Soup’s On at Creative Chaos

Soup’s On at Creative Chaos

Gail Craig’s Dragonfly Soups, Dips and Mixes are ready for the 42nd annual crafters and artisans fair

  • May. 28, 2017 6:30 a.m.

Cara Brady

Morning Star Staff

Something smells delicious even before the door is opened.

“This is my soup room,” said Gail Craig as she shows the tidy workroom full of spices, dry ingredients and packages of her popular Dragonfly Soups, Dips and Mixes which she will have for sale at this year’s Creative Chaos, June 2 to 4.

“I couldn’t have imagined myself as a soup maker. We had lots of soup when I was a kid but I never cooked. I was the tomboy, always outside weeding the garden, caring for the animals and playing baseball and stealing berries when I could,” said Craig, who grew up on an acreage in Webster’s Corners, a close-knit community that is now part of Maple Ridge.

“Soup was not in my future. I took a secretarial course. When I did start the business in 2012, I remembered going fishing with my father and how when a dragonfly landed on our rods he would tell me it was good luck so I named the business in his memory.”

In the meantime, life happened: she married, started a family, moved around the province, worked in long-term care, took time off to deal with health issues, and then settled in Coldstream with her husband, Steve.

“I wanted to do something to get out and meet people and started going to the Vernon Farmers’ Market with hand-knit and crocheted baby hats and slippers. Then I started the soup mixes, experimenting on the family.”

Steve liked the Rainbow Bean so much he asked for it for lunch every day and Craig went on to develop 21 more varieties. Her mixes include Chicken Soup Like Grandma Used to Make, Vegetarian Chili, Curried Quinoa, and Thai Coconut, the current bestseller.

The soup and other mixes are all natural with no preservatives, no MSG, and no salt. She also does seasoning mixes, an instant one-cup mix and casserole dishes and even has a dessert mix for rice pudding.

“My mom has been really encouraging and my Aunt Ruth. I have to thank Ingrid Baron, manager of the Vernon Farmers’ Market, who got me involved in running the market and encouraged me all the way,” she said.

“This is a family affair. My 10-year-old grandson likes to use the dip mixes to flavour mashed potatoes and he helps me with putting labels on the packages. I like going out to the markets and fairs and other events. I get so many compliments on the displays and people come back again and tell me how much they like things. I’ve had people call from across the country with orders, which I do as much as I can.

“My soups and mixes have gone as far as the Netherlands, Boston and all over Canada.”

Craig is working on a contract to supply soups to a chain across the country. She can’t tell any of the details yet but if it works out it will allow her to realize a longtime dream.

“I will need to hire people. I want to provide jobs for single mothers with daycare on-site. I also want to have jobs for people with physical and mental challenges. They are part of the community and they have something to contribute if other people would recognize it. God created everyone equal and he made some of us different and more interesting. Everyone’s life is valuable in this earth.”

Craig likes to be involved in the community and is also on the board of the Equestrian Society, on the board of the Vernon Farmers’ Market and on the Creative Chaos Committee.

“Starting in markets changed my whole world. When people tell me how much they love the soups, it’s the best feeling in the whole world. I like going to events year-round and I like making the soups. I’m happy when I’m here making soups. I put my country music on and it’s so relaxing.”

When she’s not working on the soup, Craig and her husband like to go fishing on the mountain lakes. They take a thermos of soup with them, naturally.

The 42nd annual Creative Chaos takes place at the Vernon Recreation Complex June 2 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m; June 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; June 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., showcasing close to 200 artisans and crafters from throughout B.C., the Pacific Northwest, and eastern provinces. Admission is free, however, visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items or a cash donation for the Salvation Army Food Bank.

Visit www.creativechaoscrafts.com for more details.