The beginnings of Little Creek Dressing have deep roots in the Denison family. Nowadays, the company is known for its distinctly flavoured certified organic salad dressings. But as with so many other companies, their story is principally one about family.
It all started when Donna Denison made the move back to Little Creek, the property her family has owned since 1947, with her husband, Dale, and her son, Jubi, in 1983.
As Dale was an orchardist, the plan was to clear some land, plant an orchard and set up a pottery studio for Donna. But then something unexpected happened: twin girls. Well, hey, at that point, they knew full well what Donna wanted to spend her time doing and it wasn’t making pottery.
The vision for the land also changed from orchard to salad greens and gourmet vegetables. In 1991, Dale became the first certified organic farmer in the Okanagan Valley. His organic crops were sold in local restaurants and at Nature’s Fare.
So, you might be asking: what exactly complements salad greens…? Gourmet salad dressing? I think you may be onto something!
Donna wanted to contribute to the family business. She wanted to use her creative talents. And she also wanted and needed to stay home with her little ones. So, she decided that she would start bottling up the gourmet salad dressing that she’d been making and serving for years.
Nature’s Fare already knew the quality of produce that came from Dale’s greens. So, they took a case of Donna’s dressing…and then another! And voila, Little Creek Dressing had its first retail space, snuggled right beside Dale’s greens.
In 1995, Little Creek Dressings’s production space burned to the ground. I might have taken that as a sign that I should be spending my time elsewhere. But, no, Donna was determined to rebuild, bigger and better than before. The head of the new build was Jubi.
The kitchen went from 200 square feet to 1,000. Then, in 2014, Little Creek Dressing outgrew the space and moved into a leased facility which is 6,000 square feet.
Donna took a step back and fully let go of the reins in 2016, at which point Jubi took over as Executive Director. Her twins are also part of the Little Creek Dressing family affair. Amber and Kerisa are the social media mavens who cover all things from photoshoots to websites.
Creating a successful business takes tenacity and that’s what I see here with Little Creek Dressing. Friends and family sharing this wonderful certified organic salad dressing became their launching pad to success. Word of mouth goes a long way. Don’t forget that if there’s a business you want to support!
Today Little Creek Dressing is sold in 450 stores. They are in the process of expanding the business into Eastern Canada, as well as into the U.S.
Little Creek Dressing has a distinct flavour that I personally can’t get enough of. It’s chock full of flavour with a long, trailing profile, like a fine wine. It pairs with so many things. I’m a big fan because it’s organic, vegan, dairy-free, and non-GMO, without emulsifiers or added sugars. The simply blended ingredients in this certified organic salad dressing showcase the land and the beauty that comes from it.
My favourites? Try Original, Cherry Balsamic, Okanagan Caesar, Summer Strawberry, or Asian Apricot. I use it as a marinade, a salad dressing (of course), or as the sauce for my steamed veggies or pasta. To add pizzazz to my salad roll, I use Asian Apricot.
Here’s the recipe for my salad roll: I soak my rice paper in water, add some veggies (shredded cabbage, julienned carrots and cucumber, chopped green onion and cilantro) drizzle Asian Apricot on top and roll it up. Delicious!
The Little Creek property that’s been in the family for generations is full of family to this day. Donna says “it represents the warmth of family love and community, the beauty of the lake, the peacefulness of the forest and the abundance of the land.”
I am feeling like part of the family now. I highly recommend picking up a bottle of Little Creek dressing. It will soon become a family staple for you as well.
You can follow Little Creek Dressing here