Food Starter, a not-for-profit corporation funded in part by the City of Toronto and Canada's premier food business commercialization centre, today celebrated its official grand opening with a Flavour Safari held at the centre's 20,000-square foot shared-use production space in Toronto, Ontario.

The event, sponsored by the City of Toronto and SIAL Canada – an international food and beverage tradeshow – featured guided tours of the facility, opportunities to sample products created by Food Starter clients and a presentation that shared details of new industry partnerships which include collaborations with Ozery Bakery, Woodbine Entertainment, Cater Toronto, North York Harvest Food Bank, Bishop Integrated Marketing, and Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian accounting firm, MNP.

2017 marks an exciting year for us at Food Starter as we are about to embark upon new and innovative ways to support up-and-coming food businesses,” said Dana McCauley, Executive Director, Food Starter. “Since our inception in November 2015, we have helped more than 150 companies through specialized programing designed to increase their chances of success in a very competitive market. Partnerships are essential and will help accelerate innovation in Canada's food sector, ultimately advancing Food Starter's mission and creating the future of food.”

Mayor John Tory and City of Toronto officials including Economic Development & Culture Committee Chair, Councillor Michael Thompson, City Councillor Mary Fragedakis, and Councillor Frank Di Giorgio were joined by the Honorable MPP Laura Albanese, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to celebrate the official launch of Food Starter and to share in the celebration of these partnerships.

“In less than two years, Food Starter has helped more than 150 food companies to accelerate their growth and create more than 160 jobs,” said Mayor Tory. “These partnerships represent opportunities to bolster and advance the competitive strength of emerging food businesses. We encourage Toronto's private and public sectors to join Food Starter and its partners as they continue to spice up Canada's food innovation landscape.”

“Innovation is at the very core of SIAL Canada's mission as it plays a significant role in bringing new food products successfully to market,” said Xavier Poncin, CEO, SIAL Canada. “The clients of Food Starter today are paving the way to help shape the future of the food sector. With eight out of 10 SIAL Canada attendees seeking new products and trends, I'm confident we will see many of Food Starter's clients exhibiting their innovative products on an international stage at future SIAL conferences, and possibly receiving a future SIAL Innovation Award.”