We are a Vancouver-based seasoning company which was founded in 1995 by our uncle Jimmy. He was an executive chef for steakhouses in both Canada and the US from the 1960’s through to the 80’s. The story goes that when he finally retired from the restaurant business, he saw a food service niche for a No MSG Added All Purpose Seasoning Salt – and so, Grandpa J’s was launched.
He was an extremely respected individual in Vancouver’s food scene and his product was immediately listed by wholesalers. Sadly, Jimmy passed away in 2003 but in February 2004, his nieces, Jenny and Nora, bought the company to carry on his legacy and to ensure the secret recipe of his original blend stayed in the family. It seemed a logical step as they were already enriched in the food service business having basically grown up in their parents’ family restaurant – a staple for 41 years in North Burnaby.
Without any mentoring, they learned the ropes on their own, mostly through trial and error. Two things are certain: The food business is in their blood and the pandemic was their silver lining.
With Canadian food service lockdowns, they lost 75% of their sales. They realized they had to do something so they went to work to pivot their focus and to create a retail division. Without the use of a distributor, they made their way into thirty stores with just one product. They subsequently launched two more flavours and grew that retail base to over a hundred stores, again without a distributor.
Those two new flavours definitely got a lot of publicity. Ryan Reynolds shared Vancity Grind to his Instagram followers (an, ahem, mere 47 million), and weeks later Greko Lemon was named a Product of the Year Top 10 Finalist by BC Food & Beverage.
where to purchase
Grandpa J's is available for purchase through these reputable trade partners.
Gordon Food Service
Saputo Dairy Products Canada
Goritsas Bros Ltd.