Canoe Wild Rice has been making sure you spend more time feasting and less time fussing for more than 80 years. The company has been a family passion from the very beginning, and it continues to flourish four generations later in Aitkin, Minnesota.
Canoe Wild Rice offers the only pre-cooked wild rice on the market. Their unique fresh-roasting process never compromises nutrition or flavor, guaranteeing the natural brightness of newly harvested wild rice without all the prep. Kowalski's is proud to use Canoe's cooked wild rice in all our deli wild rice salads! These products are free of fat, cholesterol, gluten and GMOs and are also a great source of vitamins and minerals.
It all started in the early 1900s, when Peter Ratuski, who owned a small grocery store in Red Lake, Ontario, started purchasing wild rice at 6¢ per pound from the Indigenous people of Ontario. With a growing inventory of wild rice, Peter saw an opportunity to sell this nutritious, flavorful grain and created Shoal Lake Wild Rice, Ltd. When Peter passed the business down to his sons, Ben and Bill, the brothers realized that the demand for wild rice wasn't just seasonal. Shoal Lake Wild Rice bought its first milling equipment in 1968 and went into production year-round.
As business continued to expand, the Ratuskis decided to purchase the Mille Lacs Wild Rice Cooperative in Aitkin, Minnesota – home to the Canoe Wild Rice brand – in 1973. It was later purchased in full by Ben's son Chris in the early 1980s. Chris Ratuski set out to pioneer a new era of wild rice distribution by building a new state-of-the-art mill to fresh-roast newly harvested wild rice. This roasting method preserves all nutrients and flavor while reducing preparation and cooking time for customers at home. It's a daily process that remains unrivaled in the market today, never sacrificing quality.
In 2010, Chris' two sons, Joe and Sam, began running Canoe Wild Rice and the ever-growing Mille Lacs Wild Rice Corporation with their father, carrying forward four generation of wild rice harvesting heritage.
Find precooked Canoe Wild Rice in the Grocery Aisle of your nearest Kowalski's location or try it in our Minnesota Grown wild rice salads in the Deli Department. Selection and availability vary by market.