Culinary Dreams Do Come True: Chef Ami DiPasquale’s Story!

Being a woman in the culinary industry is rough. I wanted to follow in my grandmothers’ footsteps and learn how to cook. So, in 2009, I enrolled in the Culinary Skills / Chef Training program George Brown College. My class had 20 people in it, and I was 1 of 4 women. I was 20, and didn't know how to hold my knife unlike the others who came to school to refine their skills. I had a slow start.  People told me to give it up and go towards a different career, but I didn't listen.  I dealt with down talk, sexual power tripping, sexism, inappropriate behaviour, and disbelief in my skill…but my love for sharing my heart through cooking kept me going.

My first job at Origin Restaurant in Toronto refined my skills and cooking technique. I came to the job as an apprentice without knowing how to work basic equipment and without ever having worked a dinner service, but the chefs were patient with me. I went from being a oyster scrubber to first cook in my 2 years of employment at Origin. I learned discipline and I learned how to be strong and hardworking…skills that would get me noticed in the future.

I knew after I left that it was my sole goal -- and reason for going through everything I had -- to open a restaurant and own my business.  Be my own boss.  After leaving Origin, I worked as a sous chef at Blue Goose Pure Foods / Common Food in the summer container market at Harbourfront Centre. For the first time, I ran a staff of 12 and created my own menu.  I witnessed people eating my food and appreciating my vision.  I loved it!

To save money, I worked full time, 6-7 days a week and 12-hour shifts, as a junior sous chef at a large catering company. If only the people who told me to quit could see me now!   I headed weddings for 200 people with teams of ten under me. I catered private sit-down dinners for 6. Clients requested my services. The urge to open my own restaurant was becoming more and more pressing.  It would be a tapas restaurant named Ragazza with a Italian Fusion menu.  All homemade with love with a fine dining twist…

However, I wanted a business partner, and that's when -- out of nowhere -- I met Steffen Marin, the chef/owner of Heirloom Food Truck

At that point, I had spent two years in an elite position at the Food Dudes and was making good money.  After meeting Steffen, I quit my job and dropped it all to join him in his vision of promoting local and artisanal cuisine from his food truck.  Steffen’s vision soon became my own vision. We worked together to revamp his menu and make a name for the food truck. Together, we were getting attention with our food, and our love and passion for feeding our customers.

In June 2016, my dream finally became a reality.  I became co-owner of Heirloom.  After 6 years of cooking under other chefs, I finally had a chance to show people what I could do!  We've done catering, private events around the city, and we have worked the summer and winter markets. In 2017, we plan to open our first restaurant together, called Heirloom 2.0, promoting our local and sustainable cuisine, an extension of the food truck.  And I know that my dream tapas restaurant has a place in our future.   

Pretty good for a girl who was told she would never make it in this industry! 

Food for thought: How my co-op at a local eatery led to multimillion-dollar success

By Katherine Murphy, General Manager, Nourish Kitchen & Café,  BCom ‘13

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     Katherine Murphy (left) and Hayley Rosenberg with a signature dish, “CultivateSharing,” made up of local harvest produce, cultured cashew cheese, beet pâté, herb pesto, buckwheat seed bread and house crackers. Delicious! 

Katherine Murphy (left) and Hayley Rosenberg with a signature dish, “CultivateSharing,” made up of local harvest produce, cultured cashew cheese, beet pâté, herb pesto, buckwheat seed bread and house crackers. Delicious! 

When I was first looking for my original co-op job before entering the BCom program at the University of Victoria, I was searching for a restaurant placement, with the idea of finding a business that was small and still in the start-up phase. My secret vision was to help grow the business as well as become involved in the creation of food culture in Victoria. Food has always been the cornerstone of my family and the main way we created connections, taught values and fostered a family environment.

 During that time, by sheer serendipity I met Hayley Rosenberg, the owner of Nourish. Nourish was located at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific in Saanich, had seven tables, casual counter service and a four-burner electric range.  It had been open eight months. With values that echoed my own, Nourish was involved in the local community, harvested some of the vegetables grown on site at the garden centre and was very much in the start-up phase. It was a perfect fit!

Launched with no capital investment, growing Nourish as a business has taken creativity, problem solving and a huge amount of determination every step of the way. From day one I was invited to be part of that growth. My first eight months were intensive and full time.

