Wholly Canadian is a social enterprise promoting whole-life local living
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This Month's Top Picks: January 2015

Holy Crap Cereal

While this cereal is famous for its debut on Dragon's Den, its success is ongoing. At home, I usually have a hot breakfast, but when travelling I make sure to pack  Holy Crap cereal. I choose this cereal for it's nutrient dense ingredients: chia, hemp, buckwheat, etc. I also love the tasty bursts of dried fruit. I truly appreciate that many of their ingredients are sourced in Canada.Organic, non-GMO, Gluten Free breakfast cereal


About: Corin Mullins and Brian Mullins are a husband and wife team that started Holy Crap cereal with $129 in 2009. They've grown the artisan cereal business in a few short years to an award-winning business success story. The gluten-free, vegan, certified organic breakfast cereals are made in Gibsons, British Columbia, a rural community outside of Vancouver, BC.

Favourite Memory: Recently my husband and I celebrated our anniversary with a week-end "stay-cation" at a local hotel. I made sure to pack Holy Crap cereal in my suitcase. I knew I would be eating out a great deal, enjoying many treats that were not usuals in my diet.  This is why I felt a sense of peace knowing I had something of real nutrient value for breakfast and snacks. I simply kept a quart of homemade milk kefir in an ice-buket throughout the week-end, and poured it over the cereal. The slow-burning protein-rich, nutrient-dense, GI-tract friendly ingredients of Holy Crap cereal helped make this week-end a wonderful memory.


This stuff is magic! Never felt so good about myself after just eating breakfast.

January 21, 2015 1:12 PM
By Christian Malleck

Manitobah Mukluks

As stated earlier, warm winterwear is a necessity for Manitobans--and for most of Canadians.   I tend to run colder than the average Canadian, and hence the need for the very warmest!  My Manitobah Mukluks help keep my feet warm during our bone-chilling winter (I'm writing this during a week of -30 temps).  Made from hide, fur, and shearling wool--only the finest materials are used.


Aside from warmth and quality, there are two facets that make these boots stand out to me: 1) their employment and support of Aboriginial communities in the project called "Storyboot"; and 2) their soles that keep your feet dry.

Note: Manitobah has a made-in-Canada collection that includes most of their classic mukluks and moccasins, but they also  produce some of their products offshore. Each item from each collection is labelled accordingly online


About: Manitobah Mukluks is a manufacturer of footwear rich with remarkable tradition. Every pair is unique and individually crafted with only the finest quality natural leathers, furs, and shearling sheepskin. Traditionally, the mukluk was required to withstand travel on the land, to tread quietly while hunting, and to keep feet warm and dry through the rigorous Canadian seasons. To this day, Manitobah Mukluks ensures the same quality as when the reliability of the footwear was key for survival. Beyond function, the mukluk has always been a symbol of prestige with its intricately patterned beadwork and luxurious furs.

Favourite Memory:  I've had my mukluks for a number of years, and while they are showing some wear, they continue to keep me warm.  I have a pair similiar to this pair--but in chocolate brown and teal beading.  This combination is striking. I cannot count the number of times I have had people ask me where I got my boots (I purchased mine from European Shoe Shop--a family-owned business that specializes in Canadian and European shoes.)  I appreciate that while my mukluks keep me warm--they also have a story that begs to be told.


these look so very warm and comfy i want some lol

January 13, 2015 6:19 PM
By Jo-Anne Pfoh

Prairie Girl Pottery: Planter

I have a thing for garden pots. . .all of mine are either vintage, fair-trade, terra cotta from Europe, or Canadian-made. Some of my favourites are the ones made by potter, Monika Thiessen. I really appreciate the fact that the bottom tray is part of the pot, i.e. it's all one piece--making the whole plant easy to move when needed. It also makes it an ideal pot to place in a jute or crochet plant hanger.

The cream-coloured speckled pot reminds me of a bird's egg. And the blue, simply lifts my spirits and is beautifully juxtoposed to greens.

About: Monika Thiessen is the praire girl potter of Manitoba. She was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB. When not working with clay, she can be found out in the garden, where she often receives inspiration for new pieces. She never tires of taking the pure potential of a block of raw clay, and watching her intention  transform it.

Favourite Memory: For some time I have aimed to purchase Canadian when possible, so you can imagine my joy when I found a planter that was made in Canada. I immediately saw the genius of the affixed tray. It made my day finding this treasure!  I purchased mine from Sage Herbs, in Manitoba--a greenhouse that hosts a wonderful gift gallery with many locally-made items.



