🇨🇦 Made with Local thriving, keeping things deliciously local

Press release rom Invest Nova Scotia

December 6, 2023

[Sponsored Content published by Saltwire.com, December 5, 2023]

Nova Scotia’s Innovation Rebate Program helped Made with Local and can help other businesses

From selling healthy, delicious and sustainable real food bars across Canada and the U.S., Made with Local has always made a difference – now even more so with the help of Invest Nova Scotia’s Innovation Rebate Program as the company manufactures its products in-house.

Made with Local makes locally sourced real food bars, oatmeal and baking mixes that focus on using ethical, transparently sourced ingredients while strengthening their local community.

“It started as an intersection of passions, where I was really interested in the local food movement and I also had a passion for baking, so I married those two together to create Made with Local,” says Founder and CEO Sheena Russell.

[Pictured: Sheena Russell is the Founder and CEO of Made with Local. – Photo Contributed.]
Made with Local started in 2012 in a home kitchen selling to farmers’ markets across Dartmouth.
“As their name suggests, Made with Local’s products are made with ingredients from Nova Scotian farmers. They know their suppliers on a first-name basis – Tom is their honey supplier, David and Evelyn take care of their cranberry needs,” says Susan Corkum-Greek, Minister of Economic Development and Invest Nova Scotia.

“Made with Local is quickly solidifying itself as the quintessential model for doing business in Nova Scotia.”

The original concept was to connect more people with the farmers and food producers that grow our foods and doing that at scale.

“Community impact is baked right into the DNA of Made with Local,” says Sheena. “A lot of people are familiar with the concept of farm-to-table, but there’s not much farm-to-table happening in the grocery store, so we wanted to provide that. We like to call our products land to hand.”

The business was growing beyond the Russells’ kitchen, so, they partnered in 2014 with social enterprises like the Flower Cart Group, based in New Minas, to outsource the production of their bars.

In 2021, they outgrew their partner spaces and needed to find a solution that would allow them to grow while keeping their roots and promoting local and sustainable production and products.

“We kind of hit a decision point where we wanted to be able to scale our business and we had to figure out how we were going to do that and then we found the Innovation Rebate Program,” says Andrew Russell, Chief Growing Officer. “The Innovation Rebate Program allowed us some flexibility and support to take on doing production in-house, which was a big step for us.”

The Innovation Rebate Program (IRP) by Invest Nova Scotia provides up to 25 per cent off the eligible costs undertaken by companies that are purchasing machinery, equipment and software to help be more innovative, green, sustainable, and boost production capacity.

“The IRP is a fantastic opportunity for a growing business like ours to be able to earn back $206,437 after doing our more than $800,000 investment.  This is super meaningful capital support to dream big and be ambitious. It has really allowed us to take on this huge project that allows us to take a big building step for our business,” says Andrew.

When Sheena and Andrew decided to manufacture their products in-house, they knew they wanted to keep things local and support the communities that had always been there for them.

As luck would have it, the company supplying Made with Local’s nut butter was selling its facility. Sheena and Andrew took it as a sign and soon closed the deal buying the manufacturing space in Windsor, Nova Scotia.

After some renovations and hiring new staff, the manufacturing facility has been up and running since the fall of 2022.

“Through its project in Windsor, supported by an Innovation Rebate, Made with Local has consolidated production fully in-house,” says Minister Corkum-Greek. “Our job as government is to help them take those bigger steps faster than they could do all by themselves.”

The use of tools like the IRP will allow every economic sector to become more productive and prosperous, ensuring every one of the province’s communities is thriving.

“I think the program allows you to dream big, and I think aspirationally, our province needs more change-makers that are really going to push the envelope and help build us up in terms of our potential. It’s the best available support you can find and an incredible opportunity for businesses like ours to use to support their growth,” says Andrew.

Looking to be Nova Scotia’s next business success story? Connect with your Regional Business Development Advisor today.

Originally published on 5 December by Invest Nova Scotia.

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