For 35 years the Tott family have been creating award winning recipes and artisan blends in their home village of Morin Heights, located in the Laurentians, a resort area of lakes and mountains an hours drive north of Montreal Quebec, Canada.
Mike & Linda Tott started Gourmet du Village as hobby in 1982, son Alex was just 2 and daughter Ashley was a newborn. Mike combined his talents for design in the advertising industry with Linda wishing to do something more while at home with the new family, she went back to her love of dressmaking. At first Linda was creating floral children’s dresses much in the style of the times as epitomised by ‘Laura Ashley’, but Mikes marketing influence soon took over and the pair started to print their own fabrics and create little bags filled with Herb & Spice blends. Unique packaging combined with the finest quality was and remains a cornerstone of their endeavours. They gave their hobby the name of ‘Gourmet Village’ two bilingual words understood in both French and English as their home was and is located in Quebec the French speaking heart of Canada.
The business grew as they participated in more and more craft shows and Farmers Markets, creating new tastes and products to meet the growing demand, at first their babysitters were enrolled to help with putting spices into little bags to be packaged as ‘Mulling Spices’ their very first recipe, then their cleaning lady joined them as a full time employee, then summer students all from their home Village of Morin Heights and so the story went on all the time.
Ashley grew up with the hobby/business and after graduating from the ITHQ ‘Insitute D’Hotelerie du Quebec as a chef joined the company in 2004, at first she worked in the warehouse, then became very involved in purchasing and planning, then Sales and Marketing.
Linda retired from the company in 2009 up until then she had been responsible for creating the blends of Herbs & Spices, the signature products for the company, Dip Mixes, Seasonings for the Barbeque, toppings for Baked Brie and the recipes to go with them. They published their first book of Linda’s recipes in 2000.
Today Ashley has just taken over as President, primarily responsible for the Operations, and especially Sales and Marketing of the business. In todays changing market, with a new generation of consumers taking over from the baby boomers, locating and identifying where and how consumers shop is a complete change. Both the products, the marketing and the market are all changing
Mike has taken on the role of CEO but focuses on his first love ‘Creative Director’ creating new products and packaging, traveling searching for new ideas to share, directing the vision of the company. The new catalogue for Holiday 2017 has just been completed, a whole new website linked to a Social Media program is next, all scheduled for an April launch.