Jaclyn Sutton

Compass Food Sales has been a leading supplier of private-label and branded dried fruits and nuts in Canada since 1974. We are located in Aurora, Ontario, Canada, with distribution nationally and into the United States. We supply baking and snacking nuts and fruits to the nation’s largest retailers. We believe in bringing high-quality baking and snacking fruits and nuts from around the world to enhance the lives of Canadians – hence the name “Compass”.

We recently launched a new snacking brand called Simply the GOODZ. You are true to yourself, real and raw, not perfect. You don’t apologize for your uniqueness. In this health-driven world, you don’t need permission to snack. You see it as part of a balanced lifestyle.

Simply put, we believe you should be true to yourself and live the balance that’s right for you.

With Simply the GOODZ, what you see is what you get – snacks that are unapologetically good.

Tell us about yourself?

After a long and rewarding career at one of the world’s leading privately-held food companies, I wanted to bring my passion for values-based leadership and high-quality consumer food products to a Canadian mid-size business where I could lead with agility and speed. Compass Food Sales was started as a family-owned and run business with strong values and a winning culture. I saw so many similarities between my principles and the culture in which people are genuinely engaged and motivated to win together.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

I’d tell myself to “buckle up; it’s going to be a wild ride!” The challenges over the past couple of years with COVID-19 definitely taught us how to lead differently in times of uncertainty. It taught us about resilience and that what worked in the past doesn’t always apply in uncharted territory. You need to be okay with risk, trying things, failing, and changing in order to manage through uncertainty. I’d tell myself that what you know now will be a fraction of what you know after you go through such challenging fluctuations in all parts of the business, from global supply chain disruption to unprecedented cost inflation, to labour challenges, to sudden swings in foreign exchange rates, but you’ll continue learning because every day presents a new challenge.

What problem does your business solve?

We source high-quality ingredients for baking and snacking from all around the world and manage the complexities of importing and packing so that consumers can enjoy the best dried fruits and nuts every day.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

We source high-quality ingredients for baking and snacking from all around the world and manage the complexities of importing and packing so that consumers can enjoy the best dried fruits and nuts every day.

What is your magic sauce?

The combination of our long-term relationships and expertise in the category, combined with a passionate, engaged, and driven team and our commitment to delivering excellent service to our customers, is the spice that makes us special. Our ability to innovate with speed and agility and really customize our products to our retail customers and consumer needs is the icing on the cake.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Goodz_Dark Chocolate Dipped Mango

We recently launched a new and exciting snacking brand called Simply the GOODZ. Our vision is to double our branded business, continue penetrating regions in Canada where we have the opportunities and expand our business internationally. We can’t wait to have Simply the GOODZ in the hands of many more Canadians for them to taste the simple goodness of our mouth-watering dark chocolate dipped mango, our unique blends of fruits and nuts in flavours such as Banana Bread mix, and our classic snacking favourite, simple Dried Mango. In addition, we have so many new and unique products and flavours up our sleeves that we plan to launch annually.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Global supply chain challenges have plagued our industry in the past few years. That, combined with the rising cost of everything from raw materials, to packaging, to labour and freight, has been hard on everyone, especially consumers that want to enjoy their snacks and baking items at prices they paid pre-pandemic.

How can people get involved?

To hear more about us, go to www.simplythegoodz.com and www.compassfoodsales.com, or find our snacks in a grocery or general merch retailer near you!