On the last page of every issue of Industry West, we find a Saskatchewan business person to answer our version of the Proust Questionnaire. Marcel Proust made the questionnaire famous, believing that 35 specific questions could reveal a person’s true nature. We grabbed this idea—you’ve probably seen it in Vanity Fair—and made our own version. The first five questions are ours, and then we ask our business person to pick their favourite Proust questions to answer.
Meet Holly Laird, owner of Regina’s Nosh Artisan Edibles and newly-elected Regina Farmers Market board member. Holly’s first product—Grassfed Gummies—debuted at the Regina Farmer’s Market in 2015, made with fresh juices, grassfed beef gelatin, unpasteurized local honey, and nothing else.
- Where are you from? “I was born and raised in Regina.”
- Where did you attend school and what did you study? “I obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Regina. My major was English and my minor was Sociology.”
- What is your career history? “My most recent tenure was at Access Communications Co-operative. I started there selling cable door-to-door while I was in university. Over the decade I spent there I held several positions from marking underground cable lines, to the assistant to the Vice President, and finally I found my place in the Engineering Department. It may seem like a strange place for an arts graduate to spend time but I think they appreciated someone with a different perspective who could also proofread their correspondence for them.”
- What is the best piece of business or career advice you have or have been given? “Try. Fear of failure is paralyzing but when you get past it and do try to create something of your own it truly is very rewarding to watch it grow. And if you do fail, learn from it and try again.”
- What’s your favourite thing about Saskatchewan? “Summer. Gardening, bare feet, sunshine, beach days, farmer’s markets, road trips, Regina Folk Fest, backyard bonfires, camping. Yes, please!”
- What is your idea of perfect happiness? “I’m not sure I believe in “perfect happiness” but I do try and recognize and savour the happy moments in my daily life. There are moments in every day that fill me with so much gratitude. A few things that consistently make me happy: my family, my work (and the people I get to meet at the market), chocolate sponge toffee crumbled on vanilla ice-cream, beach days, and puns.”
- What is your greatest fear? “A zombie apocalypse. I have zero survivalist skills and I’m not a very fast runner so my brains would be lunch in no time.”
- What is your greatest extravagance? “I spend a lot of money on food. I aim to gather the most clean and healthy things I can to nourish my family. I exclusively buy our meat from a local farm that has healthy, grassfed animals. We love local vegetables, pastured eggs, and fresh sourdough bread from the Farmer’s Market. I don’t live a very extravagant life but food is the place where I will splurge and get the good stuff.”
- What or who is the greatest love of your life? “Can I choose 3? I get to share my days with my 2 boys, Fynn and Soren, and my husband Darryn. They are all kind, generous, funny, amazing human beings and I am incredibly lucky that they are part of my life. I love each one of them completely.”
- What is your most treasured possession? My grandmother loved to cook and it definitely made a big impact on me and resulted in my love of good quality and homemade food. One Christmas she gave me a handwritten cookbook entitled “Holly’s Little Book of Nanny’s Recipes” that has a picture of the two of us on the front. It contains all of our family recipes and many little notes and tips on how to get good results. It’s really very special to me.”