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Canning entrepreneur launches line of fall-inspired tasty treats with support of CAPRE

Crystal Butler of Crystal’s Pantry has launched a line of fall-inspired treats.
Crystal Butler of Crystal’s Pantry has launched a line of fall-inspired treats. - Kirk Starratt

NEW MINAS, NS - With a little bit of help and support, a born entrepreneur from Canning living with Cerebral Palsy gets to spend her days doing what she loves.

Crystal Butler of Crystal’s Pantry has always enjoyed working in the kitchen. She’s been busy producing edible treats and gifts for her business since she graduated from Northeast Kings Education Centre more than seven years ago. She operates with the help of the Community Association of People for Real Enterprise (CAPRE) and support worker Megan Schofield.

“We do snack mixes, we do chocolates and we do dips, stuff like that,” Butler said.

When it comes to the dips, Butler combines dry ingredients to help eliminate prep work for her customers. All they have to do is add the sour cream, mayonnaise or Greek yogurt, whatever he or she prefers.

Support worker Megan Schofield and Crystal Butler of Crystal’s Pantry with some of Butler’s new fall products.
Support worker Megan Schofield and Crystal Butler of Crystal’s Pantry with some of Butler’s new fall products.

 

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Butler often finds inspiration for her creations in the changing seasons and said her favourite thing about the fall is seeing the leaves turning colour.

She has launched a special line of fall products, including Harvest Hash Snack Mix, Harvest Bark with white or dark chocolate that includes candy corn, pretzels and candy pumpkins, Walnut Crunch Chocolates, mulling spice, dip mixes and more. She also made a bark exclusively with candy corn to fill a special order.

Schofield said the snack mix is baked with vanilla and brown sugar butter, making it “pretty tasty.”

It’s easy to tell from her beaming smile that Butler enjoys being an entrepreneur. She realizes that she might not get rich as a small business person but there’s a lot to be said about getting to do what she loves. She works five days a week on her venture, travelling from her home to CAPRE in New Minas with Kings Point to Point Transit. She said it’s something that she hopes to be able to do for a long time.

Crystal’s Pantry gives her something to focus on and gets her out into the community. Her products are available at CAPRE in New Minas but she sometimes takes her wares to the Kentville and Berwick farmers markets.

Goods from Crystal’s Pantry are also available at Applewicks in Wolfville and Bryanna’s Café and Preserves in New Minas. Butler would like to get more of her products into stores on consignment.

“She’s a pretty good salesperson,” Schofield said.

Butler is preparing for her busiest time of the year with the Christmas season not far away. She plans to make a Christmas-themed peppermint bark, which was big hit last year, peppermint trees, bits and bites, hot chocolate packs, chocolates and more. Butler is getting ready to take some special holiday orders, too.

She also makes Christmas cards and gifts for the Kings Point to Point drivers who get her to and from work. It’s important to Butler to thank the people who help her.

Crystal’s Pantry is located at CAPRE, Site 1, 8736 Commercial St., New Minas. For more information, call 902-681-5005, email CrystalsPantry@CAPRE.org or visit Crystal’s Pantry on Facebook at www.facebook.com/crystalspantry.

Crystal Butler’s harvest bark, made with dark or white chocolate, pretzels, candy corn and candy pumpkins.
Crystal Butler’s harvest bark, made with dark or white chocolate, pretzels, candy corn and candy pumpkins.

About CAPRE

Schofield said the main purpose of CAPRE is to give people a purpose. CAPRE isn’t like other employment organizations helping people with disabilities, as it offers one-on-one support from fully-trained support workers. Without this support, many of the entrepreneurs they help would have no other alternative but to stay home.

“Everyone that is a part of CAPRE, all of the entrepreneurs, are doing exactly what they want,” Schofield said.

Some other CAPRE-supported enterprises include Lee’s Shop; Sew…Jenny, Mr. B’s Makery, MC Shredder Co., Jody Delivery, Kim’s Crafts, Murf Makes It! and Walt’s Laundry Service.

CAPRE began in Canning in the 1990’s with four mothers – Donna Taylor, Francie Pineo, Joy Murphy and Judy VanAmerongen - who wanted meaningful employment for their children with full participation in community life. The organization has grown over the years, currently supporting 11 entrepreneurs. More join as funding becomes available.

CAPRE’s goal is for each business enterprise to become a self-sustaining, financially viable entity in the community.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

GO ONLINE:

For more information on CAPRE, visit www.capre.org.

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