1. Tell us about yourself/ your business.
Brenna Phillips. I have a background in visual arts and holistic nutrition. I have been
making fermented foods for over a decade and have attended fermentation residencies
in the US and in Mexico. I have enjoyed teaching workshops at UpSkilling! and through
the Better Bite community kitchen. More to come !
2. What was your path to your current position/ business?
Moved to Cape Breton in 2016 to work with The Periwinkle Cafe in Ingonish. It had been
several years since working in kitchens but I had done some specialized food catering
and pop ups before taking on the kitchen manager position. While at the Periwinkle I
started making and selling fermented foods and drinks. Have since branched off and
have been doing Punch & Jingles House of Ferments full time, mostly selling through
the Pan Cape Breton Food Hub and at the Cape Breton Farmers’ Market.
3. How long has your business been operating in CB?
Punch & Jingles will be 3 in October 2020.
4. What inspired you to operate a business in Cape Breton/ Unama’ki?
Caitlyn Purcell and Sarabeth Drover at Salty Roses and the Periwinkle Cafe inspired/encouraged me
to move to Ingonish in 2016. I was ready to leave Halifax and looking for something new. I knew
Ingonish from visiting Caitlyn’s shop over the years and thought I would like to move there.
After working with their team for 3 years I was ready to branch out on my own.
I’ve received so much support from my community, I feel grateful that I was able to move to a new place and succeed at something I really care about.
5. What was your “ah-ha” moment when you knew you had the right idea?
The response to Punch & Jingles Ferments has been overwhelming and so so positive!
I started out doing a bi-weekly ferments club from my house and it very quickly grew until I
needed to rent kitchen space and devote all of my working hours to making ferments.
The farmers market and food hub have been great ways to get my products to people.
6. What did you study in school? How has it helped you in your journey?
I have a BFA from NSCAD and I also studied holistic nutrition. I think its been mostly
learning from friends and asking a lot of questions and reading books on my own. I’m
inspired by women doing small business.
7. If there was one thing you could have done differently early in your career, what would it be?
I would find a business partner! I am not very business savvy and I don’t enjoy participating
in social media, I’d rather make sauerkraut :)
I’m not super competitive and I would rather share my knowledge and products then have to put a price on it. So a business partner could maybe do that side of things.
8. What is your advice to a ‘shiny new’ business owner or entrepreneur?
Identify your strengths and don’t waiver, trust yourself. If there are parts of business you’d rather not
do, hire someone who does want to. Don’t lose sight of your vision. Align yourself with like
9. What advice would you offer aspiring business owners or entrepreneurs who want to
stay on the Island?
Getting involved with your community is the best thing you can do. Volunteering and board work is
10. Where do you see the future of your industry headed?
I hope to see growth and development in the food sector, specifically in terms of food security. I’m
passionate about supporting local growers and producers and I truly hope to see more support in
As an extension I would like to see the trend in healthier eating continue and for food
equity to be reached. Better food in schools, more affordable food and better access everywhere.
As for my business and the work that I do, I hope to reach more people and share knowledge about
the benefits of fermented foods and healthy eating in general.