Ignition Fund winner set to launch product

Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald (left) and Ignition fund 2014 recipient Mathieu Gallant, owner and operator of Island Artisan Cheesehouse stand with Gallant’s newest product, “Squeak-ies”, an Island-made cheese curd snack.

Mont Carmel resident and Innovation PEI Ignition Fund 2014 recipient, Mathieu Gallant is looking forward to continuing the PEI cheese making tradition through his new company Island Artisan Cheesehouse. Commercial cheese making on Prince Edward Island dates back to the 19th century and has been key to the development of the dairy industry and preservation of the Island’s farming culture.

Island Artisan Cheesehouse will make fresh locally crafted and sourced curd cheese snacks for food service and retail outlets. Their first product, “Squeak-ies” will be the only fresh, off-the-shelf snack cheese product offered in the province. It will be ready to hit the market at the end of July, and will be available in various restaurants and farmers’ markets across Prince Edward Island.

Gallant was one of the inaugural recipients of the Ignition Start Up funding grant.  The program was launched in June of 2014 to assist budding entrepreneurs on Prince Edward Island by providing them with a capital investment of $25,000 to help develop their small businesses. With this funding, Gallant was able to turn his idea into a reality by investing in market research and quality control measures.

“With Mathieu’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication combined with Innovation PEI’s support, Island Artisan Cheesehouse is set for success,” said Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Heath MacDonald. “Government remains committed to encouraging small business development and the pursuit of producing high quality food products. This furthers the promotion of our province as Canada’s Food Island, and will help expand Prince Edward Island’s exports and grow our economy.”

After growing up on a dairy farm in St. Timothy, five kilometers from his cheese processing site, Gallant decided he would pursue his passion of creating fine, Island- made cheese. Drawing from inspirations of his Acadian heritage, market research, and techniques he learned while travelling to France and Quebec, Gallant has committed himself to producing a world-class Prince Edward Island product and sharing it with the world.

“Through the Ignition Startup funding program, I am able to provide a first class product and make it accessible to all demographics on the Island,” said Gallant, owner and operator of Island Artisan Cheesehouse. “The Ignition funding has been directly related to my success and has given me access to a better market advantage, helping me becoming a leader in Prince Edward Island artisan cheese manufacturing.”

Innovation PEI is currently accepting applications for 2016 Ignition Fund recipients. The deadline for applications is July 29, 2016. To apply or for more information, visit Ignition Fund.


The Ignition Fund is a competition for entrepreneurs seeking startup funding. Applicants will compete for capital awards to start or expand their business. With this investment of seed capital, entrepreneurs can develop their ideas into tangible and viable businesses.

Innovation PEI will award up to $25,000 to the winning applicants to develop their businesses.
Media contact:
Lucas MacArthur
Department of Economic Development and Tourism

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