Carter and Carmen both grew up in rural Saskatchewan. And although Carmen moved off of the farm in her later years, Carter continued to raise cattle. For the both of them though, the farm life and entrepreneurial dream is their roots, is close to home and is in their blood. It’s the heart of who they are.
Being a Cattleman, Carter was always looking for alternative marketing ideas that would allow him to be a price maker. When he was just out of highschool he dreamed of opening an abattoir and market store that showcased Saskatchewan made products with the real spotlight on his home raised beef. Feeling young and broke got the best of that idea. However, he did grow a small beef sales operation and sold into the Regina area for over 8 years. His dream kept pushing at him though when his beef customers would continuously inquire about where they could also find and buy farm fresh eggs, pork and produce.
In the mean time Carmen had developed some major health issues that seemed unresolvable and turned to food to heal her body. She cut out food that was full of ingredients she couldn’t pronounce and went back to simple, basic ingredients and locally sourced produce as well as meat that was free range, hormone free, and came from happy, healthy animals. Naturally she had to revamp the way she shopped and found that small, local, rural markets were her grocery jackpot. She loved knowing where her food came from and continued to heal and strengthen her body eating this way.
Being an entrepreneur herself she also felt like she would love to own a place that supported her AG roots community and offered healthier, simpler ingredients to people looking to feel better overall.
Carter had also been on somewhat of a health journey himself, losing over 80 pounds, which he attributes a large part of that to changing his eating habits, and doing keto meal planning. On that journey he realized how much ‘garbage’ is in the processed food we eat and how much unhealthy things are on the shelves in normal grocery stores. He found that healthy options were hard to find, which led him to have a desire to find products with simple ingredients, things you can pronounce, things with the basic ingredients your grandma used to use.
After Carmen and Carter met and, she raved about the local markets she shopped at in the Saskatoon area, Carters original dream began to re-ignite and he wondered what something like that could look like in the Regina area. It wasn’t until Covid quarantine hit though, that they both had the time to stop and truly put this dream in the forefront. During quarantine they realized how much better life was not working shift work, and just being able to be focused on the ranch. They felt drawn to not only simplify their life but also help other people simplify their food and feel comfortable about knowing where it comes from. They both felt that they needed to know their food producers more than the current supermarket allowed and felt like the products should be coming from closer to home but that feeling was amplified in the type of hit that the economy took from Covid.
So they began brainstorming and thinking about how they could move forward and finally bring this dream and these values to life and Carzan Local Market was born.