Special to The NEWS
Husband and wife co-founders of Cedar Sky Foods, Chris and Crystal Niddrie, say they are making it their mission to source and use local, sustainable ingredients to match the needs of people in Parksville Qualicum Beach.
“We’re a commercial food production facility, and have been in business for over 10 years,” said Crystal. “We just started out doing retail products for customers who can order from our website. They can either pick up or we can deliver from Qualicum Beach to Nanaimo.”
Both born and raised in Alberta, Crystal said the couple decided to move their family and business to Vancouver Island last year.
“We outgrew our business space in Calgary and needed to move our facility,” Crystal said. “We opened (in Parksville) in May, and since being here, we’ve found the community to be so supportive of our business. People walk in just to shake our hands and welcome us.”
“A lot of our retail customers are seniors, busy professionals and busy parents — anybody who really needs help in the kitchen with meal preparation,” said Crystal. “We have a lot of entrées for one, and in the New Year we’re going to be expanding with a lot more family-size and family-friendly entrées.”
Since transitioning to Island life, business on the West Coast has boomed for the Niddries.
“It was our intent in moving here that because we’re in such close proximity to so many fabulous farmers and growers, that we wanted to use that produce to create great products,” said Crystal. “We try to use and source local ingredients as much as possible, lots of B.C. produce.”
From braised pork ribs with pineapple rice and chef’s vegetables, to butter chicken with basmati rice, Chef Chris’ culinary background, Chef de Cuisine designation and Red Seal certification sauté together well when creating in the kitchen.
“We have quite a variety of different types of meals,” said Crystal, mentioning that they do have vegetarian meals as well.
Extra consideration comes into play when trying to meet the needs of people with food restrictions.
“We get a lot of customers that are looking specifically for gluten-free and nut-free products, so we can satisfy that,” said Crystal. “We are a dedicated gluten and nut-free facility,”
Crystal noted that their food is great for anybody: “You don’t have to have restrictions to enjoy our products.”
In addition to Cedar Sky Foods’ chef-prepared, frozen, retail meals, the Niddries said when they moved here they continued doing food products for wholesale and food service products for grocery stores.
“It was certainly a challenge to move our business and re-establish customers, but things are going very well,” said Crystal. “It has been well worth it for us and our family and our overall happiness.”
Cedar Sky Foods is located in the Parksville Industrial Area at 1065 Herring Gull Way. Call 250-248-5663 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.