Feeding the Foodie Entrepreneurs

One Hop Kitchen

Brothers, Eli and Lee, creating sustainable Bolognese sauce
with alternative sources of protein.

Crooked Tree

Stay-at-home mom turned entrepreneur, Monica creates all natural,
dairy free spreads and crackers.

Jaswant's Kitchen

Jessie (Jaswant) Kular’s family comes together to help create
a line of all natural Indian spice blends.

Local Grown Salads

Zale is looking to provide the technology to locally grow fresh
salads for isolated communities.


Food Starter is a unique business incubator that helps food entrepreneurs realize their dreams by launching new and delicious products. Food Starter was relaunched in 2015 (it was formerly known as Toronto Food Business Incubator) with a new 20,000-square-foot facility in the city’s north end thanks to funding by Toronto Port Lands Company, the City of Toronto and the province of Ontario.

The support of the Food Starter incubator is another way that the Toronto Port Lands Company supports jobs in the City of Toronto. If you think you’ve got a food idea that could use some help to get to market, find out how Food Starter provides a launch pad for discovery, creation and success at www.foodstarter.ca

We recently had a chance to visit some of the foodie startups that have worked with Food Starter.


One Hop Kitchen


Food Starter helps all kinds of food startups – even those that might be a little…unorthodox. And brothers Eli and Lee Cadesky, founders of One Hop Kitchen, certainly have a unique product.

“We make the world’s first and only insect based Bolognese sauce; made with either crickets or mealworms,” says Lee, a food scientist who came up with the idea of making an ecologically friendly protein alternative. “One jar of our Bolognese sauce has as much protein as a beef based sauce, half the saturated fat and saves 1,900 liters of water.”
The Cadeskys sauce debuted at the Green Living Show in Toronto this spring and the positive response was overwhelming.

“It’s been great – we’ve been super busy ever since,” says Lee.

Read more about One Hop Kitchen at www.onehopkitchen.com


Crooked Tree


Monica Roe went from being a busy stay-at-home mom with two kids to running her own business – Crooked Tree Fine Foods.

Monica found it challenging to find ready-made, all natural, dairy free foods – so she just decided to make her own. Partnering with Food Starter, Monica produces spreads and crackers made from tree nuts – mostly cashews and almonds.

“I wanted to produce in a licensed facility,” says Monica. “Along with the physical space, Food Starter provides me with storage, refrigeration and production space. Most importantly it allows me to connect with people in the industry, from marketing professionals to food safety experts – I would not have gotten this anywhere else.”

Crooked Tree provides delicious dairy alternatives that are made with local and sustainable ingredients – and as an added bonus, all the packaging is either recyclable or biodegradable. Their product offers the following: naturally gluten free; vegan; paleo; sugar free; all natural; whole food alternative to conventionally made cream cheese.

Learn more about Crooked Tree Fine Foods at www.crookedtree.ca


Jaswant’s Kitchen


Do you love Indian food? Do you wish you could make tasty and healthy Indian food in your own kitchen, not spend all day doing it and get it right each time? Jaswant’s Kitchen is here to help. Jessie (Jaswant) Kular, a nutritionist, food scientist and mother with 40-plus years of cooking experience, recently teamed up with her three daughters to bring delicious, home-cooked Indian meals to the masses. Recently they found a home for the production of their all-natural Indian spice blends at Food Starter.

“We got a ton of valuable information through the training sessions provided by Food starter that helped us when we were designing new packaging for our products,” says Jessie. “They gave us a better understanding of what retailers are looking for and what suppliers have to offer – the packaging, design, marketing and all of that.”
Jessie and her daughter Nimi have gained valuable experience through the Food Starter Incubation program.

“It’s been amazing,” she says “They have basically taught us how to run a food production facility – a lot of it can be overwhelming. The staff here have been so helpful. Being a part of Food Starter has given us an insight into what steps are needed and what systems have to be in place when you start your own facility, but because we operate out of Food Starter, we can put our energies towards testing new products, do our production and marketing without worrying about managing the facility.”

Learn more about how to prepare Indian food at www.jaswantskitchen.com


Local Grown Salads


Zale Tabakman, the energetic President of Local Grown Salads, has a very simple goal: “We want to create locally grown salads without the use of harsh chemicals, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides.”

And doing just that is not an easy feat – Zale has spent the past four years on his project. Working with Food Starter, Local Grown Salads has become a leader in indoor, hydroponic food production. Zale’s goal is to provide fresh, locally grown salad in communities that might not otherwise have easy access.

“We can take this technology anywhere – put a unit in a geodome or container and you can grow up to 7000 pounds of fresh veggies per year,” says Zale. “That’s the equivalent of one traditionally farmed acre.”

The best part about working with Food Starter? “They’ve introduced us to a whole bunch of different people – they’ve centralized all these different businesses and likeminded entrepreneurs in one space; they bring all sorts of people from all over the world with different backgrounds together and that’s what makes this place so special.”

Go to localgrownsalads.com to read more about how Local Grown Salads combines agriculture and technology for unique results.


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