Caldwell Bio Fermentation Canada Inc. (originally Bio Lacto) is a Canadian company with its office and production facilities located in the beautiful Eastern Townships of Quebec, just north of Vermont. The company was founded in the early 1990's by Paula Obermeir, growing out of her long-term interest in health foods.
Following traditional European recipes, and using superior, certified organic vegetables produced on the farm, Paula started experimenting with the production of fermented vegetables. The results proved very encouraging and the adventure began. The two years to 1993 saw the variety of products increase and local markets open. Paula registered the company as Bio Lacto in 1993. In that same year, she was joined by Alain Lafrance.
In 1994, Gary Caldwell, a local farmer and independent researcher, became the principal shareholder in Bio Lacto, bringing imagination, enthusiasm, capital and a long-term perspective to the company. Shortly after, Dr. Jacques Goulet, Professor in the Department of Food Sciences of Laval University in Quebec City, took on the role of scientific advisor to the company and later became a shareholder.
In 1996, in order to better control the production process, Bio Lacto joined forces with the Food Research and Development Center (FRDC) of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to study the complex workings of lactic fermentation. Today, Dr. Tony Savard, a microbiologist specializing in fermentation processes, works closely with the company in an ongoing collaboration with the FRDC.
In July 1998, Bio Lacto was incorporated as Caldwell Bio Fermentation Canada Inc. By this time the first mixed-culture starter had been developed and was being used successfully to pre-empt secondary fermentation. Subsequently, a second starter was developed to inhibit yeast in more difficult vegetable fermentations, and more recently we launched a version of our starter for people to use when culturing vegetables at home. We have developped a vegan starter (Generation 4) and are in the process of developing cultures for pickling cucumbers, garlic, horseradish and tabasco pepper sauce. Stay tuned.
Further collaborative research programs with the FRDC are planned, focusing on the development of other specialized vegetable starter cultures and the science behind fermenting various vegetables.
We also offer our commercial starters and our accumulated scientific knowledge and production expertise to other producers of raw cultured vegetables. Please contact us for more information.
Gary Caldwell, co-founder and president of Caldwell Bio Fermentation Canada, talks about the long road travelled, the research and the accomplishments.