Vendor Feature: Haute Foods

I am adding this chili oil onto almost everything that I eat! I like that it doesn’t contain additives or preservatives.

Who is Haute Foods?

1) Why and when did you start this business?

Started my business 6 years ago making it for friends and family and friends of friends. Then 2 years ago when my kids were older I started working with a co packer to redevelop the recipe to make it commercially viable. Launched 6 months ago with new recipe and branding.

I started this from a family recipe (Laos background) that was just hidden away in the back of my cupboard used for one dish only our Laos chicken noodle dish “khao piak”.

Until I met my now husband Peter who first tried the chili oil with Khao piak. He loved how it was actually spicy and of course the crispy garlic bits that’s actually the star of the chili oil. He started eating it with everything and so did I then we realized it could be eaten with almost any types of cuisines out there. So he encouraged me to share it with people. I’m the type of person who loves cooking for people and hosting dinners so I thought sure why not.

2) What is your background?

My background is Laos/Vietnamese. Prior to having kids and being a stay at home mom for 6 years I was serving at some restaurants in Vancouver. So I’ve always liked the food industry seeing people enjoy their food.

3) What is special about your product?

My product only has 3 ingredients but what makes it special is the crispy garlic chips that stays crispy! Our products all have no preservatives, additives or sodium. I like to say we’re an enhancer to food. It doesn’t take away from the food it complements it with spice and bits of garlic throughout without changing its flavours.

4) Finally, what else do you want to share?

Although my chili oils background is from Laos I see the chili oil as universal for all ethnicities which is why I love it so much! It can go well with all types of food without taking away from the original dish. Another thing is the name Haute and why I chose it. It’s actually really simple. One because it’s actually “Hot”. My OG one was the first one I made which is really spicy compared to a lot of chili oils on the market. Second reason was I perfected the recipe to look as good as it tastes. That’s why it’s “Haute”.

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Vendor Feature: Justo’s Plant-based Dips

I was very impressed at how delicious these plant-based dips were! Thank you Justo’s for this gift!

Who is Justo’s?

1) Why and when did you start your business?

In the summer of 2019, Justin was tired of boring hummus flavors sold in single use plastics. With his father being pretty handy in the kitchen, it was his turn to get crafty with food. He created upwards of 40 hummus recipes and would regularly bring them to parties and potlucks to resounding reviews. In response to this positive feedback, Justin, along with his two best friends Adam and Eric, decided to start selling these delicious creations and Justo’s was born!

Instead of starting a business to just turn a profit; all 3 boys were motivated to make a positive impact on the planet and their community. Between the summer of 2019 and the start of COVID; products were sold via an Instagram page, further tested at some winter farmers markets, glass jars with a unique art pattern were designed and purchased, a closed loop return system was developed as well as the “Hummus Helps” program. This program would see one serving of hummus donated to vulnerable populations in their local community for every jar sold.

The summer of 2020 saw a huge season of farmer’s markets, the introduction of a first non-hummus product, their first retail vendors and a chance meeting with now Co-Owner Tyler. From here, things really started to take off!

2) What was your background?

Justin was born and raised on Salt Spring Island with deep values in sport, community, sustainability, and connection to local food. After graduating highschool, Justin left to travel for 2 years to expand his world view. In 2016 he returned to the west coast, landed in Victoria to take up studies at camosun for two years, learning about exercise and wellness. It was after this 2 year program that his values combined with a passion for entrepreneurship, and Justo’s was started.

Born and raised in Calgary, Adam moved to Victoria in 2016 after completing his first year of university to attend the University of Victoria. Graduating from the Gustavson School of Business with a Bachelor of Commerce specializing in entrepreneurship, Adam brings his experience in sales, digital marketing, advertising and web design to the Justo’s team.

Eric was born in North Vancouver, and moved to Vancouver Island at the age of three, where he was raised in many different locations on the island, predominantly in the Comox Valley. As a child, Eric grew up with a very active, outdoor lifestyle, where he would be spending almost every weekend skiing, fishing and hiking with his parents. He was also invested in many team sports, and played competitive hockey as an older teenager. Eric also took to academics throughout highschool, particularly math and physics. He even took an eye to entrepreneurship, and started a side hustle in highschool, catching and selling the invasive american bullfrog species to his highschool for dissections. Once graduated, Eric began studies at the University of Victoria, and eventually graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Tyler was born and raised in Adelaide, Australia. He excelled in both sports and academics as a child. Initially working as an accountant with KPMG straight out of High School, he changed lanes as a late teen and pursued a career in sports. Once injuries ended that dream he went from a Personal Trainer at a gym, to a Salesperson, to a General Manager within the same business. Already having his Bachelor of Commerce, he then completed his Master of Business Administration (partly abroad in Germany). Before moving to Canada at the start of the pandemic, Tyler was an Executive Manager for Aldi Stores Australia. He also founded a mental health awareness initiative; a cause very close to his heart.

3) Any interesting facts about your product?

