four fathers toronto

Four Toronto dads have started their own hot sauce line

Four Toronto dads have created their own line of hot sauces as a pandemic side hustle and they'll be taking over a food truck to sell their wares and probably tell dad jokes.

Four Fathers Food Co. was created by Nelson Lemos, Dave Tomasetti, John Pontoni and his brother Dino Pontoni of Pronto Eatery and Catering. All four dads, now all 50ish, grew up in immigrant households with ties to Western Europe, where they learned to respect a good sauce.

Dino, who's been a chef for 30 years, gets the credit for actually coming up with the original Four Fathers sauce, which he's been working on for 15 years.

After trying out the latest iteration of Chef Dino's sauce at a dinner party, the four got together over more than a few glasses of wine and decided to form a partnership.

They started planning the business just before the pandemic in early 2020, and devote their evenings and weekends to working on it. They've funded the business themselves using their savings and a small line of credit.

"We are all working 9 to 5 and 5 to 9 so to speak," says Lemos, who with 20 years marketing experience, is in charge of talking the sauce up. 

They now have cayenne, habanero, piri piri and jalapeno sauces available for $10.99 to $11.99, all made locally.

They officially started selling in December, and they've already sold about 5,000 jars through partnertships with 25 stores across Canada.

The sauces are available in Toronto at La Rose Bakery and Messina Bakery, as well as Cheese Boutique where they're planning to throw a distanced event. 

They'll be taking over the Cheese Boutique food truck that's parked outside the shop on Ripley Ave. on Apr. 10 and 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and they'll be encouraging people to try their hot sauces with some of Dino's, like maple chicken and waffle sandwiches or eggplant parmigiana.

Their kids and wives will be there, and Tomasetti will be spinning tunes for a live dad DJ set.

Lead photo by

Four Fathers Food Co.

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

Iconic Toronto pizza restaurant that's been around for decades is moving

People loved this Toronto man's backyard BBQ so much he turned it into a business

Toronto is now the home of frozen pizza that's actually good

This hidden store in Toronto sells nostalgic Taiwanese street food

Iconic Toronto diner is closing until it's allowed to open its patio

Award-winning Toronto restaurant gets into the empanada business

Three homesick friends are bringing Venezuelan street food to Toronto

Hard hit Toronto cafe is looking to collaborate with neighbours and people are loving it