Mojo Jojo Pickles Expanded During the Pandemic
Johwanna Alleyne and her business Mojo Jojo Pickles have had quite the year. The Edmonton-based company, which offers a range of pickled products, preserves, and cocktail supplements, celebrated ten years in business in 2021 and was forced to move several times due to the pandemic. Still, Alleyne has managed to keep Mojo Jojo growing.
After selling the building where her commercial kitchen was located in 2019, Alleyne bounced around a few times until an attractive offer from Kingsway Mall came along. “Kingsway offered us a permanent spot and we opened two weeks before COVID shut us down [in March 2020],” said Alleyne. “And then all I did during COVID was move things.”
After a brief stint working out of the space at Cartago, her husband happened upon a space in the French Quarter at 9627 82 Avenue. In June 2021, they moved their kitchen into one side, and in August, opened up a storefront called Nosh and Quaff on the other. Alleyne shared that the support from neighbouring businesses has been unparalleled. “It’s the best it’s ever been,” said Alleyne. “And it all came out of this crazy journey. It feels like we’re home.”
Nosh and Quaff is the only place in Edmonton to carry the full line of Mojo Jojo products, in addition to canning supplies and cookbooks. It has also begun hosting classes and demos, following all public health guidelines.
Throughout the pandemic, Mojo Jojo has experienced a huge demand for their products, and has barely kept pace with orders. Although its wholesale business through suppliers like Save-On-Foods and Safeway continues to be significant, half of its sales come from fulfilling online orders across Canada. Alleyne credits a confluence of factors for their popularity. “It was the perfect storm,” said Alleyne. “Shopping local, comfort food, quality food, shopping online, cocktails, and cooking more for yourself at home.”
Alleyne said their Caesar bundles have been popular, but she also wishes she could predict which products would peak when. “There was something on TikTok about snacking on pickled garlic,” said Alleyne. “And pickled garlic is what people order in the middle of the night.”
- There was some confusion as to whether the Restrictions Exemption Program would require all who step foot inside a restaurant to show their vaccine records. The Chief Medical Officer of Health clarified that restaurants “may allow individuals to enter for delivery, pick-up or take-out without requiring proof of vaccination or a neg test result.”
- Businesses including Remedy are seeing customers express their anger for opting into the Restrictions Exemption Program. That said, Edmonton currently isn’t yet considering passing a bylaw similar to Calgary that allows city peace officers to enforce public health orders.
- Apparently food court seating is off limits under current restrictions.
- Huma confirmed that all of their staff are also vaccinated.
- The Canadian Restaurant Workers Coalition is circulating a petition to better protect the health and pay of hospitality staff.
- Videos of packed bars shared on social media over the weekend frustrates doctors and businesses who are following the rules.
- Boba Club, a business that started as a home-based business during the pandemic, has opened a brick and mortar storefront at 6538 170 Avenue.
- Satisfy your poke and bubble tea in one spot with What the Poke and Song Tea at 3354A Gateway Boulevard.
- Spartans Greek Taverna has taken over the former Vivo space in Windermere (6143 Currents Drive).
- Community Taps & Pizza is coming to Old Strathcona at 8232 Gateway Boulevard (which previously housed Have Mercy).
- Soho, a new bar which opened at 11454 Jasper Avenue in early September, now also offers pizza by the slice.
- Cocktail Culture, Edmonton’s “only fully stocked cocktail supply store for the home bar and professional bartender” is opening soon at 10642 82 Avenue.
- Learn how to make a vegan pad Thai with Roni Zaide through Edmonton Public Library’s Sustainable Kitchen online series. The October 2, 2021 class is free but requires registration.
- DOSC will be closed on September 30, the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and this week, will be donating $1 from certain dishes purchased to Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society.
- Explore Edmonton just released a Dining Pass for Old Strathcona (a Downtown Dining Pass was released back in February). The free mobile pass provides diners with discounts and deals at participating restaurants.
- Dalla is bringing back their Timpano kit just in time for Thanksgiving. Made famous by the film Big Night, their kit allows for easy assembly for a dish that would be otherwise time consuming to make from scratch. We tried it earlier this year and enjoyed it.
- Edify checks out Cafe la Reine.
- In partnership with the Alberta Chicken Producers, Linda shared 10 chicken dishes to try in Edmonton and Calgary to commemorate national chicken month.
- P & L Chinese Restaurant was closed by Alberta Health Services due to health violations.
- Latin grocer Paraiso Tropical is offering 15% off purchases of $40 or more on the second Tuesdays of each month.
- Congratulations to four local breweries, Analog Brewing Company, Town Square Brewing, Trial & Ale Brewing, and Sea Change Brewing for taking home gold in several different categories at the 2021 Canadian Brewing Awards.
- Moirae Choquette, founder of Tomato Wheels, has pivoted from a plan to originally provide Italian food to offering kitchenware.
- Quench Magazine, led by editor-in-chief Gurvinder Bhatia, will be back in print this fall.
- Congratulations to Tamara Vineberg and her team on winning two Canadian Public Relations Society awards for her BBYO Bagels for Breakfast fundraising initiative.
- Student volunteers in Alberta are connecting local farms with food banks.
What I Ate
- We’ve been meaning to take advantage of the enticing Dalla patio for a while now, and finally did so on Friday! It was a beautiful evening to enjoy some crostinis and pasta (in my case, the Di Bosco with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and chicken). Emily loved her kid-sized pomodoro pasta.
Di Bosco from Dalla
- Mack and I dined on the beautiful rootfop patio at La Petite Iza to celebrate our anniversary. Staff were great with checking for vaccination cards, and we felt safe eating outdoors. As with my previous experience, service and the meal was great, capped off with a lovely sour cherry clafoutis.
Clafoutis from La Petite Iza
- It was our first visit to Prairie Gardens Adventure Farm over the weekend, and Emily had a great time. It was also fun to cap our experience by picking a pumpkin out of their expansive patch.
Found our pumpkin!