It’s somewhat fitting Carlos and Sandra Flores are the first to share a table with a handful of guests for our inaugural Table Talk. After all, it was only two years prior when Carlos strolled into our Brunch with his first-ever batch of his ‘insane’ hot sauce. Carlos says he brought his ‘insane’ sauce with him that day because someone had asked to try it — they loved it — and since then, he and Sandra have continued to hand produce, package, distribute and market what has now become No.7 HotSauce for the very same reason they started, someone had asked to try it. Read more
Maria and Agatka Summer 2014
Shot by Conor M. O’Brien
“FoodShare and other Ward 18 food leaders such as Community Food Centres Canada, the Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market, and The Depanneur have shown the exciting potential of good, healthy food, urban agriculture, and food entrepreneurship. It is a way to improve the health and sustainability of our ward, to encourage new local jobs and economic activity and to bring our community together.” — Alex Mazer, Ward 18 Candidate for Toronto City Council 2014
Hosting a pop-up is too expensive
Having to set up all the infrastructure for a pop-up from scratch: venue, kitchen, dining room, promotion, tickets, staffing, etc. is incredibly time/resource intensive. This limits who gets to cook/host.
Attending a pop-up is too expensive
The high setup costs drive up the ticket price; this limits who gets to attend.
Pop up culture lacks diversity
As a result, there ends up being a strong bias toward the same kind of people (e.g. privileged white guys) doing the majority of the cooking/eating and defining the aesthetic/ethos of pop-up culture. Read more
The Dep rents out its kitchen by the hour to people who need inspected, commercial kitchen space to prepare their food; it is available on weekdays.
(Note: on Mondays and Fridays, the kitchen is only available up to 3pm). Read more
Field Sparrow Farms has taken on the vegetable delivery service that was formerly provided by Kawartha CSA. They are offering a winter veggie box subscription that will run every other week from January 16 to May 22. The subscription will include 10 deliveries of 20 lb. boxes of healthy, naturally-raised vegetables sourced primarily from the Amish community in the Kawartha Lakes region. Read more
The Depanneur’s rental commissary kitchen is now available for full day rentals MONDAYS.
We are looking for people who want to commit to a monthly schedule until the end of this year. The rental includes a proportional share of the available cold and dry storage space:
$375/month for 1 full day a week (MONDAY)
+HST + share of Hydro
Last month’s rent required as a deposit.
Feel free to contact me for more details and to book a viewing.
In addition to our regular public events like our Drop-In Dinners, Supper Clubs and Workshops, The Dep also runs a shared commercial kitchen space for independent food entrepreneurs. We have shared the facilities with great local culinary talents like Spice Girl Eats, Bawang, BOOM Pickles, The Daily Dumpling Wonton Co., Cookie Martinez, Nice Buns Bakery, Roots of Health Nutrition, and Santo Pecado Mexican Catering. The wonderful Alchemy Pickle Company also got its start in our space before moving on to her own kitchen.
Situated below The Dep, the kitchen has a commercial convection oven, an electric stove, several refrigerators & freezers, a deep sink with spray hose, washroom, lots of prep space, etc.
Members of the kitchen co-op meet every 6-8 weeks to help with a deep clean of the space. Renters are expected to have their Food Handler’s Certificate, and I also strongly recommend people have their own insurance in addition to the basic package I have for the Dep.
The Depanneur model focuses on how to provide quality food at a reasonable price, all while working to engage the local community in a variety of ways.
by Shauna Trainor | May 9, 2013 | Toronto Guardian (formerly Toronto Is Awesome)
I believe all of us have seen the power of food in bringing people together – creating conversation and fostering community – whether family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, or strangers. The Depanneur is working to implement a potentially disruptive business model to leverage the power of food in bringing together and strengthening the community.
RedefiningTO highlights the people, projects, programs and places making a difference in Toronto and beyond. We hope that sharing these stories will inspire you to join the ranks in redefining Toronto for the better.
At a recent Pecha Kucha, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet one of the brave presenters, Len Senater, who shared the story of his unique west side restaurant The Depanneur, located at 1033 College St. The Depanneur’s mission is to showcase and inspire culinary talent, to promote innovation in the food sector, and to collaborate with food entrepreneurs as well as existing social enterprises all in an effort “to expand the horizons for food in Toronto.”
The Depanneur (Quebecois for convenience store) was named not only in reference to the fact that the space used to be home to a convenience store, but also because Len believed it was fitting given his view of the food industry in Toronto as “en panne”, or rather, broken.
“There is a real formulaic approach to ‘fine’ dining in Toronto – trendy, flashy, hip, pricy, loud, meat-heavy etc… It’s conspicuous, status-forward, and for and by people with money in a way that doesn’t really interest me. There are lots of reasons for this, including high rents and bureaucratic barriers that raise the stakes so high no one wants to take any real risks. You end up with a lot of derivative, trendy, status-quo stuff, rather than more innovative and creative stuff,” he says.