Local and farm sourced ingredients for over 100 artisanal small batch food products, including Peppermaster Hot Sauces, Greg and Tina Brooks put their minds and hearts together back in 2004 creating Brooks Pepperfire Foods. Nothing stops Greg from working daily with peppers, adding to his arcane knowledge of how to preserve and express the flavours of his beloved peppers. Infusions, Elixirs, Mashes and Salsas, Hot Sauces and Grilling Sauces all created during a unique entrepreneurial culinary career since 1963.
Greg was born in Pointe Claire, Québec. As a child of 6 Greg was moved to the Bahamas where he grew up playing in the jungle and diving reefs in the crystal clear turquoise blue waters off Nassau. He earned pocket change selling fresh picked coconuts, peppers and fruits to the tourists and developed a lust for brilliant flavours and fresh picked food. He sold 600 grilled hot dogs a week from his dorm room at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, until he was shut down by the University Commissary.
A sought after caterer, at the age of 24 he opened a successful international cuisine restaurant called the Appletree Landing in Canning, where he became known for using locally sourced ingredients and pandering to the gluten-free and organic needs of the community. Greg was a founding member of the Blue Sky Journal, a community environmental activist newspaper, and a member of the Small Earth Community. The Appletree Landing Restaurant became a hub for locavores, fresh foodies and musicians as early as 1978.
Never one to stray far from his food, when Greg moved to Rigaud Quebec in 2002, he began getting to know local food producers and local farmers. When Greg met Tina, his soon to be wife and business partner, they contacted the local CLD for support in helping them establish a local food hub so they could get local fresh food for their own table and into their new company’s products. Soon the Multi-services Co-op CSUR, the Eco-Local http://marche.csur.ca was opened. Active in establishing and maintaining local farmers’ markets and the promotion of organic and fairly traded food products, both locally and in third world countries Greg continues to encourage and support farmers by purchasing crops and providing access to larger markets by developing new artisanal food products through his company Brooks Pepperfire Foods.
When the company was founded, Tina had established a 17-year career as a Financial Advisor. Tina quickly discovered that although she truly enjoyed her career, selling hot sauce was a lot more fun. With a late-life diagnosis of Aspergers’ Syndrome Tina is an interesting asset to the company as Financial research analyst and planner, she excels in database creationand is behind our website and live-inventory system. She is instrumental in establishing the company’s Food Safety systems, finding and installing the Enterprise system which is behind the company’s ability to maintain datapoints for 100’s of different food products and their thousands of ingredients and processes, whilst sourcing them all from the farm, and tracking them all the way through our production to your home.
After a series of very well received forays into private label packaging for RBC, Compuquote, and several private couples’ weddings, in 2007 Greg and Tina officially launched their co-pack services by signing their first client and producing for Chefjono his Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar who would soon require them to begin planning their move to a larger kitchen. It was this shift in direction when they began producing a wider range of products, not always with peppers.
Having begun cultivating local farmers to grow for them, they received a mandate from Transfair Canada (now Fair Trade Canada) to create the international market for Fair Trade certified chilli peppers, thereby allowing the farmers they were working with in countries like Haiti, to get access to the fair trade premiums offered to other produce producers. As a result of these efforts, several companies are able to provide fair trade chilli peppers into international markets.
2008 saw the Company named as one of Canada’s Top Ten Food innovators by Food in Canada Magazine.
In 2010 Brooks Pepperfire Foods launched the Pepperfire Initiative (This link will download the document.), adopted by GRAHN, it was designed primarily to aid Haiti to establish communities and jobs based in agri-foods that would help them recover from the disaster that was the 2010 earthquake. Two years later, to add insult to injury, the water supply for the farms in Las Cahobas where BPFI was buying peppers, was contaminated by cholera and the farm project was shut down. The farmers have had to start over, and in 2019, they managed to secure title to a terrain where they could relaunch pepper farming. The farm is currently securing contracts in order to plant. You can download the pepperfire initiative on the Haitian Fire project page.
They have expanded their focus on the co-pack industry with just in time whole food custom manufacturing for small and medium size food companies. The company is now specializing in small-batch high quality ingredients with an eye on Slow Fair Trade, local Farm to Fork purchasing. This little company now cooks for 20 different Canadian food artisans from Montreal, Quebec, Halifax, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Ottawa with sales across Canada, the US and Europe. Small but mighty! they maintain a steady growth track that highlights their status as Global pepper pioneers and as leaders in local small batch food production.
In more recent years, the company has seen itself become more and more active in local food activity designed to improve access to markets for local food producers and to implement a local primary processing kitchen that will allow local producers access to primary transformation at the end of market days when they no longer have a market for their produce; eliminating local food waste.
Working with local farmers Brooks Pepperfire Foods has successfully managed to create a market for locally grown chilli peppers. When in 2004 there were no chilli peppers to be found in commercial quantities that were hotter than banana peppers or jalapenos. In 2019, the local markets boast many varieties of chilli peppers, including Ghost peppers, Carolina Reaper peppers, and new peppers being developed by Quebec farmers and entrepreneurs.
Cultivating local producers for the last fifteen years, Brooks Pepperfire Foods was able to boast that 90% of their chilli production came from local producers, up from less than 5% local back in 2004.
We are now moving back to our roots and are becoming more activist and challenging Big Food and their support of destructive and unhealthy practices in Agriculture. These behaviours and activities impact our environment drastically, threatening the very future of our children. We are in the process of pressuring government and industry to get on board and become proactive!
The company’s Guiding Principles
- We eat the way we live, with a knowledge that our presence and choices have an impact on our world.
- We explore nourishing choices for both us and the planet and we wish to share that with you. We invite you to the magic at our table.
- We seek food that is rich and delectable, designed to thrill the most discerning palate.
- We demand multi-dimensional quality.
- We seek the finest ingredients we can get and we encourage our suppliers to provide us with consistently improving quality.
- We use a Slow Fair Trade philosophy to select our suppliers and ingredients that weighs social benefits, environment, economy, flavour, and health.
What we do…
New Customers, New Capabilities
Brooks Pepperfire Foods offers Internationally accepted certifications: Fair Trade, Organic, HACCP, Non-GMO, Peanut-Free, Gluten-Free, Keto, ,
Co-Pack Industry: Just in Time Custom Manufacture
Brooks Pepperfire Foods develops recipes and upgrades them into exact formulas, helping small companies get their ideas to market.
White Label Packaging Services
Brooks Pepperfire Foods offers several of their Peppermaster brand recipes for private label use in ad specialties, gift offerings, wedding bonbonnieres and bar mitzvahs.
Brooks Pepperfire Foods’ core strength lies in the abilities of the Peppermaster, Greg Brooks. His culinary skill is evident in his ability to work with any flavour, spicy or not, and in the presence of the world’s hottest chilli peppers always balancing that rich flavour, using fresh whole foods and only natural ingredients.