true flavours toronto

Toronto couple's restaurant has closed because ironically they got too much traffic

A Toronto vegan restaurant opened by a couple just months ago has sadly permanently closed.

True Flavours was opened by Edward Malone and his partner Noha Youssef, and was intended to be a delivery-only concept serving organic vegan versions of dishes like flatbreads, pasta and poutine.

Unfortunately, they had to close down because too many customers were unwilling to adhere to a delivery-only model and wanted to walk in for pickup, which the couple didn't feel safe about it; that, and they ran out of funds.

"We could not keep up with the overwhelming demand of walk-in services as we are just a new business that did not even have staff yet," Malone tells blogTO.

"My fiancée and I were to the point of medically unsafe exhaustion and mental stress that I had no choice but to pull the plug on this because I could not watch her suffer and become depressed and overwhelmed anymore. I care more about my fiancée, her health and mental health than money."

They had planned to gain traction with True Flavours while waiting out the lockdown, then eventually expand with in-person service and more offerings.

May 17 was the last day of operation for True Flavours, the food business posting they were permanently closed and for sale with all assets on their Facebook page on May 19. A week ago they had also posted they'd be "closed until further notice."

Malone will only reveal that "another food business" is moving into the space. He says "the future of True Flavours is unknown" and that he may try to sell the brand/business.

"Bankruptcy is very much almost a reality in my near future and I'm now fighting for us to recoup some money, sell the remaining things I have and attempt to keep income flowing, a roof over our heads and food to safely eat while I soak all of this in and process everything," says Malone.

He says Youssef is continuing on her journey as a chef but that he himself is "pretty lost" and would like to possibly get back to his old passion for car mechanics.

"We love Toronto and will be staying here, maybe not in Leslieville but somewhere," says Malone.

"I wish to thank everyone for the overwhelming support and kindness we have had since we got here."

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim, with files from Sophie Chong

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