I recently attended an intimate afternoon with Chapters and Indigo Books + Music CEO Heather Reisman and cookbook author Trish Magwood (above), as they unveiled their expanded offerings of gourmet foods, confections and "tablescape" wares launching in Indigo and Chapters stores nationally by autumn. (Browse photos of Trish's home on our website, and try your hand at some of her recipes in our October 2011 issue.)
Heather (above), a passionate dinner host and food lover, started off by explaining how new products are selected for her stores: "Unless we are knock-out crazy about it, we're not buying it. If we don't love it, let someone else sell it." She says that for her and Trish and the rest of the team, the search is on for amazing new products.
As we sit down to a pretty harvest-themed table laid with linen tea towels (used as rustic napkins), cheese boards and mason jars filled with tiny bouquets, Trish explains, "This is fall. Welcome to our evolving food story."
It's a story that's as delicious as they come — from the burnt sugar fudge to the gobsmacking peanut brittle and amazing cognac jelly — and each tasty food item comes with a backstory.
For instance, the Napa Valley Extra-Virgin Olive Oil hails from a family-run 100-year old grove. Trish discovered the bright and grassy olive oil while visiting Napa years ago, and now Indigo will be its exclusive Canadian retailer. La Belle Excuse is a terrific Greek sea salt (above) from the Mediterranean that's produced by a Canadian company.
Sometimes older products are reborn as classics. I remember eating Mashuga Nuts in the early 1990s — organic pecans lightly coated in sweet cinnamon. And now I can munch on them anew!
And what of that aforementioned cognac jelly? Says Trish with a laugh: "This is the one that Heather put in her purse at the tasting and took home."
Check out the Chapters and Indigo website for their new foodie offerings!
1-6. Amy Rosen