It’s not easy to bring a new idea to fruition, and even harder to do so alone. Which is why the concepts of “innovation” and “partnership” appeal to small businesses not because of their buzzword-like nature, but because of their potential growth impacts.
They’re also business values that are particularly important to Jason Persall, owner of Persall Fine Foods.
“I’m always intrigued with the final product or result of the innovation within industry,” Persall said. “I’m also excited to see how our farm and mill may be a catalyst for other ag operations and how they can partner, innovate and develop exciting products that meet a market demand.”
Since founding his business 15 years ago, Persall has been fostering his company’s partnerships to best utilize his cold-pressed oils and other high-protein crops within the plant-protein sector. Sold under the Pristine Gourmet brand, these products have helped Persall Fine Foods develop a reputation as a supplier of high-quality oils and proteins.
This reputation recently led Persall into a partnership with Griffith Foods and k2MILLING, with a co-investment from Protein Industries Canada. Together, the companies will develop new plant-based protein ingredients for meat and other food processors wanting to enter the flexitarian and vegan markets.
While Persall Fine Foods hasn’t been in the market as long as either Griffith Foods or k2MILLING, the company brings more than its share of strengths to the team. Their cold-pressed oils and proteins are one example, but Persall also cites the company’s research and development abilities and strategic circular economic plan.
Being founded on Persall’s fourth-generation family farm enables Persall Fine Foods to test small batches of specialized seeds, to best determine which varieties to grow for the final products. The company’s circular economic plan, meanwhile, focuses on a field-to-plate model of distributing product—a grower being involved in processing and selling a value-added product to a consumer. It’s a model Persall is particularly proud of.
“Seeing our circular economic model come to life is super cool to me. A field to fork success story,” he said.
Having brought these strengths to the table opens new doors for Persall Fine Foods. Persall said he expects the project with Griffith Foods and k2MILLING will create increased demand for plant-proteins and cold-pressed oils, creating an opportunity for Persall Fine Foods to look at strategic business expansion.
Regardless of how large this expansion becomes, however, Persall is glad to be a member of the partnership, and the Protein Industries Canada Supercluster as a whole.
“I am always an advocate for like-minded businesses to partner together for a common goal,” he said. “We have only begun, but I suspect it will be an amazing experience.”