By Heather Killen
Taste of Nova Scotia is going sappy over Sledding Hill’s lavender syrup.
The Bear River-based company started by Martin McGurk and Gordon Tingley was recently singled out for having the province’s most innovative product of the year. Their lavender syrup won the prestigious award during the annual Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia’s (TIANS) Tourism Summit on November 29.
Each year the Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige Awards honours producers and restaurants that provide exceptional culinary products and experiences. This year Sledding Hill was one of two valley-based producers that were recognized.
Meadowbrook Meat Market, of Berwick, was also singled out as Producer of the Year.
Martin McGurk said that while they weren’t exactly surprised, they were certainly honoured to be among this year’s recipients. Sledding Hill farm produces quality foods, ranging from fresh local produce to unusual lavender flavoured jellies and condiments.
“It’s certainly exciting,” he said. “Especially considering that our company is still so new.”
McGurk and Tingley bought the more than 40-acre Riverview Road property in 2009, after relocating from Vancouver. Both foodies and avid gardeners, the pair dreamed of creating a lifestyle where they would live to work, rather than work to live.
They have created a complete line of delicious lavender condiments; baking sugar, pepper, jelly, and syrup. Their newest product line—chili lemon syrup and jelly—is ready to go in time for Christmas, according to McGurk.
Sledding Hill was among the over 900 nominations received for the Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige Awards from Taste of Nova Scotia members and the public. The nominations were brought to a judges’ panel and then approved by the Taste of Nova Scotia Board of Directors.
“The winners represent innovation and expertise in our industry,” says Janice Ruddock, executive director of Taste of Nova Scotia. “With over 900 nominations it is clear to see consumer favourites and that consumers care about where their food comes from, who prepares it, and the importance of supporting local businesses.”