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Lori M., Founder

Lori M., Provisions Food Company, Founder

Beamsville, ON

After Lori experienced lunch at the On the Twenty restaurant in 1998, she felt inspired to move to the Niagara Region. Throughout her career, Lori has gained insight into the exciting connection between agriculture, the local culinary scene and holds great appreciation for the science behind agricultural practices, cooking and high-quality ingredients.

In 2012, Lori founded the Provisions Food Company, after recognizing the need for locally made, beautifully branded foodstuffs to partner with local wineries. The Provisions Food Company creates products that are inspired by the Niagara region using as much local, in-season produce to perfectly pair with great local wines, spirits and cheeses.

Where did the inspiration for my business come from?

I had always been in the food industry and before I started Provisions, I had young kids at home and had just written a cookbook with my sister. I was still trying to figure out “what to do with my life.” I had all sorts of jobs in the food and wine industry, all seemingly random. But then it struck me that the wineries that I had been working at for years needed high quality, locally made and beautifully branded foodstuffs to go along with their wine sales. I basically saw a gap in the market and have been trying to fill it ever since. So, swinging back to the seemingly random jobs, little did I know at the time, that all those jobs and people I met and learned from, ended up serving me very well as a food entrepreneur. I acquired a variety of skill sets that help me be able to tackle a lot of aspects of my business.

I try to make sure my people feel valued and empowered in their work. Together, we are creating some really exceptional products and I will never forget that I cannot do it alone.

Lori McDonald, Provisions Food Company, Founder

What is the best part and why?

I think the best part of my job is having a team that works hard to help me make Provisions the best that it can be. I put a very high value on company culture, so I try to make sure my people feel valued and empowered in their work. Together, we are creating some really exceptional products and I will never forget that I cannot do it alone.

What is the biggest challenge I face as an entrepreneur?

Cash flow! It’s the worst. The financial side of things is probably the hardest for me. And as the company grows, it takes a lot of investment to keep it growing. The risk is real, so it pays to be disciplined and really thorough when making big decisions. The flip side of that is that not having a huge war chest to dip into causes me to be extra creative and we have come up with some really innovative processes to get the job done.