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Jean Paré Collection

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Photo of Company's Coming cookbooks on shelf

The Jean Paré Collection consists of approximately 6700 volumes, which formed her own personal library. Paré also donated copies of Company's Coming publications (approximately 200 volumes), as well as her fan mail correspondence which includes copies of all her replies.

Jean Paré, C. M. was born on December 7, 1927 and is a Canadian caterer, author of the Company's Coming cookbook series, and founder of Company's Coming Publishing Limited. Jean Paré self-published her first cookbook at age 54 entitled 150 Delicious Squares and it sold out it's original 15,000 copies in less than six weeks. This success marked the starting point of her Canadian culinary empire. She is one of the top selling cookbook authors in the world, selling over 30 million copies of the over 200 cookbooks she wrote prior to her retirement in 2011. In 2004, she was made a member of the Order of Canada.

The Company's Coming titles were popular with Canadians for a number of reasons. Paré decided to make the books easy to use by opting for a spiral bound book rather than traditional binding so that they would lay flat allowing the cook to look at them while they followed the recipe; she also insisted on pictures for every recipe that were well labelled. Paré had her books displayed in grocery stores, which had not been done before. The recipes were practical and used techniques and ingredients that made them accessible to the 'everyday cook'.  These books provide a realistic record of Canadian cooking in the 20th and 21st centuries as these were the books the majority of Canadians went to for inspiration.

Dates

1800-2010

Types of Materials

  • Published Material
  • Unpublished Material and Manuscripts

Extent

Approximately 6700 books (published and unpublished), magazines and pamphlets.

Approximately 2.8 m of textual materials

How to Access This Resource

Appointments are required to view this material and can be made through Archival & Special Collections.

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