Amid turbulent times, Nuts For Cheese continues to thrive, adding new markets and new products as it celebrates five years of business
Photo: Margaret Coons
ACCORDING TO MARGARET Coons, she never envisioned herself as the founder and chief executive officer of Canada’s fastest-growing, dairy-free artisan cheese company, Nuts For Cheese. But today, the award-winning entrepreneur (among many accolades, Coons was a 2018 20 Under 40 recipient) is now widely recognized as one of the leaders in the country’s natural foods industry.
From humble beginnings selling her homemade product at local farmer’s market to mass distribution across Canada and soon the U.S., Coons’ mission has remained unchanged: to provide high-quality food without sacrificing values or environmental stewardship.
Coons and her team of 22 full-time employees are marking the company’s five-year anniversary on May 20, and despite this unprecedented time for many, business remains stronger than ever before for the Nuts For Cheese family. To celebrate this milestone year, Nuts For Cheese is donating 500 wedges of vegan cheese to frontline workers at the London-Middlesex Paramedic Service.
Nuts For Cheese has tripled sales year-over-year and recently more than doubled its production facility footprint, growing from 9,000 square feet to a total of 20,000 square feet on Pacific Court. In addition, investments in production equipment have dramatically increased product shelf life to meet growing demand locally and in new markets. By Investing extensively in automation and technology, the shelf life of Nuts For Cheese products has increased from 49 to 120 days, making the products more attractive to retailers in new markets in Western Canada and south of the border.
Last year, Coons expanded her cashew-based cheese line to include a Black Garlic wedge. Her six flavours are available at more than 1,200 grocery stores, including national retailers like Whole Foods, Sobeys and Loblaws.
Next on the horizon for the company is the addition of a creamy, cashew-based butter, which will be available in original salted and herb and garlic flavours, to debut with retailers this summer.
“I wouldn’t be here without the dedication of my amazing team,” says Coons. “London has been a fantastic city to establish my business. We continue to invest in innovative technology and incredible talent to grow our customer base. I’m looking forward to a bright future and continued growth.”