“You have to apply for the organic certification, but it should be the other way around,” said Nauen. “People want to put pesticides and genetically modified seeds on the market, I think they should actually publish that.”
The team started with a few products out at local Farmers’ Markets, to get a sense of Canadian taste buds.
After a couple years of testing the waters, they settled on two products with the best response and got organic certification.
“We thought we had two really good products – the mustard and the Himalayan salt blends – and so we pursued that,” said Nauen.
Formerly known as Two With Nature Foods, WildCraft Organic’s mustards and salts are now available in over 40 stores around the province.
Nauen and Richter also take their products out to festivals and shows.
“The response is positive, but you do cater to a smaller percentage of people,” in the organic foods market, Nauen admitted.
As opposed to the typical yellow mustard you find in stores, the first ingredient in any of WildCraft’s mustards is mustard, not water.
The key to succeeding in the organic food business, according to Nauen, is getting their foot in the door of niche markets where people will be searching for quality products like theirs.
“The market is growing,” she said. “I think the awareness of people is growing.”
Nauen and Richter have recently moved their operation into a new commercial kitchen.
“It’s in a building which is powered by solar power.”
They use a small generator for short periods of time to power their grinding and jar sterilizing machines, but otherwise, Nauen said their new kitchen is completely “off-the-grid.”
“We try to be organic all around.”
Richter said it’s a lot of work and the team invests most of their time into the business, “but this is worth it so we are happy people like the mustard.”
The team has created different flavours of mustards to suit a variety of taste buds. There are mild and sweet and fruity mustards. Their newest flavour, which they developed after last summer’s wildfire season, is called the Cariboo Wildfire Mustard.
“It’s hot and smoky,” said Richter.
WildCraft’s mustards and salts can be found locally at the 108 Mile Heritage Site, Higher Grounds Natural Foods, Jackson’s Social Club & Brewhouse and the South Cariboo Visitor Centre.
For more information, or to reach out to Richter and Nauen about catering options, go to wildcraftbc.ca.