I began my first semester at Gustavson after those eight months and I remember looking around my class and wondering if anyone else knew just how relevant the course content was. I know for a fact that without my prior involvement in Nourish I would not have taken nearly as much value from my courses. 

Over the winter break, Hayley and I spent each day working our way through the marketing plan, a class assignment I had been given by Professor David Boag. We literally wrote the first official draft of the business plan based on that outline. The business plan allowed us to formulate our vision enough to re-open the following spring with the concept for the restaurant that Nourish has now become.

We now have two bustling locations, one in downtown Victoria and one still situated at the Horticulture Centre in Saanich. The Garden restaurant still has a four-burner stove, but has grown to 50 seats, offers full service,  and regularly sees 150 guests for Sunday brunch. Our inner harbour location sits in a beautiful three-story heritage home where we hope to host workshops and conferences, as well as fill our open and airy dining room with happy people. We have 35 employees between the two locations and I have been fortunate enough to grow with this ever-changing and exceptional business. (If you haven’t heard of us, visit Nourish visit  to get a sense of just how far we’ve come.)

At 25, I find myself the general manager of a multimillion-dollar small local business. Throughout my time at Gustavson, the single most valuable part of my education was the hands-on experience that I gained through my co-ops. There is no doubt in my mind that if I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to be a part of this business from the beginning I would be in a very different stage of life now. 

This story, reprinted with permission, originally appeared in Business Class Magazine, a publication of the Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria.    Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services.

For Steffen Marin, Heirloom is a Labour of Love that is Paying Off

By Kyle Rooks

Steffen Marin (Artisanal Culinary Arts ’14, Fanshawe College) didn’t know it at the time, but enduring a bone-chilling winter working as a junior sous-chef at an Italian restaurant in Saskatchewan planted the seed for what is now growing into a successful and rewarding career.

“It was a terrible winter. I’m talking a total accumulation of over 100 centimetres of snow and temperatures as low as -50 degrees with the wind chill,” recalls the 22-year-old native of Mississauga, Ontario. “But it was a great experience because it pushed me to learn more and see beyond frozen boxes of meat ... to appreciate the importance of fresh food.”

It was that simple, yet powerful, recognition about the all-too-frequent lack of fresh food options that led Marin to realize his dream earlier this year of opening Heirloom, a Toronto-based food truck featuring a bold menu of fresh, locally-sourced food. “(Opening the food truck) is something I wanted so bad I could taste it,” says Marin, the sole-owner and chef, who had been working on the project for two years. “In the beginning I kept quiet about it because many people would have thought I was crazy.”

“I refused to let it go,” he says. “I wanted to pursue something that wouldn’t just help me grow as a cook, but also contribute to the field.”

His dream began to take shape when he enrolled in Fanshawe’s Artisanal Culinary Arts program, a unique one-year graduate program focused on a holistic farm-to-table approach to cooking that promotes local, seasonal and sustainable food production.

“When I came to Fanshawe, I didn’t even know how to hold a knife,” says Marin, who had previously graduated from Fanshawe’s two-year Culinary Management program and would later complete the Advanced Baker/Patissier program. He explains how daily field trips to farms around the region, getting his hands dirty working the on-campus vegetable garden and exploring his creativity in the kitchen – including a co-op at Calgary’s CHARCUT Roast House studying under one of Canada’s top chefs – gave him the knowledge, connections and confidence to pursue his passion.

“The faculty are like family to me because they showed me how to succeed,” he says. “I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without that program.”

Marin grows over 50 organic heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables in four garden plots – including a small plot in the backyard of his mother’s townhouse – and sources his meats, cheeses and other ingredients from local farmers and artisan producers around the Greater Toronto Area.

As a new entrepreneur committed to sustainable food, Marin’s focus is on growing strong relationships with those suppliers. “The most important aspect for me is connecting with local farmers and growing with them as I grow in the business,” he says.

While Marin admits his hands are full – between gardening, preparing the menu, and other day-to-day realities of small business ownership – he recognizes that it’s the quality of his food and the concept it represents that separates his product from traditional food truck fare. “At the end of the day, my customers can tell the difference,” he says. “Even though deep fried fish tacos are really good, there’s a big difference in terms of the quality and sustainability of the food.”

It’s a labour of love that’s paying off.

