the chef dan toronto

Full-time corporate lawyer in Toronto starts up a burger side hustle

A full-time corporate lawyer in Toronto has started up his own burger box business serving sous-vide burgers.

Dan Seidman has a passion for cooking, and in his last year of undergrad in 2015 he started up a food-based Instagram that quickly took off. He continued with it throughout law school and after he became a full-time lawyer.

"I have a love of cooking for friends and family, and receive the most satisfaction when people enjoy my food," Seidman tells blogTO.

"With little social interaction over the last year, I haven't been able to cook for friends and family much. With extra time at home I wanted to fill the void by sharing my food with a broader community."

He started out by giving loaves of sourdough he'd baked to friends and family but then began to think about selling food, and decided to take the plunge after getting unanimous rave responses from a group of testers.

Seidman began selling sourdough bagels in February 2021, and started selling his burger boxes around March. The burgers are cooked sous-vide and packaged with prepared components ready to assemble and enjoy hot within minutes.

"The burgers in the burger boxes are something that I have been working on and developing for years, never with the intention to sell, but they are perfectly conducive to sharing for takeout," says Seidman. 

"It's not something that would travel well in an assembled form, and I want the customer to have the best experience possible."

The burger boxes have since become Seidman's most popular, not to mention easy to scale, product. The business has grown from selling about eight burgers the first week to capping orders at 25 boxes (50 burgers) this week, their busiest yet.

"While at the end of the day it is turning into a small business operation, I get immense satisfaction from sharing my food and knowing that it is being enjoyed," says Seidman.

Burger boxes are $40 and include two freshly ground chuck and short rib patties, champagne caramelized onions, special sauce, aged cheddar, pickles and assembly instructions. Up until now Seidman took orders through DM but now you can order via his site on Mondays for pickup from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays near Bathurst and Dupont.

Seidman works from home right now, and stocks up on meat to order so he has the exact right amount needed for that week. He spends a few hours on Wednesdays and Fridays doing prep work, and devotes a few hours to pickups on Saturdays as well.

He also spends his Sundays doing pickups for his other box, a pastrami box with sourdough bagels, mustard, sauerkraut and a pickle spear, though he may stop doing Sunday pickups due to the burger box program becoming more popular.

While Seidman isn't planning to leave his job and largely wants to keep things the way they are, he's still interested in growing the business and seeing where it goes.

Lead photo by

Dan Seidman

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