We are a producer of artisan quality vegan stews that are delicious, nutritious and very convenient to use. They make perfect quick lunches at work and provide nutritious options for those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking.
Our story began when we started paying attention to the high carbon footprint associated with the food we eat. In Canada, the bulk of prepared South Asian foods on the shelves of our grocery stores are imported; they are flown and shipped in 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 a good curry. We sit on some of the most fertile lands in the country with a vibrant agricultural industry. The ingredients are readily available at our doorstep. It just made sense that products like ours could and should be made locally.
So, we did something about it by becoming business partners! We are Seema Pabari, a marketing professional, and Hubert D’Mello, owner of Udupi Palace, an established vegetarian restaurant in Toronto’s India Gerrard Bazaar. We put our heads together, along with our resources, to figure out how to bottle protein-rich vegan stews made with ingredients you can pronounce and recognize. But first, we needed recipes that would resonate. So we spent a couple of years running a lunchtime tiffin delivery service in downtown Toronto.
Once we narrowed down our best-sellers, our next challenge was to figure out how we could get them from our kitchen to grocery stores and to your home in a jar. We did not want to freeze them or use excessive salt and preservatives. So we borrowed a pressure canner from a friend and started experimenting with the shelf life. We debuted the jars at various Toronto farmers’ markets in 2014. Within weeks, we returned the friend’s pressure canner and invested in larger ones of our own because we were selling out at each market! The scramble was intense but it was a good problem to have.
We continued to listen to our customers and refined the recipes and labels several times before we felt “retail-ready.” In the fall of 2015, when farmers’ markets started winding down for the season, we reached out to independent grocers in the neighbourhoods surrounding the farmers’ markets. And they were only too delighted to carry a product line customers were familiar with. And from there, we have grown our retail presence one store at a time.
The tiffin lunch service had become quite beloved with regulars. But we had to pick our niche. So we gave it up in 2016, along with farmers’ markets. And here we are today!
Tiffinday stews are made with produce from small and medium-sized local farmers during Ontario’s growing season. We make them after hours in Udupi’s kitchen where their chefs carefully nurture them by hand, churning out artisan quality small batches using techniques that are just like home-made. And in a nutshell, that’s what our business is all about:
Local jobs, supporting a local economy to make delicious food for you to enjoy close to home.
Business With Purpose
As a Certified B-Corporation, Tiffinday has made a pledge to conduct business with respect for people and the environment and to be the change we seek in the world. We take this pledge to heart. Our commitment to using sustainable packaging, reducing plastic in our supply chain, paying fair wages and keeping our manufacturing local, are all part and parcel of upholding these principles.
You participate in this mission, too when you select our products. Each jar sold helps us make a contribution to feed a needy person in downtown Toronto. And by choosing a vegan meal, you reduce the amount of harmful Co2 emissions from entering the atmosphere.