Kelly’s Doukhobor Foods
Kelly Malakoff, owner of Kelly’s Doukhobor Foods produces one of the Kootenays’ favourite foods: authentic Doukhobor Borscht. Of Russian descent, Kelly grew up loving the Doukhobor heritage and all the amazing foods that have essentially inspired her to preserve this heritage. Growing up on a farm and doing chores laid down the foundation for a strong work ethic, an ethic that’s required to start and run a business! While she’s been making this borscht recipe her whole life, she has only been selling this traditional soup commercially for 10 years.
First, just in case people don’t know, what is Doukhobor borscht?
There are so many types of borscht across the world: Polish, Ukranian, Russian, Romanian, Armenian, even Chinese! Doukhobor borscht is unique because it’s vegetarian and it includes cream (and lots of butter), unlike other versions of borscht. Doukhobor borscht features root vegetables like carrot, beet, onion and potato, as well as other fresh veggies like cabbage, tomato, green pepper, celery and fresh dill. This version of borscht is packed full of nutrition.
Tell us about your borscht, Kelly. How would you describe your True Local operation?
We produce our borscht in small batches so that we are able to maintain its quality and not compromise its authenticity. Our borscht is made in a 100% gluten-free facility, with no additives or preservatives. All this is done from our kitchen on our property in Winlaw, BC.
What motivated you to open your own business?
I started the company when my sons were young, so running a business from home only made sense. Since then, we have come a long way. We are now a wholesale business with over 35 stores throughout BC carrying our product.
What are some of your greatest joys?
I continually receive emails, messages and phone calls from happy customers, not only from BC, but around Canada and the US. They tell us how fantastic our borscht is and to never quit producing it! These are the highlights for me… talking to customers, getting to know them and sharing stories. We have had tremendous support from our local community and that has allowed us to improve and increase our production which allows us to be a successful local business.
What’s your vision for your Kelly’s Doukhobor Foods?
I hope to expand in the future, keep preserving my Doukhobor heritage and going to work loving what I do.