Manitoulin featured in new LCBO web series

The production crew for the LCBO’s web series ‘5 Stops’, Sean Van Delft and Paul Duck, pause for a photo at 3 Cows and a Cone in Little Current. photo by Warren Schlote

LITTLE CURRENT—A handful of Manitoulin- and Sudbury-area businesses are set to be featured in an upcoming web series by the LCBO under its Food and Drink banner, called ‘5 Stops.’

“It was a great opportunity to be able to highlight what we do here at Manitoulin Brewing and I’m glad to see they were able to meet with other local businesses as well,” said Manitoulin Brewing Company co-owner Nishin Meawasige, one of the businesses that hosted a filming session. “Everyone does a great job here on the Island and it’s great to see these opportunities arise. We didn’t reach out to them for it, they actually reached out to us.”

LCBO was tight-lipped on details of the new series until it issued a press release sharing the details of its project. It goes by the title ‘5 Stops’ and will be a 10-part online series that celebrates wine, beer, cider and spirit producers in Ontario, as well as other businesses and creators within the featured communities. 

The first episode of the series premiered September 19 on LCBO.com. New episodes air weekly throughout the fall season. It is as yet unclear when Manitoulin’s premiere date will be.

“‘5 Stops’ will introduce viewers to hidden gems in an informative, engaging and stylized way synonymous with the Food and Drink brand, with a singular goal of inspiring Ontarians to get out and explore the province’s rich food and beverage culture and meet the innovators behind the products,” said LCBO chief customer officer Alix Box.

The series is hosted by culinary media personalities Devan Rajkumar and Miranda Keyes and will include surprise guests in the episodes. The episodes will feature a different region in the province and each segment will highlight five “hidden gems” in the area.

The Expositor first learned of the upcoming web series when the film crew arrived at Three Cows and a Cone in Little Current in August.

“(Food and Drink) asked if they could come into the store. They said they were doing a promo with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario and wanted to come in and watch (the staff) make a milkshake,” said Three Cows and a Cone owner Phil Blake. “The crew said they were associated with Food and Drink but weren’t sure exactly what they were going to do with the media they gathered.”

The third and fourth businesses featured in the series from Manitoulin were The Island Jar, also in Little Current, and growing business Heartwood Mushrooms, which was featured within The Island Jar promotion.

“They talked with us about our role in supporting local food producers on the Island and they picked up ingredients for a local food dinner they made that evening to highlight local food from the Island,” said Aline Taillefer, owner of The Island Jar.

“We were excited to do it. I’m happy they chose Manitoulin; anything that helps promote local food producers here we’re happy for,” said Ms. Taillefer.

Shane O’Donnell of Heartwood Mushrooms was invited to take part in that evening dinner component. He said it was a bit of a whirlwind experience considering they had only netted their first mushroom harvest three days earlier.

The filming crew consisted of a few members taking videos on body-mounted rigs and with drones. Mr. Meawasige said they did an interview asking about the core products his business offers, as well as some of the brewery’s more unique offerings that are not available in LCBO stores.

“It was a great interview. We talked about local collaborations we’ve had with respect to using some chocolate from Manitoulin Chocolate Works, honey from the Island in some beers and hawberries in our stout,” said Mr. Meawasige, who said he also highlighted some of Manitoulin Brewing Company’s events such as the Current to Killarney paddling race.

“It’s going to be released as part of an online series promoting Ontario tourism and different areas. This area was for Sudbury-Manitoulin and I heard it’s going to be airing around September-October,” Mr. Meawasige added.

“A lot of people across the province read Food and Drink; I know I read it when I’m in the liquor store. I didn’t know they had a YouTube channel but I read the magazine. If I can get a picture of my store in there, I’m happy,” said Mr. Blake. “The more people we can get coming to the Island, the better it is for all of us.”

The latest edition of Food and Drink is now available on newsstands. It gets published five times per year and is available for free at LCBO outlets. Along with the new ‘5 Stops’ series, LCBO is launching a ‘Bring Local Home’ ad campaign for the fall. Partners in the series are Destination Ontario, Dairy Farmers of Ontario and Mazda.