Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

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2011 Regional Award Winner


Durham Foods Limited - Port Perry

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Photo of Jeff Leal, MPP Peterborough and Jim Sheehan

Jeff Leal, MPP Peterborough and Jim Sheehan

Doing your homework really pays off. Shelley and Jim Sheehan started their business by conducting market research with produce managers in local grocery stores. They found that there was a definite demand for year-round local spinach. The really hard work began when they found out there was no hydroponically grown spinach and that all the product was imported. Again, they went back to their homework by working with Cornell University to devise the technology and make it commercially viable. In two short years, production began, and 400 kilograms of spinach are being shipped to 36 local retailers weekly. The product is popular with consumers and there is a real potential to replace a $20 million import market.

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