You might never have heard of N.C. Hutton Packaging, but chances are you’ve got some of their work in your house.
Rhonda Goulding, key account manager for the company, lists some of the operations that fall under N.C. Hutton umbrella: East Coast Converters, known for making Billy Boot garbage bags, Canadian Folding Cartons, which makes packaging for items ranging from beer to fishsticks, and Hutton International Press, a commercial printing company.
She hopes that, by renting a booth at the 21st annual Manufactured Right Here Expo, the company can raise its awareness among Newfoundland and Labrador consumers.
“When you’re buying certain products in the supermarket, whether it’s a box of ice cream or a box of Purity biscuits, it’s great to know that yes, those items are manufactured here, but it’s also good to know that the box they’re in is also manufactured here.”
Raising awareness is the whole point, said David Haire, the vice-president of the Newfoundland and Labrador division of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, which is hosting the event at the RE/MAX Centre Friday and today.
“The purpose is to showcase Newfoundland-manufactured, right here, products and services,” he said, adding he expects 15,000 people to sample the products and services of about 80 exhibitors.
He said Newfoundlanders in general are willing to support local products, as long as they’re comparable in quality and price — and if they know about them.
“If people are out shopping and they know Billy Boot is manufactured right here — it’s got that logo on it — there’s the tendency that if they’re equal price, equal quality, they will buy Newfoundland products in a heartbeat. There’s a sense of pride buying stuff that’s manufactured on the island.”
Sisters Barbara and Tracey Collins, owners of Coco Cupcakes in St. John’s, said the expo is a good way to remind people of the importance of buying local products — something they do when making their cupcakes.
“We make these cupcakes on our premises in St. John’s every day, with the most local ingredients we can find. Local butter and milk and Newfoundland eggs and that kind of thing,” Barbara said.
Auk Island Winery general manager Danny Bath said it’s a good chance for people to sample some of what local producers have to offer, and in the case of the company’s berry wine, to dispel myths that people need to look out of province for certain items.
“We’re trying to show people that we have a large variety, from dry products to sweet products,” he said