When he debuted Heirloom at the Field Trip at Fort York music and arts festival in June – serving up homemade chorizo sausages and braised lamb shank sandwiches – it took home the title of best new food truck. Aside from that recognition, Marin says what made the weekend special was seeing children run up to touch the carrots and other vegetables that adorn the side of the truck. “What I’m excited about is how the truck and my food can start a conversation, with people of all ages, about local farms and the importance of promoting sustainability within our environment,” he says. “I want to help further the knowledge of the great things that can be grown in Ontario.”

Heirloom’s early success has caught the attention of some festival organizers. Despite finalizing vendors months in advance, some organizers made last-minute exceptions after Marin sent a photo of the truck and an explanation of what he brings to the table. “They want to offer their customers something different,” he says.

In its inaugural season, Heirloom appeared at 35 events including an eclectic range of concerts and multi-day festivals. This fall, Steffen plans to spend three months backpacking around Europe helping farmers work their land and hopefully bring back ideas to improve his operation. “I still have so much more to learn,” he says.

Next year, he plans to hire his first employee and take Heirloom onto the streets of Toronto. He looks forward to what the future holds. “It can only get better and better,” he says, with a nod to his Fanshawe roots. “When I talk to the customers about my past and how I got here, Fanshawe always comes up first. That’s where this all started. It’s the best decision I’ve made yet.”

 

Reprinted with permission from Fanshawe College Alumni News.   All rights reserved.

Healthy Balance with Tara Antle

By Mariana Hernández-Hernández, WorkStory Ambassador at Memorial University

Tara Antle’s work story is an excellent example of initiative, proactivity, and of how one experience (whether it be volunteering, work or school) can take us to the next one. Her work story also shows us how it is possible to do what we love as a job and even turn it into an entrepreneurial endeavour.

Tara is a Nutritionist whose weekly activities include private nutrition consultations, providing grocery store tours, hosting kitchen parties, giving cooking lessons, and organizing seminars and workplace wellness programs.

She’s also a regular guest on Rogers TV’s Out of the Fog (monthly segment called “Healthy Bellies”), Cross Talk on CBC’s Radio Noon with Ramona Deering, the CBC Morning Show with Anthony Germain, The NTV Evening News and Here and Now on CBC. Moreover, her articles and interviews have been published locally, provincially and nationally in The Telegram, NL Wellness Guide, The Downhomer, Fresh Juice Magazine, Atlantic Law Enforcement magazine and The Newfoundland Herald.

How did she get here?

When Tara graduated from high school in the city of St. John’s, Newfoundland, she didn’t know what type of work she wanted to do, so she took a few years to find herself. She devoted her time to volunteering with Helping Hands and The Community Services Council, working full time in retail, studying General Medical Sciences and taking evening courses at Memorial University of Newfoundland, which eventually evolved to full time General Studies.

Five years after being involved in these activities - and mainly because of her volunteer experience - Tara realized that she wanted to do something related to health care. She chose the Applied Human Nutrition program (BSc.AHN) at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax and was able to transfer all her credits from Memorial University. During her full time studies in Nutrition, she took elective courses in Business, worked as a Residence Assistant, and helped raise funds for scholarships and bursaries with the Alumni Association.

Every summer, Tara returned home to Newfoundland and held different jobs. The summer before graduation, she had the chance to work for the federal Public Works and Government Services as part of their student program, and after university graduation, she was offered a full time position. This experience led to an opportunity working in finance with the federal government in Newfoundland, and it, in turn, led to a government position in Ottawa as a Financial Officer! While working in her new role in Ottawa, Tara studied full time during the evenings at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and earned her Diploma of Natural Nutrition (Holistic Nutrition).

Later, Tara became one of the three Nutritionists that were hired by Shoppers Drug Mart for a pilot project.  She was responsible for the Ottawa region and her duties involved helping build a clientele, developing and delivering health and nutrition seminars in the community, acting as a liaison and team member with local physicians and pharmacists, creating in-store educational displays, and facilitating sampling of products.

After being away from Newfoundland for ten years, Tara decided to move back with the intention of eventually starting her own business. Once in St. John’s, she worked as a Nutritionist for a company for a couple of years and then left to develop the business plan for her own private practice. Seven months later, her dream became a reality as she began Healthy Balance. With more than 15 years of experience, six years of formal education in Dietetics, Holistic Nutrition and Health Studies, Tara’s private practice has been successfully flourishing for the past six years.

When Tara was studying nutrition as an undergraduate student, she was often questioned about her choice and was told by some that she was wasting her time. She stayed firm with her decision, however, and continued doing what she loved. Now, nutrition is gaining more and more attention and is even considered something ‘trendy.’ Today no one would question its importance as a field of study and interest.

