Feast is a new allergy-friendly gourmet food store located across from the southeast side of Trinity-Bellwoods Park. Only about a week old, the bright, design-conscious space is an inviting and convenient place to pop in to grab a few items for a pleasant meal in the park (weather permitting).
An idea that took two years to come to fruition, Feast is the brainchild of partners in business and in life, Neil Lomas, a chef, and Wendy Zeh, a registered nurse. The couple wanted to offer unique products and also be transparent about all the ingredients that go into them.
All of the prepared food that Lomas makes in the in-house kitchen at the back of the shop is free of gluten as well as the top eight food allergens: wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. A display card listing every ingredient that goes into each item accompanies everything on offer.
Savoury pocket pies with fillings like beef ($6), jerk chicken ($7) and vegan curried black bean ($5) are part of the regular lineup, with other flavours on rotation; tourtiere ($6) was the current special this week in honour of Canada Day.
As for sweet treats, there are coconut milk caramels ($2 each) where the two choices are Tropical (pineapple topped with a smoked sea salt) and Chocolate Krispies (raw organic cacao nibs mixed with crispy rice cereal.)
There is also a tempting trio of playfully named vegan donuts on display: Triple Chocolate Love ($3.50), On Top of Coconut Caramel Mountain ($3.50) and Twinkle Twinkle Cinnamon Sugar Sprinkle ($3).
For caffeine addicts looking to find a healthier alternative to coffee, Feast is currently the only place (that I know of) brewing and serving Crio Bru Cavall a ($3.50 for an 8 oz. cup), a tasty hot beverage made from roasted Ivory Coast cocoa beans with hints of cinnamon and coconut. The cocoa beans contain theobromine , which is a relative of caffeine that offers a longer-lasting energy boost sans negative side effects like jitters and addiction.
A range of carefully curated pantry products are also sold along with the in-house items, including pastas, sauces, seasonings and baking mixes, with signs clearly marking if any of them contain dairy, soy or egg.
Lomas and Zeh favour local companies that use organic and non-GMO ingredients, which should suit the Trinity-Bellwoods crowd just fine.
Writing by Christina Cheung