Walking into the local Flatland Foods’ kitchen, one would find fresh-baked goods, farm-foraged additives, and bright, warm smiles.
All of these ingredients make up the 2022 Home-Based Business of the Year SCBEX winner.
Owner of the micro-bakery, Sloane Gowan, said she started the business four years ago after completing a horticulture program, with her main goal as having a booth at the local farmer’s market.
“What really started it was making pies,” she said. “I love making pies, and when I look back at pictures from when I first started, that’s what I was making. Actually, I called it Flatland Pastries for the first year that I did it, and then it turned into Flatland Foods from there as I expanded.”
She had initially considered market gardening before letting her passion of baking guide her to success.
The early days of Flatland Foods consisted of a trio of Gowan sisters working in their family farm kitchen—the teamwork immensely helping Sloane to get on her feet.
Now, with two of the three having moved away, Sloane is the main artisan, though her mother has stepped in as a huge help in the business operations.
“It’s definitely a family thing and because it’s a home-based business, there’s just no getting away from it,” she laughed. “My family helps a lot whether they want to or not, so they are big supporters.”
Not only is the bakery home-based, family run, and artistically presented, but it has unique elements that make it stand out.
“I have access to fruit and herbs and foraging from the land, so I try to use a lot of those ingredients in the baking,” Sloane said. “Being in Saskatchewan we have access to grains, which is so great. And working with fermented foods, living bacteria—I’d love that and it’s definitely unique.”
She added that with the Swift Current and District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards, Flatland Foods is gaining a lot of positive exposure.
The award currently sits on her dresser, though when she moves into her new home she plans to display it in a china cabinet or its very own case.
“Every time that I look at it I can’t believe that I have one,” she said. “I’ve seen them around town for years, so to have one of my own is very cool.”
This was the first year the micro-bakery had been nominated for the award, and Sloane expressed her gratefulness to the many local businesses that have supported her throughout her journey to get here.