When I asked Tara if she had any advice for students seeking the ‘right’ career path, she said: Do what you love and the rest will follow as long as you take the right steps to find an employment opportunity that works for you. Skill sets are transferrable to each new opportunity that exists. Be patient, persistent and keep a positive attitude. Her career path is good proof of that as Tara enjoys her job so much that it doesn’t feel like work!

To learn more about Tara and what she does, check out her website at www.healthy-balance.ca.

 

 

The Love and Art of Baking: Elizabeth’s Story

By Emma Kushnir, WorkStory Ambassador at Western University

Elizabeth Hodgins’ adventure in baking started at Niagara College in the Baking and Pastry Arts program.  There, she learned how to make everything from wedding cakes to French macarons. While going to school, she also worked in the pastry department of Queen’s Landing an award-winning hotel in Niagara-On-The-Lake.   After finishing her program, she returned to her hometown of Perth, Ontario to work at the Fieldhouse Bakery & Takeaway. She has also started doing private pastry work in her own business called Elizabeth’s Pastries.

At the Fieldhouse. Elizabeth works nights as a baker -- making cookies, squares and pastries.  She explains that “Fieldhouse has an emphasis on supporting local farmers, and using natural ingredients in their baking. I personally feel that a product can only ever be as good as the ingredients you use to make it. Therefore the opportunity to work in an environment with people who have a similar philosophy about food is very satisfying. Despite being in the early days of my job here, I already feel right at home and am happy to go to work every day.” As for her future goals, while working at Fieldhouse she hopes to continue to learn and absorb everything she can, as well as be involved  through the next year’s wedding season in the newly launched wedding cakes part of the business.  

There are many special skills involved in the profession of baking.  A crucial one is organization. According to Elizabeth “If you are messy, unorganized, or careless you will not succeed in the pastry industry. Attention to detail is a must. For my current job I think the eagerness to learn and absorb information is also vital.  Multitasking.  Creativity.  And an  understanding of the science of baking…all crucial.”

When asked why she loves baking and her job, Elizabeth explains that it is the perfect combination of art, skill and science. “Pastry is much more than throwing everything in a bowl and turning on the mixer. The order that ingredients are combined and react together, the way you handle your mixture, the final baking or decorating procedure…they all contribute to the finished product. I love the satisfaction of taking raw, basic, ingredients and creating something beautiful, both to taste and to look at! There is a magical world of pastry that most people don’t know exists!”

What inspired Elizabeth to pursue this career?   Family!  Elizabeth grew up in a family with talented baking women and she was by amazed by their ability to make cookies from memory or make beautiful homemade cakes from scratch.  She recalls that she first got really interested in the career at a young age while baking with her grandma and making mini pies from her leftover crust scraps. “Like many have said before me, food is one of the most powerful triggers of memory. Specific smells and tastes often remind us of the most special times that bring family and friends together.  I feel that baking is a timeless art that will only continue to bring people together. I wanted to be the next generation of bringing people together, just with an elevated artistic twist.”

The biggest decision Elizabeth had to make was where her schooling adventure was to begin. She explains, “Nothing in life comes without a few challenges. I think the only real challenge I would say I faced would be my doubt in myself, or my confidence in the ability to make a career from baking cookies. After high school I took two years to travel and decide what I really wanted to do. When some people would ask what I had decided to go to school to study, and I would reply baking, I wasn’t always greeted with complete enthusiasm or confidence that I would succeed. But I decided to prove these people wrong!”                                

Elizabeth’s career advice?   “I think the only thing there is to be said to anyone figuring out what to do, career-wise, is to do what makes you truly happy!  My mom has always been a strong advocate of the ‘do what you love and you will never work a day in your life’ idea. I think that when I sat down and thought about what I loved to do most in my spare time, baking was the answer time and time again. Do what makes you happy, because with happiness comes passion, and with passion you will succeed.” 

Check out Elizabeth’s Pastries Page on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/Elizabeths-Pastries-1479999805659906

The “Kid” Kept Dreaming: A Chef’s Story

By Jesse Baker, WorkStory Ambassador at University of Windsor

Photo credit: Freeman LaFleur

Photo credit: Freeman LaFleur

Curtis Bell is one of those rare young people who decided what he wanted to do with his life shortly after it began. According to Bell, he knew he wanted to be a chef when he was about ten years old. He told his dad that he wanted to go to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) by age twelve, to which his father responded: “keep dreaming kid.”

