Gerard’s Specialty Foods Ltd. is a family operation, started in Lake Cowichan in the summer of 2012. Our Founder, President and CEO, Gerard Burg (Gerry) was a Master Pastry Chef, with over 60 years experience and actually developed his concept of ‘beef strudel’ in his native country, the Netherlands.
He was born in 1934 and lived in Holland during the Nazi occupation. He began his training at the age of 14 years. By the age of 19 years, he won First Prize in the prestigious Brussels Fair, with a 5 foot chocolate and sugar statue of a bull fighter on horseback and a bull. Gerry went on to Africa where he was a Chef on the famous Blue Train. Meanwhile, his family has emigrated to Canada; he joined them in 1958 and quickly acquired his first job as Chef in the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. He went on to own three companies, taught at Georgian College and finally moved to Vancouver Island in 1998.
He continued with his craft, creating breathtaking wedding cakes, crafted in the old style of European masters. (some of his amazing cake samples are still on display in his office.) But he had always dreamed of creating a business with his delicious strudels and with the help of family, he finally pursued his dream in Lake Cowichan.
Gerry’s brother-in-law is our Vice-President, Graham Brawnell. Born in Vancouver, he grew up on a cattle ranch in B.C.’s Interior. He eventually owned Tinit Manufacturing and from this business he gained manufacturing knowledge to Gerard’s’. He is in charge of Inventory, Shipping and Receiving.
Secretary-Treasurer and Office Manager is Gerry’s widow, Glenda, who brings organization to our company. She has had a varied career, including real estate and civic celebration management. She has written a book about her family’s adventures on their cattle ranch.
Glenda’s son, William Osborne, who was trained by Gerry to assume the leadership, is now our President and CEO. He joined the company with an interest in franchising our company in the future. He was our Director of Sales & Marketing.
William’s partner, Dana is our Director of Product Development and is currently overseeing Sales and Marketing until we appoint a replacement.
Gerry’s twin, Father Joseph Burg, has joined our Board of Directors.