A Fresh Start & A Fresh Product
By Alain Bossé photography by Steve Smith/VisionFire
In 2016 Julain Molnar was looking for a “fresh start” after 30+ years in theatre. At the same time, she was looking for a dairy-free cheese alternative that was not only delicious, but healthy. When she couldn’t find what she wanted on grocery shelves around her, she decided she would make it herself! The rest is history.
That same year Fresh Start Fauxmage had their first sale day at Riverview Country Market in Charlottetown. They sold out quickly and realized what was soon ahead of them. Their first year or two they had retailers coming to them; a rare and enviable position for a young business. Everyone was so interested in the new dairy-free cheese on the local scene!
Fast forward a few years from that beginning and Fresh Start is now listed in Sobeys Atlantic, along with numerous mom and pop shops around the Maritimes; they are now heading into the Ontario market this fall (stay tuned…) But every Saturday you will still find them at the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market; this is where their heart is and always will be.
When creating their Fauxmages, the aim is to replicate not only the texture and flavours of your favourite cheeses but also that feeling of comfort you have when eating it. They are always striving to create that perfect blend of taste and texture while keeping health top of mind. The new Everything Bagel Style is unlike any other cheese on the market right now. It has a creamy cashew base with a bit of sharpness and is topped with a custom blended Everything Bagel seasoning—as some like to say, it’s like a bagel in a bite!
Hillary Wood, the company’s business development manager and social media manager, says, “Sometimes the word vegan can be scary. Some people may think ‘I’m not vegan, so that product isn’t for me,’ but in reality as long as you’re someone who likes good-tasting food, our products are for you, regardless of diet!”
“Fauxmage is eaten by many, many folks from different walks of life and that’s something we absolutely adore about our products,” Hillary says. “Seeing the excitement and relief on someone’s face when they try our Chili Lime after searching for a dairy-free cheese for years, watching a skeptical cheese-lover taste our Creamy Pesto melted on warm pasta noodles...it’s these moments that keep us so driven, focused and happily working hard to keep Fauxmage on top as the best dairy-free cheese you’ve ever tried.”
In five years Julain envisions Fauxmage being readily available in Canada and in parts of the US. She and her team are always daydreaming about ways to expand their product line; the possibilities of plant-based options are truly endless.
If you haven’t tried Fresh Start, this is the perfect time, and if you’re unsure how to use the products you can visit their website for a ton of fabulous recipe ideas. And with the holidays fast approaching, Hillary suggests that you can’t go wrong with a charcuterie board. Pop out a container of Fauxmage onto a board amongst other goodies. There is even a blog post on the website at www.freshstartfauxmage.com all about making the perfect plant-based charcuterie board.
As well, their Faux Naturel makes a great base for dairy-free cheesecakes; the Creamy Herb is amazing on potatoes; and Monk’s Cheddar makes for a smoky, delicious nacho appetizer dip when heated on the stove with salsa. The versatility of Fauxmage is truly remarkable.
Locally in PEI, they usually sell some specialty goodies at the farmers market and a couple of other small shops during the holidays. Their “Fauxlogs” are a big hit at holiday get-togethers. Fauxlogs are a twist on cheese logs and are their flavour base rolled in a variety of yummy toppings.
You can also follow Fresh Start on Instagram for all the latest info, tips and new listings.