While not everyone considers themselves a “foodie”, there is no doubt that every traveller has one thing in common – they need to eat! We can confidently assume that given the choice, they’d prefer a stellar experience over a mediocre one – in fact tourism trends are shifting:
- Visitors are looking for meaningful experiences that connect them to the people and culture of a destination, and
- Visitors are showing an increasing appetite (pun intended) for locally-sourced ingredients.
Restaurants and food service operators are perfectly positioned to give the people what they want, and that’s where the Feast On® program comes in.
“The Feast On® program celebrates businesses that are genuinely committed to supporting our local food system,” says Astrid Di Paolo, Programs Manager for the Culinary Tourism Alliance. “It is a network of chefs, restauranteurs, farmers, growers, and producers, all working together to put Ontario ingredients on plates and in the glasses of consumers.”
The advantages of certification extend beyond the positive impact of connecting with local farmers and producers – becoming certified also comes with significant marketing exposure through the Culinary Tourism Alliance’s consumer and industry channels.
“Sharing local food stories is our bread and butter,” says Nicole Brown, Director of Marketing. “We have the attention of the audience that our network is looking to reach, whether you’re a restaurant owner looking to bring more people into your business or a craft beverage producer looking to get your products into more restaurants.”
More information on the benefits of certification can be found at culinarytourismalliance.com/feast-on.
Becoming Feast On® certified aligns businesses with other food and drink operators in our region who have witnessed the benefits of championing local growers.
Current Feast On® certified businesses in Central Counties:
- Ay Caramba, Eh! in Vaughan
- Bistro ‘67 in Whitby
- Goodlot Farmstead and Brewing Co. in Alton
- Hawley Crescent Culinary Services in Oshawa
- Heartwood Farm & Winery in Erin
- Heatherlea Farm Café in Caledon
- Ontario Honey Creations in Mulmur
- PORT Restaurant in Pickering
- Spirit Tree Estate Cidery in Caledon
- The Second Wedge Brewing Co. in Uxbridge
- The Springwood Restaurant in Whitby
- Urban Pantry in Uxbridge
To become certified, businesses are required to provide proof of their local procurement practices, based on Foodland Ontario’s definitions. Restaurants and experiences need to show that a minimum of 25% of their food and beverage costs are spent on Ontario-grown or produced ingredients. Producers and growers must show that the primary ingredient in their product is grown or raised in Ontario.
Ready to dive in? Businesses interested in Feast On® certification can explore details on the website or reach out to Astrid Di Paolo, Programs Manager at the Culinary Tourism Alliance: email@example.com.
Culinary Tourism Alliance