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Galloping from Port Hood to Latin America

From left, Galloping co-owners Ron and Joanne Schmidt and their children, Frank and Courtney Schmidt. The Port Hood enterprise has received $90,000 in funding through the federal government’s women entrepreneurship strategy to promote and grow the company in Latin America. Joanne Schmidt founded the business in 1994.
From left, Galloping co-owners Ron and Joanne Schmidt and their children, Frank and Courtney Schmidt. The Port Hood enterprise has received $90,000 in funding through the federal government’s women entrepreneurship strategy to promote and grow the company in Latin America. Joanne Schmidt founded the business in 1994. - Contributed

Galloping Cows Fine Foods to begin shipping jams, syrups and salsas to Mexico, South America and the Caribbean

PORT HOOD, N.S. —

A federal government initiative to advance the goals of female entrepreneurs has provided a grant to give a growing Inverness retail food enterprise a foothold in Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.

Galloping Cows Fine Foods of Port Hood was founded by Joanne Schmidt in 1994 and incorporated in 2003. Her husband, Ron, is a partner in the company.

Schmidt has expanded her product line to include various types of spreads, jams, sauces, syrups, chutney, salsas and beverages. The company has previously been featured at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Golden Globe Awards and at the Academy Awards gifting suites.

A $90,000 grant through Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s women’s entrepreneurship strategy — a $2-billion federal initiative to double the number of women-led businesses by 2025 — will strengthen Galloping Cows long-term business prospects by increasing its value and adding to its payroll.

The family business is rebranding as it gets ready to make its six varieties of all-natural pepper spreads available in new markets. New graphics, labels and packaging, as well as barcode scanners are being used to increase the traceability of its products as it moves into markets beyond Canada’s borders.

Schmidt said her family is excited at what the future holds for this expansion.

“Pursuing export markets in Mexico, South America and the Caribbean has been a dream of ours for a long time,” Schmidt said in a release issued Tuesday.

“Our products have generated strong interest in these markets. But as a small family business, revamping and gearing up to meet regulatory, language and production requirements is costly. This financial support from ACOA is critical to our efforts.”

The company’s products are currently available at Sobeys in Atlantic Canada, in gift stores, at farmers’ markets and in specialty food stores in Atlantic Canada and Toronto.

The federal government launched the women’s entrepreneurship strategy following the 2018 budget. Statistics from the government indicate about 16 per cent of small and medium-sized ventures are majority women-owned and only 10 per cent of high-growth firms are owned by women.

Advancing gender equality has the potential to gradually add $150 billion to the value of goods and services produced in Canada by 2026, according to the government.

“That’s why we launched the women entrepreneurship strategy, a strategy that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by increasing their access to financing, networks and advice. It’s a smart investment with an economic and social return,” said Mary Ng, the minister of small business and export promotion.

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