Demand increases for Saskatoon’s Hanes Hummus amid fight for name
Watch the video above: a hummus maker is doing brisk business after underwear giant issued cease and desist order over name
SASKATOON – Saskatoon hummus producer Yohannes Petros has not yet heard from HanesBrands Incorporated, after the company initially sent him a cease and desist order in December, over his brand name, Hanes Hummus.
Petros’ lawyer attempted to contact the North Carolina-based clothing company weeks ago. The issue made headlines, launching the local hummus maker into a media frenzy.
“It was overwhelming, for sure, and it was right before the Christmas holiday which is a busy time for everyone,” said Petros, who said he named his product ‘Hanes’ after his nickname.
Since the news broke, Petros says he’s received e-mails and handwritten letters from across Canada and the U.S.A, asking him where they could purchase his hummus.
Demand has also increased in Saskatoon.
“Within the store, our sales of his product went up quite a bit,” said Rebecca Dyck, store manager of Dad’s Organic Market. The store was the first to carry Hanes Hummus on its shelves, back in 2009.
“We like to support other local businesses, local vendors, as long as they’re meeting the requirements; we love to have them in here,” added Dyck.
“We definitely give them more priority.”
Petros makes around two batches of hummus a week, each taking him roughly four hours from start to finish. He began making hummus for himself while living in Vancouver.
“Hummus, I started making for myself as a snack,” he said.
“Friends would come over and they appreciated what I was making, compared to what they had before.”
He decided to move back to Saskatoon, where his hummus got discovered at Flint Saloon after his cousin let some of her co-workers test the spread during a lunch break. Petros’ product ended up on Flint’s menu and then later at Dad’s shelves.
“Well before the story broke, people had been buying Hanes Hummus… for the nutritional content, the fact that it doesn’t have preservatives, that it’s locally made, that it tastes really, really good,” said Petros.
He hopes to expand the product to stores across the country, without compromising the hands-on approach he takes when making hummus. On a recent afternoon in the kitchen at The Cave on 8th Street East, Petros constantly mixed and tested his batch of hummus until it was to his liking.
“I still want to taste it every time just to make sure that when it reaches the customers kitchen, or table, or wherever they’re going to be eating it, they’re getting the best thing possible,” he said.
Fans of Hanes Hummus have something look forward to as well; Petros said he’s close to releasing a new flavor in his product line.