As we close out June, we’re sharing a post to honour National Indigenous History Month, and the impact cultural and traditional Indigenous foods have on Indigenous history and resilience, and on all of our communities today.
We connected with Garrett Millsap, owner of Rad Relish Co., to celebrate and support the success of his Indigenous-owned relish business, which is expanding fast across B.C. and starting to move nationally.
Rad Relish was originally created by Peggy Millsap, Garrett’s grandmother and Métis elder, who used the zucchini abundant in her own garden to craft an award-winning sweet relish that has stood the test of time (Rad Relish won Bronze for “Outstanding New Product” at the 2022 From The Ground Up Trade Show). To this day, Rad Relish is committed to 100% B.C. grown produce.
Rad Relish is partnered with the owner of Rad Jamz & Preserves, Chef Kyla King, and both businesses are at a pivotal point in their growth as they rebrand, expand their product lines, and shift towards a stronger focus on social impact. They are excited to use their platform and success to uplift Indigenous businesses, communities, and truth and reconciliation.
“One of our goals is to pave the path for other Indigenous food and beverage businesses to have an easier time getting into and finding success in both the local and national food and beverage market,” says Millsap.
Rad Relish was a 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Finalist (the winner for Food and Drink) in which they were awarded financial consulting from MNP. With a grant from the McConnell Foundation, they have been able to hone in their plan for growth and create a pitch deck with the help of Purppl to seek investment to do so.
“We recently just signed with the only Indigenous distribution company, Red River Brands, who focus on distributing healthy, Indigenous products; it’s important to me to support as many Indigenous businesses in my own business journey,” says Millsap.
As Rad Relish turns their focus to social impact, one of the topics we connected on is diversity and inclusion of healthful, fresh foods in our health care facilities.
Rad Relish was a presenter in the October 2022 Pitch & Plate online event presented by Good to Grow where they pitched to institutional food service buyers from around the province. Events like this are creating unprecedented connections between local food and beverage brands and government supported facilities; however, there is still a lot of work to be done.
“We would love to see the B.C. Ministry of Health and B.C. Ministry of Agriculture connect to implement a focus on local, nourishing, inclusive foods, like Indigenous food and bev brands, in government food services to create the most healthful, inclusive, nourishing environments while supporting local economy,” says King.
“The more Indigenous food products on the shelves, the more focus it brings to that category,” says Millsap.
We look forward to seeing the new line-up of products and rebrand of Rad Relish, as we continue to support and celebrate them as a social impact brand paving the way forward for many other Indigenous brands.
Happy National Indigenous History Month!