Iconic N.S. sauerkraut brand announces closure, blames pandemic

·2 min read
Tancook Brand Sauerkraut has been made in Lunenburg, N.S., for 75 years. (Tancook Sauerkraut on Facebook - image credit)
Tancook Brand Sauerkraut has been made in Lunenburg, N.S., for 75 years. (Tancook Sauerkraut on Facebook - image credit)

Tancook Brand Sauerkraut, a Nova Scotia staple for decades, is soon to be no more.

Lunenburg-based M.A. Hatt and Son Ltd. posted on social media on Saturday that it had ended production after 75 years as a result of "financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Responding to a CBC News request for details about the cause of the closure, Cory Hatt said "difficult decisions" had to be made and he did not want to discuss it further.

There was an outpouring of support on social media.

Many people said they had grown up with the brand and it was an important part of family meals.

Robert Grantham commented that the news was an "absolute shock."

"You are so much a part of Maritime culture," he said.

"We are devastated. There is no other brand that even comes close to your quality and flavour."

Another person said the company should have received government subsidies to keep the product on store shelves.

Yet another person commented that their parents had immigrated from Germany and said the Tancook brand was "authentic."

Not unusual

News of the closure didn't surprise Arthur Gaudreau, the man behind Halifax Retales, which keeps tabs on businesses.

Arthur Gaudreau
Arthur Gaudreau

Every year there's usually something that closes that's been around a long time, he said, citing Dean's Flowers and Kellys Luggage as examples.

Still, Gaudreau said the product will be missed.

"It's such a very iconic Nova Scotia product," he said.

"To lose something like that is … devastating in a way. It's like a little slice of Nova Scotia dying."

Noting that he doesn't know about the particulars of the business, he said sometimes the pandemic exposed weaknesses that were already present in a business and too hard to overcome.

He is hoping that someone buys the name or the recipe and keeps the brand alive.

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