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Purity brand foods are the pride of Newfoundland and Labrador


Ore than 25 years before Newfoundland joined the rest of Canada, three St. John’s businessmen—C.C. Pratt, A.E. Hickman, and W.R. Goobie—purchased what was Woods West End Candy Store located on 350 Water Street. That was the year that the company became Purity Factories and production of the instant classic began—Peppermint Nobs, as well as Purity Kisses, and flavoured syrups.

A lot has happened since 1924, including moving to much larger premises on Blackmarsh Road in the 1950s, but one thing is certain: Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have embraced Purity as Newfoundland’s brand. The distinctive red script in a yellow oval that makes up their brand label is easily recognizable and provokes a feeling of home in Newfoundlanders—regardless of where they live.

Purity has been able to consistently provide quality confections year after year, and as a company they feel honoured to be a part of what makes up Newfoundland culture. In fact, Purity’s lineup of goodies have been around for so long, they are essentials in most Newfoundlanders’ cupboards. Their line of biscuits, sweets, and crackers have been consumed by generation after generation and have become embedded in family tradition.

Currently, 65 per cent of Purity’s sales are within NL, with 30 per cent going to the rest of Canada, and five per cent to the US. Although the biggest market remains in NL, the sales percentage looks a little different now than it did 15-20 years ago. At that time, 75 per cent of sales were on the island, with the remainder happening outside the province. Purity hopes to continue to increase their sales across Canada, and they are looking at new opportunities in foreign markets.

The best sellers within the province have always been the Cream Crackers and Jam Jams; however, the number one growing favourite item across Canada is their Ginger Snaps. My personal favourite is definitely the peppermint nobs. It doesn’t seem like Christmas without them. Peppermint Nobs—yes, that’s how they’re spelled!—and Peppermint Lumps are to Newfoundland what Chicken Bones are to the rest of Atlantic Canada.

As Newfoundlanders travelled to visit friends and family, or moved to the mainland, they brought their love of Purity goodies with them. Not
surprisingly, it turns out that you do not have to be Newfoundland born and bred to have an affinity for Purity products. The rest of Canada is also embracing these fabulous treats and essentials.

Currently, there are more than 50 different items in Purity’s line up and they have recently begun to produce some of their line in convenience packs, with two biscuits per package. So far, they have released two-pack Jam Jams, and two-pack Cream Crackers and are working on more. In recent years they have also released Oatmeal Biscuits, Iced Tea, Pineapple Syrup, and brought back their Lime Syrup which was previously discontinued. They are also working on other exciting new ideas that they hope to introduce next year.

One of Purity’s earliest success stories was its hard tack bread. This was an essential for fishermen, and to this day hard tack still goes with those who make their living from the sea. Made of only flour, water and salt, it has tremendously long shelf life and is just about as hard as a boat anchor. It’s also the base of the famous fish and brewis; a Newfoundland staple.

Purity also makes a wide variety of cookies: those above-mentioned ginger cookies and ginger snaps are, well, perfectly gingery. Other popular selections include oatmeal cookies—in both a crunchy biscuit and a traditional oatmeal cookie with raisins—lemon creams, coconut bars, chocolate chip, among others.

If you grew up in Atlantic Canada, chances are that you’ve had a Milk Lunch cracker as a snack or in school lunches and chances are very good that it was made by Purity. If you were really lucky it was topped with Purity’s Partridgeberry and Apple Jam or their Blueberry Jam.

One of Purity’s keys to success has been their pride in using quality ingredients that are sourced close to home—they use local whenever possible. The majority of Purity’s ingredients have always been purchased from Canadian manufacturers and suppliers.

Operating from an island does have its disadvantages, and Purity’s shipping challenges have been a constant throughout its existence. Importing raw materials onto an island, as well as shipping the finished goods from that island, is very expensive.

A few years ago Purity introduced online ordering of select items, as well as some fun merchandise, which can be ordered on their website at purity.nf.ca/shop. It’s a great option for those living in the U.S. or for sending a tasty gift of home to a loved one. Not only will you find a complete selection of favourites, you can also gift goody boxes, gift packs and Purity clothing.

Purity products can readily be found at Walmart, Superstore, and Sobeys throughout the region.

 

Purity's Jam Jam Trifle 

Purity's Piña Colada 

Cold Water Shrimp Canapé 

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