Foodie friends from Vernon, Calgary stir up healthy sauces

Kyla Macaulay and Marican Garcia are the brain trust of Taste Buddies Gourmet

Vernon’s Kyla Macaulay (left) and Calgary pal Marican Garcia have launched Taste Buddies Gourmet sauces, which are gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free products that can be used as dressings, dips and marinades. (Photo submitted)

Vernon’s Kyla Macaulay (left) and Calgary pal Marican Garcia have launched Taste Buddies Gourmet sauces, which are gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free products that can be used as dressings, dips and marinades. (Photo submitted)

They met at a mother’s group in Calgary.

Kyla Macaulay left Alberta and returned home to the North Okanagan, settling in Vernon and founded Gumtree Catering.

Marican Garcia stayed in Calgary and launched a culinary career that has seen her working as a private chef for the past 10 years.

The foodie friends stayed in touch. When staff at Gumtree created a hugely popular salad dressing called Velvet, and Macaulay started standardizing it for bigger batches and bottling it, she shared the news with Garcia.

The ladies began talking about starting a sauce company, creating healthy sauces that double as marinades, dressings and dips.

When Macaulay sold Gumtree – which included her obtaining the rights to the Velvet sauce – she and Garcia formed Taste Buddies Gourmet and began selling their homemade delicacies.

“Marican made some amazing sauces over the summer, we sent them away for testing, then launched on Sept. 1,” said Macaulay.

Taste Buddies Gourmet sauces are gluten-free, dairy-free, and, for the most part, sugar-free. The only sugar comes from honey which is bought locally.

“We use Okanagan-sourced products,” said Garcia. “Garlic comes from Vernon. Stawn’s Honey in Vernon. And we use Brassica Mustard from Alberta to merge the two provinces in our products.”

Sauces include Farmer’s Daughter (a creamy herb ranch named in honour of Macaulay’s parents and growing up on an Enderby dairy farm); Picoso (chipotle lime ranch); Velvet Glory (roasted garlic and creamy sesame); Beekeeper (honey mustard dill).

“Our product is unique,” said Macaulay. “Even though it’s dairy-free we create a creamy sauce using aquafaba, the juice from chickpeas, and whip it up with sunflower oil so it becomes like mayonnaise.”

Added Garcia: “We want to create products that are multi-use. You can use it to cook, roast or bake, so it’s not just a dressing. And even though they are gluten- and dairy-free, you’re not missing out on the richness or creaminess.”

Taste Buddies Gourmet, said Garcia, is a “small-batch company at the moment,” but consumers are loving the sauces.

“The response has been pretty awesome,” she said. “It’s filling a need.”

“We’re focused on supporting local and we appreciate the support we’ve had back from the community,” said Macaulay. “It’s been amazing.”

The sauces can be found in Vernon, Kelowna, Calgary and Vancouver. Macaulay – the chief visionary in the partnership, with Garcia the product developer – would like to see the sauces go Canada-wide.

“Our goal is to get it across the country,” said Macaulay.

“We’re unique, Kyla and I,” smiled Garcia. “She has experience in catering and larger numbers where I have one family I cook for. She’s breaking me out of thinking small in that sense and feeding hundreds, not just two people.”

Taste Buddies Gourmet sauces are available in Vernon at Butcher Boys, Buy-Low Food, Eat Good Market, Rail Trail Market, Rail Side Market Garden, Simply Delicious, Soul Studio and Zelaney Farms; in Armstrong at Askew’s Foods; in Kelowna at the Vegetarian Butcher Canada and Fork Plant Based Market.

If you’re in Vancouver, you can source the sauces at the Vegetarian Butcher Canada, and in Calgary, you can find them at Luke’s Drug Mart, Meta4 Food, and Bon Ton Meat Market.

You can also order the product online at farmbound.ca and okazon.ca.

More information can be found on their social media pages on Instagram (@taste_buddies_gourmet) and Facebook (@TasteBuddiesGourmet).

READ MORE: Chefs sizzle during intense competition



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

FoodLocal Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Water levels in the Duteau Creek storage reservoirs are currently well below normal, according to a Greater Vernon Water spring water supply update Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (RDNO photo)
Water levels currently ‘well below normal’ in Greater Vernon reservoirs

Greater Vernon Water also says there’s a high chance of below-normal spring precipitation this year

The Slavic Christians of Evangelical Faith is one of three North Okanagan churches to sign a Liberty Coalition Canada petition calling for the end of religious gathering restrictions amid COVID-19. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Trio of North Okanagan churches oppose bans on religious gatherings

Three local churches have signed a Liberty Coalition Canada petition supporting religious gatherings

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Somewhere in the pack being celebrated by his teammates is Vernon Vipers forward Zack Tonelli, who scored in overtime Wednesday afternoon, April 14, to give the Snakes a 6-5 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in B.C. Hockey League pod play at Kal Tire Place. (Liza Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers bite Salmon Arm Silverbacks in OT

Snakes blow 5-3 third-period lead, rally in extra time for 6-5 pod play result over rivals

This is what a new city hall in Armstrong will look like if tender bids come in under $4 million. Council unanimously approved the design and the borrowing of up to $4 million for the project. (MQN Architects)
Armstrong approves designs for new city hall

Council approves borrowing bylaw up to $4M; selects wood-first design to fit scheme with arena, swimming pool

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

A Keremeos family lost their home after a fire shortly before midnight on April 13. No injuries were reported. (Contributed)
Keremeos home destroyed in late-night fire

The family inside was unharmed

Naloxone
Op/Ed: Interior Health CEO speaks on five years of strides and challenges in overdose crisis

In 2020, close to 4,000 people across IH had access to opioid medications

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

New parking meters have been installed on Main Street, Ellis Street, Front Street, Nanaimo Avenue and Padmore Avenue in Penticton. (City of Penticton photo)
Pay parking now in effect in downtown Penticton

A spot downtown will now cost you $2 per hour

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department, photo from Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page
The Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department. (Facebook)
South Okanagan fire crews battle two blazes one-after-another

The two fires were likely caused by discarded cigarettes according to the fire department

Most Read