Next time you’re in a supermarket anywhere in the United States, looking at an item of packaged baked goods from a major brand, you might ask, “I wonder if this comes from Scarborough?” Because it could be the product of Catherine Glowczewski and her family, who run Tradition Fine Foods Ltd. near Warden Woods. More than 200 employees at their 140,000-square-foot plant make a wide array of cinnamon rolls, muffins, cookies, snack bars and much more, nearly all of it exported to the U.S. But like any private label manufacturer, Glowczewski (“Glove-chesky”) is sworn to secrecy on who her partners are.
“We call ourselves co-maniacs, because we co-manufacture for the food multinationals.”
Catherine and her brother Thomas now run the operations of the company their late father Peter started after he and wife Danuta arrived from Poland in the 1970s. Catherine is a bit older, but Thomas is president and she’s vice-president. Sexism? “Not at all – I was on maternity leave when my father got sick, so we had Thomas step in. I was fine with that. Now my mother is the chair, with 60 per cent, and Thomas and I each have 20 per cent. So we’re a certified female-owned company, at 80 per cent!”
She is proud of the company’s progressive employment policies, its new lines of organic and gluten-free products and especially of her family.
“It feels good to feed people,” she says. “We’re third generation bakers, carrying on a tradition dating back to my grandfather’s time in Poland.”