Pi'lo Pillow

I'm a minimalist by nature, and my living room can only boast of one cushion (it provides my lumbar support even now as I type, while sitting on my couch).  Several years ago I purchased this simple ivory hemp pillow with an image of typewriter keys. I first discovered Pi'lo at a gift shop in Vancouver, and since then I have fallen in love with this collection.  We've got several pieces--one of them the Advent calendar, and several on our dream list: the alphabet book, and number book.

About: Heather Shaw is the woman behind this beautiful collection.  From the toothfairy pillows to the magnetic car bingo to the party banners, everything she makes is equal parts thoughtful and inspired. Everything in this collection is handmade. The items are made in a coach house studio behind a Victorian house in the heart of downtown Toronto. It is a very calm and soothing space with lots of natural light and plenty of inspiration . She endeavours to make things carefully and responsibly and hope that each item will be passed down to future generations as family heirlooms


Favourite Memory: My one year old baby loves to play with this pillow as well--and enjoys cuddling with it on the floor. He gives me an audible grin to get my attention so that I ask, "Are you cuddling with pillow?"  His face lights up with pleasure, and then further burrows his little head into this make-shift bed on the floor. If he sees that I am using it, he looks at me with this big blue eye and says "pease." If I'm sitting on the couch, I rarely let go of my lumbar support even with that heart-melting plea {grin}.


Raven Creek Farm Candles

I love the smell of beeswax. Sometimes I just hold a candle up to my nose, and simply breathe in the aroma for pleasure and relaxation.  I'm very careful to only burn high quality candles in my home that don't contain toxins.  I mainly rely on Raven Creek Farm Candles. Every year I meet Raven Creek Farm at craft sales, and stock up on candles. It has been such a pleasure getting to know this genuinely friendly couple over the years; their products (candles, skincare, and honey) are simply splendid--and price-point most reasonable. selection of our Raven Creek Farms beeswax candles, available in ...

About: Roger and Kathy Desilets have been learning about the secret life of bees for almost thirty years. They started with 25 hives and now operate 50 -60 colonies along the Riding Mountain National Park, producing honey mostly from organic crops, raising queens from their best breeding stock and continually learning how best to prevent losses in the winter . Their steadfast dedication and energy for small-scale bee-keeping has given way to opportunities involving the sweet stuff, creating a multi-product business for them and their family. In the late 1980's they met a Polish candlemaker who taught them his craft and shared his European sources for wicks and dyes. In exchange for sharing this knowledge he consumed copious amounts of mead. In the early 1990s,while atending craft shows, they met a bee-keeper and candlemaker from England who also made skin care products utilizing honey, beeswax , royal jelly and a by-product called propolis, a sticky substance collected by the bees mostly from the buds of balsam poplar. Propolis is known to contain healing properties and has been found to be very effective in the treatment of exzema , psoriosis , rosacea as well sunburned skin etc. Their products are also carried in select retail outlets.


Favourite Memory: Aside from relaxing candlelight baths, I annually enjoy pulling out my beeswax nativity set--a complete set of small figurines from the Christmas story that smell divine.  I enjoy the aroma of this simple pleasure.


love their skin cream and hubby swears on the lip balm ... and we are all big fans of their honey (we are lucky enough to live in the neighborhood)

January 31, 2015 8:34 PM
By Ilse

gurumama Wool Sleep Sack

Keeping baby warm during Manitoba winter nights is one of this mama's top priorities. This is why I rely on Manitoba-made organic wool sleep sacks. I appreciate the inverted zipper, natural fibre of wool that wicks away moisture, and organic quality of this sleep sack. And love that it is made locally! We have used the larger size for two winters now. 

About: gurumama was born in April 2006 and is the love child of Jennifer McRae-King, adoring wife and mother of three, Birthing From Within® childbirth educator, occupational therapist, doula, and babywearing guru.  She is home based, proudly Canadian, and supports Canadian businesses. 

Favourite Memory: When Gramps saw Wholly Canadian baby wearing his sleep sack, he immediately called him "SweePea"--after the baby in Popeye cartoon.  It stuck, because now that our baby walks/waddles in his sleep sack to choose his bedtime story from the nursery bookcase, we laugh because he is literally "sweeping" the floor.