All Justo’s products are 100% natural. They are plant-based, gluten and artificial preservative free, and made using some up cycled ingredients from our production processes. All the recipes were created by Justin himself.

Our Plant-Based Alternatives were inspired by minimizing waste; we upcycle the aquafaba from our hummus recipes into all our other dips including our Ranch, Queso and Tzatziki.

4) Finally, anything else you would like to share?

To date; Justo’s has recovered and reused over 14,400 jars and donated over 4,100 lbs of hummus to charity.

We are a 1% for the Planet member; proudly supporting the Plastic Credit Exchange and our “Hummus Helps” Program has evolved into our 1% for the People initiative.

We are a certified B-Corp member. It was an 8 month iterative process that helped shape our business to create the greatest, long lasting impact as possible.

Check them out!

https://linkin.bio/justos-ca

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Vendor Feature: Meme Urban Farm

Who is Meme Urban Farm?



1) Why and when did you start your business?

We are an Urban/Vertical farm in Richmond, B.C. We envision great potential and future possibilities in the Microgreens farming business.

Meme Urban Farm’s mission:
Educate the public about the health and benefits of Microgreens.
Provide affordable, healthy, great tasting Microgreens for the public.


2) What was your background?

The owner, Edwin Wo, is a chef with over 15 years of experience and has used many different Microgreens in culinary use. He has a full knowledge of different uses and applications of Microgreens for different types of Food & Beverage establishments.


3) Some interesting facts about your product?

Did you know NASA is studying and testing to grow microgreens on Mars and space station as a sustainable food source?

Also microgreens can contain 4-40x the nutrients of its mature counterpart!

Microgreens the main difference between farms is:

(a) the way they are grown, for example, hydroponic versus aeroponics

(B) the varieties each farm will grow

(C) the quality and freshness of the product.


4) Anything else you would like to share:)

Lastly the “Meme” in our company name is the first letter to our family members. So come by to say “Hi” to the entire “MEME” team.

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Congee As Comfort Food

During the winter months, congee was the most common food that I liked to order to keep out the cold. Some of the most common items that I liked to add as toppings would be green onions, meatballs, and my favourite, salted egg.

What would be your comfort food?

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Sweet Potato Sweet Soup

This dessert is great for the winter months, has ginger for warmth and digestion, while sweet potato has fibre.

Ingredients:

5 sweet potatoes

3 pieces of ginger

1 stick of (冰片糖)brown sugar in slabs or sticks

Method:

1) Wash and peel the potatoes. Leave in the water to prevent browning.

2) Pour about five cups of water into a pot.

3) Peel and slice the ginger thinly.

4) Cube the sweet potato and toss into the water with the ginger. Bring to boil.

5) Turn down to medium after boiling. Cook for 20 minutes.

6) Once the sweet potatoes are softened, Place brown sugar in and stir until melted.

7) Serve!

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Lunch Time: Kimchi With Tuna Salad Sandwich

Running out of ideas for my lunch meal, I decided to dig around my fridge for some inspiration. While I toasted my slices of more-than-a-day-old bread in my air fryer, I found a container of tuna salad that was left along with some lettuce. This was good enough for a quick bite! Perfect! Then, I noticed that some kimchi was hidden under the lettuce. The spicy kimchi would add some spice and extra flavour to my sandwich!

What is kimchi?

“Kimchi, a staple food in Korean cuisine, is a traditional side dish of salted and fermented vegetables, such as napa cabbage and Korean radish, made with a widely varying selection of seasonings, including gochugaru, spring onions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal, etc. It is also used in a variety of soups and stews.”—-Wikipedia

Ultimately, I had a delicious lunch that day!

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Recipe Idea: Mini “Tacos”

These delicious bites were made by a lovely elderly lady for a toddler’s birthday. She was able to refill the plate quickly as the guests devoured them.

Ingredients:

Small tortilla chips

Mashed avocado

Grape tomato halves

Shredded cheddar cheese

Method:

1. Scoop a bit of the avocado into each cup

2. Sprinkle on some cheese

3. Top with a tomato half

4. Serve

Have you tried something similar?

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Reblog Feature: Hummus Pesto and Tomato Puff Pastry Tarts (Vegan GF-Option)

Flaky, puffed and delicious golden pastry tarts filled with creamy hummus, fresh pesto and lots of juicy tomatoes. These mini tarts are a simple …

Hummus Pesto and Tomato Puff Pastry Tarts (Vegan GF-Option)

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Reblog Feature: Easter is Here! How About Some Italian Ricotta Lemon Cake

Easter is here! How about some Italian Ricotta Lemon cake. I made this recipe for my cooking blog, Giangi’s Kitchen, and decided that I should share …

Easter is Here! How About Some Italian Ricotta Lemon Cake

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Art Inspiration: Tulips In The Spring

Quietly peeking through

The soft soil

First the leaves

Slowly unfurling

Then the flower

Begins to bloom

Under the warm

Glowing sun

Beneath a layer of

Morning dew.

—-Chocoviv

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