Last Mountain Berry Farms
We are very pleased that Last Mountain Berry Farms (LMBF) is where CANADA'S JAM™ is produced. Take a 15-acre Saskatoon berry orchard, a couple of determined entrepreneurs, and a moral to make quality products a priority and you may get a sense of Last Mountain Berry Farms' (LMBF) recipe for success.
The Southey-based family operation produces 4,000 quarts of jam and spread daily that it sells across Canada since 1991. Thanks to its 10-12 full time employees and a value chain that includes requirements of 250,000 litres of fruit a year. LMBF is the largest processor of Saskatoon berries in Canada.
Barb and Barry Issac are the owners and founders of LMBF. "We started out with a bare piece of land where Barry's grandfather homesteaded in 1905," explains Barb. "Today we are into volume production that is sold coast to coast, but we never compromise on the quality of our product."
This is a family tradition, according to Barb. "When I lived in California, we grew all our fruits and vegetables. We now grow Saskatoon Berries. These flavors are so authentic to this part of the world. We are just happy to share them with Canadians. And we wanted a natural product. Everything is as homemade as it can possibly be." In fact, Barb and Barry also farm four quarters they have converted to organic agriculture. But that is basically a hobby, however, compared to their overall fruit processing activities.
Quality LMBF Products
LMBF buys Saskatoons from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta. They manage to sell their product without advertising - simply by word of mouth. Barry Issac is astonished by the success of his business. "As market demands our fruit, we just supply it. The product sells itself and it sells more and more. The challenge then becomes ensuring a constant supply for our clients. We started out producing two pallets a week. We can now produce between 20 and 25 pallets of all kinds of fruit product during that same period. It feels pretty good."
How did Last Mountain Berry Farms get there? "We learned from our mistakes," says Barry. "We have always been cautious and quality remains our top priority. We may have bought a piece of equipment in the past, only to find out it wasn't right for the job later on, but we have managed to keep those miscalculations to a minimum. Fortunately, the jam plant has always run smoothly with the help of dedicated employees - it took the entire team to make it work."
LMBF conducts regular taste tests with staff to ensure consumers won't be disappointed. Compared to the major players in North America, the LMBF difference is that there are no chemicals, nor added preservatives. Plain, fresh, good old-fashioned fruit is all that goes into the Last Mountain Berry Farms products. That's all it takes for consumers come back for more.