Business, Business Unboxed

Business Unboxed: Cedar Valley Selections 

Fresh Food, Family Focused!

All natural, simple, and fresh, yet always delicious. This is what Cedar Valley Selections has been striving for since it was established by a mother and son duo, Ameen and Surria Fadel, in 2017.

At the time, Ameen Fadel was a 16-year-old high school student, inspired to start a business when he received a grant from school. With Surria’s signature recipe Cedar Valley Selections began with the creation of Canada’s first bottled Fattoush Salad Dressing.

They’ve come a tremendous way since, and now have their dressings and pita chips available in major grocery chains across the country. They’ve become a loved brand with a loyal following and have over 150 5-star reviews on their site.

I had the opportunity to interview Ameen about his entrepreneurial journey, Cedar Valley products, and some of the challenges that the consumer packaged goods industry has faced due to COVID and inflation.

What was your motivation for starting a business?

Ameen Fadel:
I founded Cedar Valley Selections in high school after receiving a grant to start my own company. Now in high school, salad dressing wasn’t really a passion of mine, but building a business and creating a meaningful brand from nothing was the greatest accomplishment I could think of, and I knew I wanted to do that.

The idea for a CPG (consumer packaged goods) company came from a family friend’s recommendation to bottle my mom’s recipe for fattoush dressing.

Who are your target clients?

Our target market is health-conscious consumers that care about the ingredients that go into the products they consume on a daily basis. We are proud to bring our customers healthy alternatives made with good-for-you ingredients that will help them achieve their health goals and/or work for their dietary needs.

How would you describe your business and/or products in 200 words or less?

Cedar Valley Selections is bringing all-natural, healthy alternatives to grocery stores across Canada with a mission to share our family’s infused recipes, inspired by our heritage in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon.

What are your plans for business growth? New products that clients can look out for?

We are hoping to continue reaching more consumers across Canada each and every day, while periodically introducing more exciting and flavourful products to our current lineup. Eventually, we plan to introduce more product lines to make healthy, everyday meals that much easier.

What trends are you noticing in your industry? Have there been any major shifts?

The CPG (consumer packaged goods) industry is seeing many trends as of late. With more and more people becoming health conscious, sales of better-for-you products have continuously increased across the industry. Consumers are also doing their best to purchase products that are locally made in Canada, which is fantastic to see.

How has COVID and inflation affected the CPG industry?

The CPG industry has been hit very hard over the past two years. Suppliers have been waiting and hoping for supply chain to get better but it’s not, unfortunately. With material shortages, labour shortages, increased lead times, and logistical backups, it’s very stressful and becoming harder and harder to get products to shelves.

With all of that comes increased costs across the board, and many suppliers have taken a hit on their margin for some time. As you can see now, many of the price increases are finally coming through at the grocery stores as suppliers need to get back to a manageable margin.

In these times of inflation, it makes it hard for premium brands to compete in the marketplace and reach new consumers. Canadians understandably attempt to stretch their dollars as much as possible. Thankfully, our target consumer is typically very loyal and thinks about their health above all.

You have an amazing recipe collection on your website. Could you share one of your favourite recipes with our readers?

One of my favourite recipes we have on our site is our One-Skillet Creamy Lemon Garlic Chicken. It’s kind of a go-to for me! It’s simple and extremely delicious paired with some rice and veggies.

What advice would you give to others who might be considering starting a business?

A piece of advice for people thinking of starting their own business is to have a clear plan before starting. I recently heard the quote “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” and I resonated with it. Not to say you won’t have many failures along the way, because you will. And a lot of the time, things won’t even go to plan, but success doesn’t happen by accident.

Build goals for yourself and set a roadmap on what you need to do to get there. Every step on that roadmap is a step closer to your goal, and that’s where you’ll find success.

How do our readers find you?





~ Photos provided by Ameen Fadel



Business Unboxed is a regular feature of Brightly Boxed, a locally curated gifting platform. Find us on InstagramFacebook or TikTok

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