Saucy start-up – Invest Medicine Hat

Saucy start-up

Agriculture / News / People

Medicine Hat’s location on the Trans-Canada Highway and low operating costs is proving to be an ideal recipe for a saucy start-up’s expansion.

  • Medicine Hat’s location on the Trans-Canada Highway helps to expand a growing company
  • Medicine Hat’s low operating cost is ideal for start-ups

From building his own smokers to concocting his own sauces, Brent Hope has been in the kitchen since he was a teen and learned to cook by mirroring his mother’s methods. Ten years ago, Hope became part of Medicine Hat’s burgeoning craft food industry when he started Ghostriders Smokehouse as a way to share his love for all things BBQ with friends and family.

Invest Medicine Hat met with Hope, owner and manager of Ghostriders Smokehouse, to find out why Canada’s sunniest city is the ideal location for his business.

“The number one advantage of being located in Medicine Hat is that we are on the Trans Canada Highway, close to large markets in the United States,” said Hope, adding that Medicine Hat’s location is ideal for shipping to British Columbia and eastern Canada.

As a startup, Medicine Hat’s comparatively lower cost of renting commercial space allowed Hope to conserve capital and focus on product development.

“It would have been much more difficult to start Ghostriders in Edmonton or Calgary due to the cost of renting facilities,” said Hope.

As the years went by, Ghostriders Smokehouse Grill morphed from a startup company into an experienced manufacturer of sauces and seasonings.  Hope came to appreciate Medicine Hat’s location on the Trans Canada Highway as offering access to key markets in British Columbia and the Western United States.

Today, Ghostriders Smokehouse Grill manufacturers BBQ sauce, hot sauce and spice blends with local vegetables for customers including Save-On Foods and Peavey Mart and supplies over 120 stores with product.

This summer, Hope’s son Kelton, a marketing student at Medicine Hat College, is hitting the road to sample product across Western Canada. The goal is to drum up even more business for the company’s line of products – including Sweet and Sassy BBQ sauce, Ring Sting hot sauce, and Ghost Rub seasoning blends – to as many people as possible. Additionally, there will be three part-time employees handing out samples in grocery stores.

“The “Spank Me” sauce is the number one seller because it has the right amount of spice and heat and Ring Sting is a close second,” said Hope.

For companies looking to get a foothold in the craft food market, Medicine Hat offers an ideal location on the Trans Canada Highway, competitive commercial rents, and access to high-quality ingredients from the likes of RedHat Co-op, Deerview Meats, and other local suppliers.