Meet Ann-Marie and MC’s Food Shoppe: A Flavourful Journey from Party Planning to Gourmet Sauces
By Alterna Team
February 01, 2024

In the heart of Toronto, where culinary creativity meets community spirit, a small-batch sauce and marinade producer is making waves – MC's Food Shoppe. Pronounced "mix," this delightful haven for flavor enthusiasts is the brainchild of Ann-Marie, a seasoned marketing professional turned culinary maestro.

The Flavourful Beginnings: After a decade of crafting compelling content for not-for-profit organizations, Ann-Marie decided to sprinkle her magic in a different realm – party planning. For two glorious years, she brought people together, weaving connections over a shared love for food, drinks, and camaraderie. Then, the unexpected plot twist arrived – COVID-19 disrupted social gatherings.

In the face of adversity, Ann-Marie pivoted gracefully. Drawing inspiration from the homemade sauces she had been gifting to friends and family for years, she ventured into the world of small-batch production. Fast forward a couple of years, and MC's Food Shoppe has blossomed into a Toronto-based haven for gourmet sauces – all-natural, healthy, and bursting with flavor.

The Star Products: Explore MC's Food Shoppe, and you'll encounter culinary treasures like Ann-Marie's Jamaican Hot Sauce – a symphony of fruity scotch bonnet peppers, mint, garlic, and warm spices. Dive into the full-bodied goodness of her Jamaican Jerk Sauce, where ginger, garlic, scallions, and warm spices dance harmoniously. And for the authentic taste of Jamaican jerk marinade, there's the spicy and full-bodied Jamaican Jerk Paste, featuring onions, thyme, and scotch bonnet peppers.

The Alterna Advantage: Fueling MC's Food Shoppe's rise is the Microfinance loan from Alterna, through the federal government’s Black Entrepreneurship Loan Program. “This financial support has been a game-changer, empowering me to revamp product branding, secure a larger kitchen space, and redesign the website for a smoother customer experience. Thank you Alterna and BELF,” says Ann-Marie.          

The loan allows Ann-Marie to amplify MC's Food Shoppe's presence locally and lay the groundwork for a national flavour revolution. With expanded kitchen space, production has quadrupled, promising more of those delectable sauces for enthusiasts to savor. The revamped website, set to relaunch in January 2024, promises a more seamless shopping experience.

Black History Month, Beyond February: For Ann-Marie, Black History Month isn't confined to February – it's an everlasting celebration of heritage and pride. It's an opportunity to ensure that the Black community's contributions are acknowledged daily. Beyond lip service, MC's Food Shoppe uses this month to uplift the community, extending a helping hand to those who need it.

In the vibrant tapestry of Toronto's culinary scene, MC's Food Shoppe stands out – a testament to resilience, creativity, and the power of community. So, whether you're a seasoned spice aficionado or a curious culinary explorer, make your way to MC's Food Shoppe and embark on a journey of flavours crafted with love and a touch of Toronto magic.