He did.

Bell’s main source of inspiration came from a chef at The Trinity Grille, a restaurant Bell frequented with his father when he was young, “The chef’s name was Micah, he was there for a really long time and always talked to me about food” Bell recalled. “He also happened to attend the CIA. I think I was also very inspired by my father and his home cooking, as well as taking me out to some impressive restaurants. I was a sponge, and he helped foster my passion.”

Photo credit: Freeman LaFleur

Photo credit: Freeman LaFleur

Bell attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, a school many consider it to be the best culinary school in the country. “I agree with that,” Bell remembered fondly. After earning his associate’s degree Bell decided not to pursue a bachelor’s degree. “My reasoning was that much of the education within my industry is found in the field, not a classroom. During the two years that my peers spent chasing their bachelor’s, I worked my way up in the industry. I was in a well-respected management position by the time they were graduating and entering the field. I think I got the better end of the deal.”

Photo credit: Freeman LaFleur

Photo credit: Freeman LaFleur

Curtis Bell wasted no time. The morning after graduation, he drove out to Montauk, NY, where he had a job waiting for him. “I worked at The Surf Lodge, where I worked into becoming something of a Chef Tournant, which meant I was knowledgeable about all stations and held a decent amount of responsibility. After a summer there, I came back to Denver because I had another job waiting for me [as a personal chef] as long as they liked me. I did a stage, and was offered a job at the end of the night. I was really glad that opportunity panned out.”

As a personal chef for an affluent couple in Denver and an entrepreneur working to build different companies all related to food, Bell describes himself as “almost sickly passionate person when it comes to food”.  He’s constantly working to try new things and learn more about the science and art of food.  Becoming a personal chef was never as aspiration. “Coming up in the industry, it’s not a job one thinks of as a reality, more like a fantasy,” Bell said. The opportunity totally fell in his lap, “and I ran with it”.  He was only 21 then, didn’t feel necessarily qualified, but went for it anyway and got the job. According to Bell that opportunity has opened a lot of doors for him and he is incredibly grateful for it. 

Overall, Bell thinks his success boils down to a few things: Luck, passion/ambition, great social skills and networking abilities, and general technical skills. “The industry is aggressively competitive, so it is absolutely vital you work on being the best you can in all the previously stated categories”.  Future goals include a business that would continue to allow Bell to work in many different culinary facets. The current dream is to get paid to travel in some way, and do something that makes a difference in people’s lives for the better. Bell said he thinks he’s on the right track so far.

Q&A with Curtis Bell:

Would you have done anything differently?

“I could have gone back to Cape Cod to where I did my internship and learned more than at any other job I have ever had. I could have stayed in New York after graduating and worked my way up in that vicious arena of restaurants. I could have stayed working as the Sous Chef of La Tour in Vail. Considering where I am today though, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. No regrets”

Talk about your recent trip to Vietnam and Phocomentary!

“Vietnam. What a trip! I went out there with my great friend Freeman LaFleur and his other half Josie. We had a serious goal in mind: to find the roots and true story of pho, as well as its progression to what we know of the dish today. What we experienced was far more than we expected, and I am forever changed by our journey. The culture and environment of Vietnam is so mind blowing. The people are almost too nice, and the way of life there is impressive.

Chaotic as hell, but they make everything work somehow. I could explain the trip more, but you would be better off watching the  Phocumentary which is  the reason I went to Vietnam. Freeman LaFleur is a very creative entrepreneur and quite talented with a camera. He invited me to be the film’s food expert and help him to find the true story of one of the world’s favorite noodle soups. The motivation to chase the story stems from Freeman and I enjoying pho all the way back when we first could drive and get down to the Little Saigon district of Denver, where we first went crazy for the stuff. Having recently lived near L.A, home of the largest concentration Vietnamese people outside of Vietnam, Freeman ate lots of pho, and realized that no one had tried to figure out where the dish came from. The idea was born as a joke, but became more serious as he found the story to be much more complex than first thought. When he asked me to be a part of the project in January of 2015, I jumped on board immediately. In May, we did a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. Although we were going to Vietnam whether it was a success or a failure, halfway through our trip in Vietnam, the campaign ended a success and our project was fully funded! … The film is now in the process of being put together. I am very happy with the story we found, and I think it will make for a great documentary.”

