Sous vide slow-cooker innovates with Spanish flair in Canada
The small hillside village of Dueñas, Spain, overlooks the Carrión and Pisuerga river plains. It was here, 25 years ago, that the founders of Cascajares mastered the traditional techniques of sous vide, the slow, low temperature cooking of food in vacuum sealed packs. Now their wide range of artisan, aromatic meat dishes are being made in Canada for chefs and consumers alike.
Since opening its operations 10 years ago in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Industrie Gastronomique Cascajares has seen growing demand for its high end sous vide cooking. It recently expanded into a new 204 square metre $1.5 million facility.
Alfonso Jiménez, President of Cascajares, whose head office is in Spain, says expanding into Canada was a dream come true.
We are very proud of our project here in Saint-Hyacinthe, and this plant is the concretization of a great dream. We are investing in industrial equipment, but more, we are investing in human resources to strengthen our leading role as innovators in our sector.
Isabelle Eysseric, General Manager of Cascajares in Canada, says humanism, multiculturalism, continuous improvement, innovation and quality are values of their parent company. “This has guided our company in Canada since its beginnings,” she says.
In Spain, Cascajares has a strong history of social involvement. The company employs people who have a physical or mental disability and created a foundation to support local children’s organizations.
At our small level, we want to be concretely involved in the community.
“We have a partnership with Maison de la Famille [family house], a local association helping new immigrants. We meet new families arriving in the city and fill their fridge with our products to welcome them,” says Eysseric.
In Canada, the company reaches out to employ diverse staff.
“We imported the technical know how and Spanish spices and flavour,” says Eysseric. “But we are bringing more to Canada than just this savoir faire. Our team is made up of people from Nepal, Bhutan, Colombia, Europe, Africa and Canada.”
Eysseric says the team has worked hard with the support of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service to better respond to existing customers and develop new products.
And they have come to the right place. Data shows Canada offers foreign investors a tariff-free zone for industrial manufacturers, having eliminated tariffs on machinery and equipment and industrial inputs in 2015.
Canada is first place among G20 countries offering the best business environment for 2019 to 2023 and is also listed as the easiest place to start a business.
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