Grass­roots start to Coun­try Girls’ Vin­tage Kitchen

Penticton Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Su­san McIver is a Pen­tic­ton writer with a keen in­ter­est in agri­cul­ture. She can be reached by fax­ing the Her­ald at (250) 492-2403. SU­SAN McIVER

Coun­try Girls’ Vin­tage Kitchen, a busi­ness started with two neigh­bours shar­ing recipes, is off to a promis­ing start.

“Two years ago we be­gan walk­ing to­gether in the early morn­ing and talked non-stop about cook­ing,” said Amanda Kan­negi­eter.

“At first we’d say we’d seen a good recipe we’d try for din­ner. Then our con­ver­sa­tions turned to can­ning and pre­serves and we de­cided to do it to­gether,” added Vicki Match­ett.

The two women live at Sunkatch­ers RV Park Co­op­er­a­tive a few minute’s drive west of Kere­meos.

Amanda and her hus­band have lived at Sunkatch­ers for 10n years.

She op­er­ates Amanda’s Clean­ing Ser­vices in the Kere­meos area ten months of the year and spends the other two months en­joy­ing the sun­shine in Palm Desert.

A graphic artist with years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the print­ing in­dus­try on the Prairies, Vicki moved to Kere­meos two years ago.

“She does all the artis­tic work for Coun­try Girls’,” said Amanda, who is in charge of sales.

Each jar has an eye-catch­ing black and white la­bel, a taster’s spoon and is topped with maple leaf pat­terned fab­ric.

Dur­ing 2016, the women did the nec­es­sary pre­lim­i­nary work to es­tab­lish their busi­ness — lo­cat­ing a com­mer­cial kitchen, ob­tain­ing In­te­rior Health’s ap­proval and try­ing new recipes.

“I al­ways add some liquor — and some­times it goes into the jam,” Vicki said with a wry smile.

Sunkatcher res­i­dents and the oc­ca­sional vis­it­ing rel­a­tive are ea­ger to serve as taste testers for the Coun­try Girls.

Last year, Vicki and Amanda placed a jar of their Honey Bour­bon Pick­led Blue­ber­ries on each table at a din­ner in the park club­house at­tended by 62 res­i­dents.

“The jars were emp­tied in no time,” Vicki said.

Amanda told the story of a cherry Amaretto jelly that didn’t set prop­erly.

“We thought it’d make great syrup so we in­vited sev­eral neigh­bours in for a pan­cake break­fast,” she said.

Coun­try Girls now of­fers cus­tomers 10 dif­fer­ent jams and jel­lies in 250 ml jars, the pick­led blue­ber­ries and Dis­ar­rono Cher­ries which are lo­cal cher­ries canned with the Ital­ian Amaret­toflavoured liqueur.

Jams in­clude Black­berry Lemon Drop and Blue­berry Limon­cello, an Ital­ian lemon liqueur.

“The berries come from the coast. We trade my nephew in Chilli­wack peaches for wild black­ber­ries. The wild ones taste best,” Amanda said. There is also Peach Bellini jam made with lo­cal fruit and the cock­tail Bellini, a com­bi­na­tion of Prosecco sparkling wine and peach puree, as well as Black Cur­rant Cas­sis jelly.

Cas­sis is a sweet, dark red, liqueur made from black cur­rants.

“My favourite is the Straw­berry Mar­garita jam fol­lowed by Vicki’s White Choco­late Kahlua Rasp­berry jam,” Amanda said.

Coun­try Girls also sells two types of gift packs—the wine jelly pack fea­tures three lo­cal wines and pep­per packet three types of pep­pers.

Cur­rently, Coun­try Girls prod­ucts can be found at Orofino Win­ery and Seven Stones Win­ery, both in Caw­ston, and The Grist Mill and Mom and Pops Farm Mar­ket Pro­duce in Kere­meos.

Ma­chett and Kan­negi­eter were ven­dors at the 4th An­nual Kere­meos Fall Fair held at the Grist Mill on Septem­ber 24.

“We’d like to sell at the Osoy­oos Mar­ket on Main next year, per­haps at an­other farm­ers’ mar­ket and at more winer­ies. Who knows af­ter that?” Amanda said.

Coun­try Girls prod­ucts are also avail­able by spe­cial or­der.

Re­gard­less of the chal­lenges of start­ing a busi­ness, both women said they’re “hav­ing lots of fun.”

For in­for­ma­tion or to or­der phone , email or visit Coun­try Girls on face­book.

SU­SAN McIVER/Spe­cial to the Her­ald

Amanda Kan­negi­eter, left, and Vicki Match­ett, own Coun­try Girls Vin­tage Kitchen in Kere­meos. The busi­ness started with the two women shar­ing recipes on morn­ing walks.

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