Suro Organic Elderberry Syrup

Colds and flues are an inevitablity of winter. I try to refrain from drug medications, and whenever possible look to God-given natural remedies. . .one of them being elderberries. We have successfully fought several colds with Suro Syrup. I just purchased the kid's syrup for baby's cold & cough last week, and never once needed any other medication. I appreciate the simple ingredients (elderberries, elderflower, honey, and applecider vinegar). Nothing fancy, but it works.SURO Kid's Syrup

Dark purple with a rich blackberry-raspberry flavour, American elderberries are also superior in their health properties. They have been scientifically proven to have 2 to 3 X the concentration of antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin C than cranberries and blueberries. Academic research consistently links elderberry consumption to numerous health benefits, including strengthening the immune system because they demonstrate their ability to inhibit viruses.

About: Founded in 2004, SURO® is a leader in the Canadian natural products industry. Their physician-developed line of elderberry-based medicines is the only brand that’s 100% locally manufactured. SURO® products are certified organic and Health Canada approved and available at retailers across Canada and the US. Located in Quebec, SURO® is owned by Jacinthe Desmarais, Sylvain Mercier and Lawrence Tomlinson.

Favourite Memory: Discovering an all-natural remedy that works, and realizing that it is Canadian-made. Yeah!



Canada Goose – Parka

Canada Goose ParkaWell, I tend to run colder than the average Canadian. I say that there are several items that are not luxury items in a Manitoba winter.  One of them is a warm parka. I wear my Canada Goose down-filled parka with joy. I own the women's Kensington jacket. I love that I can detach the fur ruff for the transitional season.

Although Canada Goose sold a large portion of their shares to an American company, they still are made in Canada.

About: Founded in a small warehouse in Toronto, Canada, over fifty years ago, Canada Goose has since grown to be recognized internationally as one of the world's leading manufacturers of extreme weather outerwear.

Favourite Memory: I've had my jacket for a number years, prior to them becoming so popular. Back then it was rare to spot another "Goose."  My favourite memory would probably be the rare chance of simply spotting another person with a Canada Goose jacket and the shy smile we would share across the room or arena.


I LOVE this site and that it supports local made items, LOVE!

September 11, 2014 3:44 AM
By Rebby

This is absolutely my favourite....I'd love a Canada Goose jacket :)

January 20, 2015 2:38 PM
By Dee Schwark

Canadian Hazelnut – Raw Hazelnuts

Canadian Hazelnut - Raw HazelnutsPerhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of trying to live Canadian is realizing the wide array of foods available. For most of my life the nuts I purchased came from the USA. I assumed (as someone living in Manitoba) that nuts do not grow in Canada—until I did some research. Canada indeed is "nuttier" than I thought. In addition to looking for Canadian nuts, I also try to find raw nuts that have not been pasteurized and/or roasted so that my body gets the full benefit of live enzymes. 

Hazelnuts are one of Canada's great products.  I have enjoyed Canadian Hazelnuts from B.C.

About: Canadian Hazelnuts grow, process, and sell a variety of hazelnut products, both certified organic and non-organic. Our retail store, located in the beautiful town of Agassiz, is filled with tasty hazelnut treats! We have pre-packaged in-shell hazelnuts, raw hazelnuts and dry roasted hazelnuts, as well as deliciously flavoured candied hazelnuts, chocolate covered hazelnuts and an assortment of hazelnut chocolate barks. You can sample everything, even our famous hazelnut butters and chocolaty spread. We also have hazelnut flour, chopped hazelnuts, hazelnut protein powder, and hazelnut oil.

In the summer of 2012 my husband I visited the Canadian Hazelnut farm located in Agassiz, BC. He enjoyed some fabulous hazelnut ice-cream, while I picked up some raw nuts to take back home. So many culinary uses for these raw nuts: nut butter, baking, snacks, nut milk, etc.


Woolwich Dairy Inc. – Goat Cheese

Woolwich Dairy Inc. - Goat CheeseGoat cheese and I go together like love and marriage! My fridge always has an array of goat cheeses in it. I find that goat dairy is much more digestible than other dairy. I have turned to Woolwich goat cheese time and time again. I use the soft chevrai for salads, or as a delectable spread over toast and in my sandwich, or mixed in my omelette (their bruschetta chevrai is excellent in an omelette!) The hard goat cheese I eat as a snack for a boost of protein, or sprinkle over homemade pizza. My favourite Woolwich cheese is their medium white cheddar. Yum! Pass the cheese please!

About: Manufactured in Ontario and Quebec, Woolwich cheese has become North America's largest and leading goat cheese producer coast to coast. The Woolwich Dairy banner is synonymous with quality and their international award-winning cheeses embody the very essence of world-class goat cheese.

Favourite Memory: Pizza nights with Woolwich goat cheese. Yum!


Stay tuned for next month's Top Picks!
Also, take a look at previous month's Top Picks!