ADVOCACY & RESEARCH - SELECTED PROJECTS
Dishing Up Toronto with the
Dishing up Toronto is a community-led program in partnership with caterToronto and Culinaria Research Centre at the University of Toronto under the Toronto Ward Museum. Since 2016, this program has featured a number of virtual and in person events, tours, and projects that help to bring local migration stories to life through food to share critical reflections around identity, migration, citizenship, home, belonging, and insecurity among other factors that have impacted the food we consume in the present day.
Take Home Dinner Fundraiser 2020:
The Black Creek Community Farm Take Home Dinner Fundraiser was organized in partnership with local chefs, cooks, and caterers to provide multi-course dinners in order to raise support for ongoing food justice work in the Jane and Finch community. As a partner for the event, caterToronto has continued to support the Farm through Vanessa Ling Yu's participation as a chef for the event and as a member of the BCCF Steering Committee by providing ongoing organizational support.
TRAINING - SELECTED PROJECTS
Better Food Work Consortium:
The program consortium — comprised of Dixon Hall, caterToronto, and CRC Fred Victor — called the Better Food Work (Sustainable Food Sector Training Program) is a sector-focused career development program equips participants who are moving closer to the labour market - including: women, older workers, and newcomers/new immigrants with requisite employer-informed/in-demand technical and employability skills in order to connect to employment/training opportunities in the Food and Beverage sector.
caterToronto has been coordinating with its partners for over 3 years by providing in-class/online/hands-on learning, wrap-around supports, employer engagement, job development, paid work as well as access to space, loans/stipends, and supports to program participants.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE - CATERING (ON PAUSE)
caterToronto offers three main services to our membership:
Training and access to commercial kitchen rentals.
Business, administrative, and technical supports.
Feasible and feast-able market opportunities.
Our mixed-model composition has provided support to over 50 community-based caterers representing over 160 motivated individuals frequently living in low-income neighbourhoods. A few have progressed into their own commercial kitchens, some with retail storefronts; but the majoirty find the rental kitchens are a great option to produce food and beverages sold at farmers' and arts markets, and served at various celebrations, meetings, weddings, and conferences. Our current membership roster includes racialized women who are food entrepreneurs originally from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Mexico, South Korea, and Zimbabwe.
Many caterers within our network utilize rental kitchens to produce food and beverages to sell at farmers' and art markets throughout the city, as well as celebrations, meetings, weddings, and conferences. We help connect caterers with these opportunities.
We help our caterers with all kinds of issues, from figuring out a profit model, managing and administering their business, alongside dealing with technical and practical issues in the kitchen.
When you're starting a catering business, you may not know where to look for commercial kitchens or professional training. We provide our caterers with access to commercial kitchens and the training they need to get started.