Bar Harbor Foods - Canned Goodness!

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President & CEO, Mike Cote, Mike's daughter, Michelle Cote, and Cynthia Fisher, VP of Marketing & Q/A

July 25, 2011

A great review and article from Cookography! Thank you Luke!

"One of the more interesting parts about the Fancy Food Show ( I swear I almost done with posts on it ), was getting to meet the people behind different brands. It is even more finding out that products you like have a genuine heritage instead of being some corporate creation.

I was really excited to come across the Bar Harbor Foods booth at the show. I have been getting their canned fish from Whole Foods, mostly because it is delicious, but also because I really liked the packaging; it looks simple, clean and honest. Maine has a long tradition of packing sardines and other fish, but as tuna fish became popular Maine’s canneries began closing. Most of the large canneries have closed which is why it is great to see Bar Harbor taking a fresh approach to this product space.

I met the company’s owner, Mike Cote, at the booth. He had spent most of his career working for large food specialty companies and wanted to start his own. In 2003 he bought the 86 year old East Machias Canning Company and transformed it into Bar Harbor Foods. It is a small company, I think he said they have less than 20 people. His experience in industry shows though, the branding is very well done and it seems like a much larger company.

They have come out with a new product which looks like it could be a little different and fun, Smoke Sardines in Maple Syrup. They suggested actually having them at breakfast instead of bacon or sausage. It sounds a little crazy, but I think it could actually work. They are a little sweet and a little salty, but not too much and the sardines don’t have an overpowering fishy taste. Next time I am at Whole Foods, I am going to pick up a can and give it a try. It would definitely be a lot more healthy.

There is something reassuring about getting to meet the people that make what you eat, especially when they are great people like the folks at Bar Harbor. If you see a can of their fish on the store shelf, give it a try. Canned seafood that is sustainably harvested are better for the environment and sardines and other “oily” fish have a lot of health benefits. Most importantly, it can be really tasty. They also make authentic chowders and beans, which I am going to keep an eye out for."




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Bar Harbor Foods ·1112 Cutler Road, Whiting, Maine 04691 USA·207-259-3341