Our kickstarter campaign is now 71% funded with 8 days to go. This is our 3rd story highlighting a Toronto food producer that would benefit from the use of the rental kitchen. Thanks again to Mark Cirillo for guest posting for us. For more information on Mark and the great work he does, click here
Manning Canning talks with the Founder and Chief Foodie of GOOD FOOD FOR GOOD.
When Richa Gupta made a career shift from Fashion to Food in 2010, she was hoping to find more satisfaction by pursuing her passion. “I grew up in a family where we cooked real food three times a day,” she says of her upbringing in Delhi, India. “It is a big part of the culture.”
But working in marketing at a large packaged food company, she often found herself at odds with the direction the industry was going. “Industrialized food companies are looking for ways to make production cheaper and more efficient. They often use additives instead of real food, and preservatives to extend the shelf life. I found I was always pushing against this because I believe food is our natural fuel,” she says.
So in 2013 she quit her full-time job to launch GOOD FOOD FOR GOOD, a social enterprise with a dual purpose: to make real food to people who can afford it, and donate a portion of the proceeds to provide healthy food for people who cannot.
“Every purchase feeds a hungry child,” says Richa. “I chose to partner with Akshaya Patra in India because of their transparency. I know they provide real, healthy meals for the 1.4 million children they help every day,“ says Richa.
Here in Toronto, GOOD FOOD FOR GOOD makes a line of Indian, Mexican and Mediterranean spreads and simmer sauces. All of their foods are additive and preservative free and use predominantly fresh, organic and local ingredients.
“My philosophy is to use the freshest ingredients possible,” says Richa. “Real food is supposed to go bad if it sits on a shelf for too long. Our sauces have an expiry date of about eight to ten weeks from when they’re made; spreads are a little over two weeks.”
To work with such short production cycles requires close partnerships with suppliers like Samsara Fields in Waterford, Ontario, a grower of certified organic produce.
It also requires a lot of kitchen time, and without a reliable long-term solution in place, Richa and her team are struggling to meet demand for their products. In less than a year they have changed kitchen facilities three times.
Having a dedicated commercial kitchen would save a lot of time and effort for the GOOD FOOD FOR GOOD team, energy that could be invested in growing the business. Richa also feels a shift from non-profit to private partnerships will help take her business to the next level.
“Until now community kitchens like Foodshare have worked well for us. But it’s hard to expand using that model, “she says.
“Working with someone like Christine Manning, who has a vested interest in our success and firsthand entrepreneurial experience in our industry, would be very helpful.
“Manning Canning is more than just a resource, I think of it like a long-term strategic partnership.”
To learn more about Good Food For Good, visit their website.
To learn about the Manning Canning Kickstarter campaign to build a commercial kitchen for the Toronto food community, click here.