Talk about Rogue Food Works!

Rogue Food Works is a fun little venture in Denver that my talented friend Dan Gullickson pulled me into. He had an idea to have an underground dinner club where there is only one rule: that we have fun! We have a big party once a month for anywhere from 10 to 40 people. The party usually consists of a crazy meal that is 5-12 courses and quite intricate. We have used it as a platform to experiment and foster relationships with not only the guests, but also local farms and ranches. The whole thing evolves a bit every month, and has been a lot of fun to be a part of.”

Advice for an aspiring Chef?

“I would tell any aspiring chef to ask him/herself how passionate they are about food. This is a very hard industry and you have to commit your life to it. Try not to pick up bad habits, work with a purpose, and never stop learning. Any seasoned chef can tell immediately if you are worth your salt, so you better take extreme pride in what you are doing, or you will be chewed up and spit out.”

Curtis Bell is patiently waiting for the edited version of the Phocumentary, which should be available before the end of 2015. If successful this project could be a launching pad for Bell’s ultimate goal of being paid to travel AND create beautiful edibles around the world!

The Meal Deal: A new social enterprise is providing innovative hunger relief

by Carol Crenna 

Taking their parents’ dictum “Don’t waste food on your plate; there is someone less fortunate” to heart, Derek Juno (BCom ’11), Jeremy Bryant and Andrew Hall (BCom ’11) left their lucrative jobs to launch Mealshare, a social enterprise that partners with restaurants to help feed the homeless.

“At age 24, we considered whether we wanted to continue our current careers for the next 20 years or try something unique that’s in keeping with our values,” says Hall. “We considered opening a restaurant and giving away unused perishable food, but our expertise is in creating partnerships, not running a restaurant.”

Mealshare makes it easy for the public to give not just spare change to a homeless person for food, but a hot, nourishing meal. When dining at a restaurant, you simply choose a Mealshare - branded menu item and the restaurant then provides a meal to someone in need. The innovative concept, which combines corporate social responsibility with the “buy-one-get-one-free” model, has Mealshare covering the food costs of the charities’ donated meals.

As part of the partnership agreement with its restaurants, Mealshare completes all marketing including designing, printing and delivering collateral material, event promotions, and traditional and social media campaigns. The resulting promotion and community relations can translate into financial and community profile gains for the restaurant.

Three years ago, Hall, formerly a tech strategy consultant, and Juno, a retail development manager, completed their BCom specializing in Entrepreneurship from UVic and now share these tasks in Vancouver for the BC market. Bryant, an accountant and UAlberta BCom grad living in Edmonton, directs operations in Alberta.

Launched in late 2013, Mealshare today “shares” approximately 8,000 meals per month—1,000 each in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton, and 4,000 internationally (half of the meals are distributed through a Third World charity). By summer this number is expected to double with six new restaurant partners already slated in BC and Alberta.

Mealshare currently works with 40 restaurants: 15 in Victoria, 12 in Calgary, eight in Vancouver and five in Edmonton. The non-profit organization chooses non-denominational, solution-oriented charity partners. “Someone comes in the door for a meal, but then has the opportunity to get job training, counselling or just a shower to help get their life back on a better track,” explains Hall. “If we help support meal costs, charities can spend more time and money on these initiatives.”

For example, The Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre found that after only seven months, Mealshare’s donation covers a day’s worth of meals and made a significant difference in its fundraising budget. 

“Approximately one-million Canadians get food support each month and eight-million Canadians dine out each day. If we can turn some of that dining out into helping out, there is an incredible opportunity ahead of us.”

This story, reprinted with permission, originally appeared in Business Class Magazine, a publication of the Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria.    

   
PS…Mealshare is also now in Toronto!

Becoming a Chef and Catering Entrepreneur: Tyler’s Story

Like a lot of us, Tyler found work that is a “perfect fit” only after life took a few twist and turns…personal, geographical, and professional.  Now a Red Seal chef and catering entrepreneur in Calgary, he loves what he does and seems confident he always will!

Shannon Sutherland Smith shares Tyler’s inspiring culinary and entrepreneurial story!

“Tyler Handy took the first tentative steps down his career path at the tender age of 14, working at a Burger King in Ontario to support himself while trying desperately to keep his head above water in a tourist town known for its world-famous waterfalls and affluence.”

Read more about the Red Seal program and Postmedia’s terrific Trades Alberta series