Toronto university is now home to the city's most exciting food start-ups

Toronto is one of the world's greatest cities for both food and entrepreneurship and a program at York University is hoping to make sure it stays that way.

The Food Accelerator program is run by York University's YSpace, which is an incubator program for entrepreneurs. The five month accelerator program is focused on helping consumer packaged goods companies go from small retail stores into large retail outlets like Sobeys, Longos, and Metro.

Some of Canada's most exciting new brands have found their start through the program including vegan edible cookie dough company, Bro Dough; Afro-Fusion Gourmet Soup, It's Souper (who recently got a deal on Dragon's Den); and Eatable, an alcohol infused popcorn company.

The program comes with several different aspects including weekly educational workshops with industry experts around pricing, distribution, operations as well as mentorship opportunities and access to founder AMAs.

At the end the program there's a demo day where York invites different distributors and retailers including the major supermarket chains.

"In Ontario, we're the only program that exists that's focused on scaling and really supporting companies," asserts David Kwok, Associate Director of Entrepreneurship at YSpace.

As successful as the program has been, Kwok says there's much more to come. He says they've recently partnered with the Black Creek Community Health Centre to launch a program specifically for Black entrepreneurs.

Kwok asks that if there are any consumer packaged goods companies in food and beverage looking for support they should reach out to the YSpace team and they'd be happy to help them.

Lead photo by

It's Souper

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

Toronto bakery known for its butter tarts has permanently closed

Car smashes into window of gourmet food store in Toronto

Russell Peters surprises staff when he shows up to eat at Mississauga restaurant

Toronto store permanently closes after tragic passing of its founder

Beloved Toronto bar and cafe to close as block of businesses put up for sale

Ikea is offering an all you can eat Swedish holiday buffet in Toronto

Toronto's original spot for birria tacos is opening a second location

Donut chain is now baking the nostalgic muffins loved by Toronto kids in the 1980s