Homegrown Business: Emma Lukian, Co-founder of GOOD BIG NICE

GOOD BIG NICE is a local Montreal food manufacturing company that produces delicious raw fermented foods. They use local produce to create unique robust products while catering to one of their main goals of reducing food waste. We spoke with Emma Lukian the Co-founder of GOOD BIG NICE to learn more about them.


What is your business called and what does it do?

Les Aliments GOOD BIG NICE is a food manufacturing company where we produce raw fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and upcycled hot sauces. We create traditional products using local produce, all while reducing food waste through a natural form of preservation. They contain zero additives, are unpasteurized, and are naturally fermented. This means they are a jam-packed party of gut-healthy probiotics!

What made you want to do this work?

When my husband and I met back in 2018 we each had over a decade under our belts in the food industry and we were itching to move towards careers that would challenge us all while being creatively satisfying. So in 2019, with no real concrete plan and even less money between us, we cold quit our jobs, pulled out the ol’ yellow legal pad, and got to figuring out how to start our own company!

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

From the get we knew we wanted to contribute to fighting food waste! In Canada, half of all food is thrown away. While some of this is unavoidable, the majority is driven by stock management issues and our pickiness, as consumers, on how our food should look. We wanted to help fight this in any small way possible. This is why we transform fresh veggies into stable products that last years in the fridge. We created a line of hot sauces that are made exclusively from the surplus of brine and veggies our kitchen inevitably ends up with and we have a small batch line that uses seasonal produce.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

We wholesale our products to grocery stores across Quebec through our own delivery team as well as through our partnered distributor Horizon Nature. Our demographic is anyone who is down with awesome tasty food that fights food waste and has wicked health benefits – so I’d say everyone is our demo 😉

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Our income stream comes primarily from sales to banner stores, small boutiques and our distributors. We source local ingredients, process, ferment, and jar them in our facility then label them and send them off to our distributor who then ships them to grocery stores all across Quebec.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

We are proud to say we are now in over 140 stores across Quebec. Notably in all Marche Taus, Boite a Grains and many IGAS and Metros. There’s a map of all our points of sales on our website so customers can easily see where to find us closest to them.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

How does your product differ from the other fermented foods available?

Our food waste fighting initiative aside, we source traditional ingredients and make small batches at a time which results in a really superior quality product. For example, we exclusively use gochugaru (a smoky mild flavoured hot pepper from Korea) in our kimchi and only use nappa cabbage. This creates a really authentic product. We also ferment and jar everything in small batches to ensure that customers are getting extremely fresh products when they buy at the grocery store.


What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part, hands down, is we have process oriented work and not just goal oriented work. We enjoy every step, the day to day ins and outs of our jobs instead of just working towards one main goal of making money. Of course, managing our own schedule has really been a highlight. It has allowed us to deeply enjoy our lives outside of work.

The worst part, oddly, kind of goes hand in hand with the best part! It can be challenging to efficiently and creatively spread two people thin enough to cover every aspect of our company but not so thin that we fall apart emotionally and physically. You know that age-old expression “do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”? Yeah, it’s more like do what you love, and you’ll work lonnnnggggg ass days Monday to Friday and most Saturdays. It all requires a lot of checking in with one another, communication, managing expectations, patience, megatons of self-motivation, organization, and coffee/wine. Like, a lot of coffee & wine!

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a joke about the food manufacturing industry. Am I just not paying attention? I’m all ears if someone wants to toss one at me.

Where can we follow you?

You can find us on Instagram.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

The Pretty Ugly Company is where it’s at. They also help to minimize food waste by making incredible salsas!



About Demian Vernieri 416 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.