Good Food Manitoba Retailer of the Year 2019
By Sarah Ritchie
Factory outlets are not exactly a new idea in this corner of the world. But one St. Boniface outpost is both a showroom for the complete lineup of Bothwell cheeses and another 70 or so specialty foods made in Manitoba, hitting the mark as a boutique bursting with provincial pride.
Fromagerie Bothwell, the brainchild of Jean-Marc Champagne and president of Bothwell Cheese Kevin Thomson, is the place to go for all things local. The shop is used as a test site for experimental cheese flavours and gives a leg up to local foodstuffs breaking into the market. Up-and-coming favourites like Happy Dance Hummus and Jacked Up Jill Coffee are sold alongside popular picks Smak Dab Mustard and La Cocina Chips.
Wares made by the province’s artisans also find favour here. Fun and funky gifts like colourful cheese boards by artist Elaine Dilay, Leabee beeswax food wraps and Farmer’s Son Co candles make up the eclectic regional mix.
The owners are always on the lookout for new prospects, scouring farmers’ markets and welcoming customer suggestions. The store opened last year with just a couple dozen local options, a number that has grown exponentially and is ever-increasing.
“We support local because we realize how important it is,” explains Champagne, illuminating his desire to pay forward over the years.
This dedication to showcasing Manitoba producers has earned Fromagerie Bothwell Ciao! Magazine’s 2019 Good Food Manitoba Retailer of the Year award.