Arbitrary Food Housekeeping

Company’s Coming, newspapers, and the byline rush

The early stages of a batch of blueberry muffins from Company's Coming Muffins and More. It's a classic.

Given enough time, deadlines and stories churned out, plenty of writers turn cynical about what they do. The repetition of shuffling words from brain to screen by way of fingers, day after day, is a tedious process far less romantic than first-year journalism students believe it to be.

For some writers, a byline quickly loses its magic.

Well, you know what? I’m not one of those writers.

That’s why I’m still awake and writing this, waiting for the thump of newsprint at my apartment door at 4 o’bloody’clock on a Wednesday morning. I can’t help myself. I get a thrill from writing about the things I love, and food is one of those things.

Company’s Coming cookbooks have been a part of my life since childhood. They’re how countless young cooks got their start in the kitchen, watching over a parent’s shoulder, helping mom or dad whip up a batch of scones for breakfast on a sunny Saturday morning.

When I learned that Company’s Coming was going to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of its first publication – 150 Delicious Squares – on April 14, 2011, I jumped at the chance to chat with the people behind the cookbooks. I wanted to learn more about the vision that helped propel them to near-ubiquity in Canadian kitchens. I also wanted to know how their business had changed in the past three decades.

The result of that interview is in today’s Edmonton Journal, along with 6 recipes for brownies from the Company’s Coming archive.

If you don’t live in Edmonton, or if you don’t do the print edition thing, check out the story on the Edmonton Journal website.

A big thanks to Company’s Coming president Grant Lovig, research and development manager Jill Corbett, and creative director Heather Markham for sitting down with me at the Company’s Coming building in south Edmonton to talk cookbooks, and to thoughtfully discuss their business.

If you found this site through my article in the paper, well, thanks for stopping by. Feel free to have a look around, dig through the archives, or look at some pretty pictures. Stay as long as you please, and come back when you wish. The door is always open.

UPDATE!: The paper arrived! The paper arrived! (Jumping up and down.) The story is on page C3, and turns to C4. Look for my GIANT photo of a saucepan brownie surrounded by walnuts and chocolate chips. It was every bit as delicious as it looks.


  1. I read that article in the paper this morning! Great job! That brownie looks sooooooo crazy good! Ok, I’ll stop with the exclamation points now.

    • Thanks! The saucepan brownies were crazy easy to make. It’s basically just a ganache with stuff mixed in.

      The strangest ingredient in the list is the crushed vanilla wafers. Pro tip? Try Bulk Barn. I found a bin full of pre-crushed vanilla wafers there. That’s where I bought most of the ingredients, actually. Bulk Barn has become one of my baking-supply haunts.

  2. Thanks for the tip about bulk barn. Love that place.

  3. Hi Iain –

    Just came across your website after reading your article about my family’s business, Company’s Coming. You’re a great writer! I have a cooking blog, too, about my experiments with my grandma’s recipes. Check it out if you’re interested:

    • Thanks! Your dad mentioned your blog when we got to talking about Company’s Coming and its presence on the internet. I checked it out almost right away. 🙂

  4. I’m so jealous that you talked to some people at Company’s Coming! Those cookbooks have been my favourites for years. I’ve always loved the fact that the ingredients are ones that I usually have in my cupboards. If you’ve always liked “Muffins & More”, you’ll love “Mostly Muffins”. I love making muffins, and my kids and I had our favourites, but now I’ve discovered “Mostly Muffins” and I haven’t tried a recipe that I haven’t liked. They’re all so different from the 1st book, but also so very good! I can’t begin to tell you how much I like those cookbooks. Whenever I was at a loss as to what to cook to dinner, Company’s Coming were always my “go-to” cookbooks. We’re vegetarian now, and alas, I don’t use some of them as much as I used to, but I can usually find gems in most of them. I also checked out your Edmonton Journal article about Company’s Coming and Jean Pare and it was great to catch up on a few things I didn’t know about. I’m sure looking forward to a new title coming out later this year!