A quick chat turned into a big success. But it didn’t happen overnight. For Jo Ann, Marlow and Mary, sauce is more than just a business. It’s a way of life. Hamilton has become a place for sauce making (think Dawson’s, Cooksville, Natal, Twisted Tomato, etc) and La Dee Da is the next big thing. We asked co-founder Mary some questions about entrepreneurship, the sauce business, and what the future has in store for La Dee Da sauces.
What’s the story behind La Dee Da?
A few years ago we decided to start a sauce company over a simple cup of coffee. It was founded by Jo Ann Elsbury, Marlow Italiano and myself. We’re all proud co-owners!
Can you tell us more about your sauces?
They’re Canadian Products, made in Hamilton, Ontario with locally sourced ingredients, and are plant-based, vegan/vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nightshade-free are options. All natural preservatives too. We’re inclusive to all eaters!
What advice do you have for someone looking to start a business?
Simple. Do your research and due diligence before starting any business. Learn what customers are looking for, see what is lacking in the market you want to go into and be relevant with your product or service. Be innovative with something that consumers want. Lastly, be true to yourself and all your sweat equity you put into your business. Your heart and soul should go into anything you believe in and always remember to have fun!
What’s a business tool you could not live without?
Our Quickbooks was a blessing to a small business without all the extra expenses that come alongside accounting and daily operations relating to accounts payable/receivable/inventory etc.
Where do you see La Dee Da in the next 5 years?
We hope to see La Dee Da in every household as a trusted and branded name! We want to be a national brand and we have some amazing opportunities upon us to expedite that sooner than 5 years. With a lot of hard work and dedication, we know we can make this a reality.
What do you love most about Hamilton?
Mary and Jo Anne were born and raised in Hamilton. Jo Anne spent all her summers over at Gage Park running the Children’s Museum and Mary rooted herself working at the original Fortinos on Mount Albion. Marlow, originally born in Niagara Falls, came over to this great city at a young age when she married a Hamiltonian.
What we love the most is the diversity and the acceptance of anyone who walks these great streets of Hamilton. We have come a long way within the food industry, the art industry and the overall beauty that makes Hamilton so great! Maybe that’s why so many Torontonians are making their way over here and planting their roots!
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-Thomas, The Generator