About Us

Fred and I are not hard-core Greenies. We do not buy our underwear from the Thrift Store and we do not follow bottle drinkers around chanting "shame".

We do own a Soda Stream and love it. We do compost. And we also use toothpaste far past its expiration date. We used to take our hotel shampoo bottles and soap to the women's shelter but have since learned better.

Maybe that's the best way to describe us – when we know better, we do better. MadMatters has evolved into a manifestation of that. We found better products and want to share those great finds with you.

P E R S O N A L    B A C K G R O U N D

I grew up poor. European poor – that means that we grew our own vegetables, canned them and made our own wine and jam. My germanic parents didn't buy much, but when they did they invested in quality products and took care of them. I learned that saves money, time, energy and consequently happens to be very environmentally friendly. Things that last don't end up in the landfill. Things that last don't need to be replaced over and over again by things that end up in the landfill. In North America, we are taught the opposite. We are taught that we cannot afford quality. I'm living proof that you can.

Fred grew up Mennonite. His family was not poor but Mennonites are frugal. They understand the value of a dollar and their ideology centres around service. While belongings are not idealized, they are cared for and respected as precious gifts. Money is not wasted and neither is time. In Mennonite culture, "handmade" is synonymous with recycled. Traditional quilts are made from the pretty scraps left on worn pyjamas; rag rugs are made from the sturdy strips of pants that can no longer be mended; and rugs are hooked from the wool bits of sweaters and socks that have seen better days.

"Something from Nothing" is the song of our people.

We hope you'll join us... at least for the chorus.


Married since 1984
Fred's has a degree from IVEY
Mine is in German and History from UWO

From 1986-1995 we ran a small desktop publishing and commercial printing business named Port aux Prints. We used vegetable-based inks and recycled papers which were expensive and difficult to source at the time.
At our peak, we employed 12 people, some of whom are still very good friends. Our business placed 11th in the Top Employers in London in 1994 and 3rd in the Chamber's Outstanding Business Achievement Awards.

We really should update our Linked-In profiles and we will, as soon as we can remember our passwords.

Our proudest achievements are our three beautiful boys: Jacob, Nicholas and Sasha. Like any Mom, I could write a book bragging about each of them but I'll slap my hand here and just tell you that Jake and Nick are running our other little business venture out in Kelowna BC. Jake took over as manager of Vacation Foods in 2014 when we moved back to Ontario and he and Nick have grown its sales year after year and get glowing testimonials week after week during peak season.

FYI Vacation Foods is an online grocer/concierge service for skiers and holidayers to Big White, Silver Star and resorts in the Okanagan Valley. Our customers shop from their home country and arrive at their vacation destination to find all of their fresh, local goods unpacked and waiting their holiday kitchens.

Collin and Fiona accompany us to many shows and reluctantly serve as mascots.



All the best to you and yours!

Caroline Wideman
MadMatters, est. 2016 

Proudly serving our collection of eco-friendly "Mats that don't cost the EARTH."