Petra Kassun Mutch
PK Mutch is a serial entrepreneur and former educational publishing multi-national C-suite executive who is deeply committed to creating a more inclusive, environmentally just, human-centered and generative economy. In 2004, Mutch wanted to reinvent the business model and founded The Fifth Town Artisan Cheese enterprise with a vision to create both the greenest dairy in the world and an organization designed from the start to have outsized positive social and community impact.
After 4 years of planning, construction, and ensuring compliance with 9 Ministries and 62 regulatory acts, Canada’s first Platinum LEED certified manufacturing facility and only Platinum LEED dairy in the world opened its doors. The Prince Edward County based 4700 sq ft facility on 20 acres of commercial agriculture zoned land was powered by wind, solar and geo-thermal technology. The facility’s temperature, humidity and C02 levels were constantly monitored by sensors in 17 zones to optimize energy consumption rates. Cheese was aged in underground cement caves (the first of their kind in Ontario). Whey (by product of cheese making and a problematic waste issue for small scale cheese makers) was processed onsite via a three-pond bio-digestion/wetland system, replenishing the site’s water tables with near potable water.
All Fifth Town supplier farms were LFP certified which ensured high environmental impact, organic/locally grown feed, and animal welfare standards were being met. The facility was CFIA, HACCP and ISO 14001 certified. The dairy went from zero sales to $1.5M in 18 months, and its handmade products won over 32 cheese making awards including Grand Champion at the Royal Winter Fair on several occasions. In 2008, Fifth Town became Canada’s 8th B Corporation. In 2009 the dairy was awarded the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation, and in 2010, The Guelph Centre for Food Technology Centre awarded the dairy it’s top Sustainable Enterprise award. The facility also received the Ontario Concrete Architectural Merit Award, WoodWorks: Green Building Award, Design Exchange Staff Choice Award, the Elizabeth Murray Award of Excellence, and the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition Award of Excellence. Fifth Town’s design, engineering and architecture has been featured in several magazines, plus sustainable design text books. It’s business story has been written up by several academic institutions (Guelph, MaRS) as an instructive case study used in various programmes today.
In addition to building Fifth Town, Mutch was also a co-founder and Chair of the Ontario Cheese Society in 2004 which was financially sustainable within two years and grew from a membership of 10 to 163. Mutch also authored the “Adventures in Artisan Cheese” book which sold over 2500 copies in both the U.S. and Canada. The organization played a significant role in advancing goat, sheet, plus on farm and artisan cheese making policy in Ontario.
Mutch exited her dairy business in 2013 with a goal to focus on helping young entrepreneurs launch and grow ventures in the University incubator/accelerator space. Noticing that women and other systemically marginalized but supremely talented people were largely absent from many of these programs and/or spaces, Mutch formed Eve-volution Inc in 2014 to advance inclusivity and equity in startup ecosystems. Eve-Volution is today a B Corp certified, lean, associative feminist enterprise which focuses specifically on unleashing the potential of undervalued and under supported entrepreneurs and innovators by advancing radical and emergent equity and inclusion theories and practices in startup and community-based economic development ecosystems. Partnerships include The Pivotal Point plus New York based Feminists At Work. Recent clients include Ryerson University and Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), the Centre for Social Innovation/Agents of Change Accelerator, the federal Ministry of Industry, Science and Economic Development and Durham’s Community Innovation Lab. Eve-volution also publishes a recognized women-led magazine called LiisBeth.com.
LiisBeth serves as a convener, capacity builder and voice for the growing, 10 000+ all gender, entrepreneurial feminist community. The publication was runner up winner in Canada’s Digital Publishing Awards in 2017 (winner was Toronto Life).
In 2003, Mutch received the Terry McGraw Companies Leadership Award. In 2010, Mutch was first runner up for Woman of Distinction in Eastern Ontario. PK Mutch was profiled in Canada’s 150 Women: Conversations with Leaders, Champions and Luminaries book published November 2017.
Mutch is mom to a 17 year old daughter, Augusta.