New Brunswick

Sussex's Mrs. Dunster's launches 9 new products

The Mrs. Dunster's bakery of New Brunswick is on the cusp of a big expansion outside of the Maritimes.

Sussex bakery released new bread products Monday, testing pastries at Costco stores in Ontario, Quebec

The Sussex bakery rolled out nine new products on Monday. (Mrs. Dunster's/Facebook)

The Sussex-based Mrs. Dunster's bakery is on the cusp of a big expansion that could see more of its products on store shelves outside of the Maritimes.

The New Brunswick bakery is testing its cheese English muffins and crescent donuts at Costco stores in Ontario and Quebec.

"We're hoping that between those two products we get at least one of them in those markets. It would be great news for us," said Blair Hyslop, the president of Mrs. Dunster's, in an interview Tuesday on Information Morning Saint John.

"We try to focus on products that are a little bit different than what everyone else is offering. Our tagline is, 'homemade taste in every bite,' so we're trying to stay true to those old recipes."

That includes the release of nine new bread products Monday at the Mrs. Dunster's retail bakery outlet.

The company launched nine new products on Monday, including round artisan breads, cinnamon raisin loaves, low-sodium white and whole wheat breads, Rye bread, and stone heart products that are dairy and shortening free.

Mrs. Dunster's Donuts is expanding at a time when things in the town of Sussex are tough. The company is growing and thriving, we speak with one of the owners, Blair Hyslop. 9:15

Hyslop said the new bread products are the result of Mrs. Dunster's purchase of Snair's Golden Grain Bakery in P.E.I. last year.

"We make mostly sweet goods in Sussex, and in P.E.I., we have the artisan bread line, and a bread and roll line … it's a compliment to our business," he said.

The Snair's brand is popular on the island and in Nova Scotia, Hyslop said, while Mrs. Dunster's does well in New Brunswick and Maine.

"We're able to benefit from the strength of their brand … and grow the business for the bakery in P.E.I. which helps both bakeries at the end of the day," he said.

Short-term impacts

The company's success comes at a time of uncertainty in Sussex.

Mrs. Dunster's Donuts has more than 400,000 customers in its retail store in Sussex each year. (Mrs. Dunster's Inc.)
Last month, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan announced it was indefinitely suspending its Picadilly mine operation, putting up to 430 people out of work.

Hyslop said his company isn't immune from the economic fallout of the mine closure, given the size of the community.

But he said he believes the area will rebound after the mine closure.

"We're optimistic. We think the people that work in the mine are people who have marketable skills in the province," Hyslop said.

"They have a strong work ethic, they' have good values, and we have the benefit of being very centrally located."

His store, for instance gets up to 400,000 visitors a year in the community of about 5,800.

"It's been a big part of what we do," he said. "Business is growing steadily and we couldn't be happier."

Hyslop and his wife took over the business in 2014.

Their products are now in 600 stores throughout the Maritimes and in Maine.