Sobering Up at the CRFA Show

It’s no secret – well, maybe it is – that those of us in the SOLE (sustainable/seasonal, organic, local, ethical) food scene live in a bit of a bubble. We tend to think of all food as “real” food, made from fresh ingredients, and we tend to frequent restaurants with the same philosophy. But the majority of food service businesses still don’t operate this way. And when I say “food service” I don’t just mean high end restaurants serving artisanal food; food service includes everything from hospitals, hotels, catering companies, school and office cafeterias, sandwich trucks and yes, restaurants, but of all sizes and styles, from little neighbourhood coffee houses to family-style chains and everything in between.

While the philosophy of these establishments may be as different as night and day, they all share some common ground – there are some things they all need to run a successful business: pots and pans, salt and pepper, plates, napkins, dishwashers…

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Starting a Baking Business – It’s Not a Cakewalk

At least once a week we receive email here at TasteTO from someone wanting us to cover some small local food business. The majority of these appear to be bakery-type businesses selling cupcakes, cookies or custom-made cakes. The emails are often referrals from friends or customers, and sometimes come in the form of professionally-written press releases from the business owners themselves.

As we’re always looking to support local independent food artisans, we always check out these leads, and often find professionally-designed websites, gorgeous photos of even more beautiful products, and what appears to be really skillful bakers and artisans wanting to take their hobby to the next level. Unfortunately what we also almost always find is that these businesses are operating illegally out of a home kitchen.

That’s right, I said “illegally”. People who make food at home and sell it to the public are breaking the law, because it is completely and utterly illegal to sell food to the public that has been prepared in a home kitchen.

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