Jerry and Marguerite Sentes and their adult children, Cassandra and Joshua, moved to PEI in 2017 from British Columbia, and started Fortune Bridge Brinery in 2018.
The home-based business specializes in wholesale, small-batch, hand-crafted spiced pickles offered in a variety of cuts and sizes bottled in a tangy, sweet-tasting brine. The vegetables used are locally sourced from an Island farm.
While vacationing on PEI, the couple fell in love with the idyllic countryside and friendly people, and decided to make the Island their home. When sharing their spicy pickles with friends, they were told their product was good enough to sell.
“As a family, we share a passion and a connection with food,” says Jerry. “Healthy eating is a priority. The pickle brine is full of electrolytes, nutrients and antioxidants that help give your immune system a boost.”
“Our spicy pickles are made differently than traditional pickles,” says Cassandra, who does the social media marketing of their products. “Our products are in 18 locations across the Island, and local companies such as Founders Deli at Founders Hall in Charlottetown are featuring our pickles as well,” says Jerry.
Next year, they plan to expand the business into the other Maritime provinces and hire two production employees.
The Sentes family learned about community business resources that assist with starting small businesses through Wallace and Lisa Rose, who delivered a welcome basket when the family arrived on PEI. Their pickles are now in the welcome baskets delivered to newcomers to the area.
“We became good friends with Wallace and Lisa,” says Marguerite. “Wallace recommended we speak with Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) and SkillsPEI, and they encouraged us to start a home-based business.
“Staff at CBDC and SkillsPEI were phenomenal with assisting us. Without their help, starting our own business would not have happened.”
Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) East, located at the Rural Action Center in Montague, assists in the creation of small businesses and in the expansion and modernization of existing businesses by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs.
Self Employ PEI is an employment program developed to help job seekers who want to launch their own business. This program provides financial support and business counselling to new entrepreneurs during their first year of operation. For more information, visit www.skillsPEI.com.
Bio|Food|Tech provides professional technical services to food and bioprocessing companies, helping them to innovate and grow their businesses. Their professional team of food and bioprocessing scientists, microbiologists, technologists, and support staff help companies every step on the way from concept to pilot to commercial markets. Visit www.biofoodtech.ca.
Canada’s Smartest Kitchen is a globally recognized food product development centre located on PEI. Their multidisciplinary team combines culinary creativity, food science expertise, and market insight to bring leading-edge food product ideas to life. Visit www.smartestkitchen.ca.
For more information about Fortune Bridge Brinery, contact Jerry Sentes at [email protected] or at 902-327-2277.
Visit www.brinery.ca Visit their Facebook page or on Instragam.
For a list of start-up business resources visit www.employmentjourney.com/resources-to-start-maintain-a-small-business/.