A globalized economy has resulted in a very high carbon footprint for most foods we consume. In Canada, the bulk of prepared South Asian foods on the shelves of our grocery stores are imported; they are flown and shipped in for us to consume, as if we cannot make them here – and we thought this was ridiculous!
Almost every restaurant in Toronto is headed by a highly trained South Asian chef who knows how to make this food; we sit on some of the most fertile land in the country with a vibrant agriculture industry – the ingredients are readily available. It just made sense that products like these could and should be made locally.
So, as business partners and friends, we did something about it. We are Seema Pabari, a marketing executive, and Hubert D’Mello, owner of vegetarian restaurant, Udupi Palace. We put our heads together along with our resources to figure it out. And here we are!
We have come to know our suppliers closely and buy our produce from small and medium-sized Ontario farmers during the growing season; they are the innovators for sustainable agriculture in Ontario and need vital support from businesses like ours.
We work in a simple facility after hours, Udupi’s kitchen, where our chefs carefully nurture the recipes by hand, churning out decent-sized small batches using techniques and ingredients that are just like home-made. And that’s what our business is all about.