Food Notes for September 26, 2021

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.”

COVID-19-related News

Openings

  • 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.

Upcoming Events

  • 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.

Local News

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.
  • Dalla

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.
  • La Petite Iza

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.
  • Prairie Gardens Adventure Farm

Found our pumpkin!

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