All photo credits go to the City of Toronto Archives
(Before we get started, be sure to read all the way to the end for a special announcement!)
The journey we’ve been on to get to where we are now is seriously no joke. Moving from Parkdale to the east end, in Leslieville, has been quite the adventure but it’s always nice to sit and think about how things have changed over time. Just as VAMs has grown, the Leslieville neighbourhood has undergone years of changes to become what it is today. BlogTO recently released an article showcasing the transformation of Leslieville and we absolutely loved the buildings and streets they highlighted.
A quick history lesson about Leslieville: the East-end neighbourhood was named after George Leslie, founder of Toronto’s most prominent nursery during the 1800s. Leslieville also used to be home to numerous factories, including the famous gum company, Wrigley. Leslieville’s rich history has brought a lot of attraction to this part of the city and aided in the shifting culture of the area and we love that we could be a part of it all.
Our first move to Leslieville we were located at 235 Carlaw Ave, formerly the Wrigley Building, next to our then partner, Smash Juice Bar--a project that had good potential but got hit hard with a foreign takeover. We were soon fighting to get our company back, and fortunately, we did. Long story short, we needed to move, and quickly, in order to continue production. Thank goodness for our lovely friends who agreed to let us occupy space in their commercial kitchen located within the area. With their help, we were able to thrive, but we still needed more.
Word on the street was that there was a shared vegan kitchen on Carlaw we could maybe use as a second site. Turned out that lots of other brands including Culcherd Cheese, Unbaked Cake, Sweet Hart Kitchen (who’s opening a cafe in Kensington, can’t wait!) and Turmeric Teas would also call this spot home. We spent the last summer months getting to know our new friends and learning how hot and sticky things could get in a small kitchen. Yet, we continued to grow, and once again a larger space was needed. And that’s when we started calling 388 Carlaw Ave. home. We’ve been here since the fall and have continued to grow and utilize the larger space since.
As we remain in our current space, our goal is to continue making healthy options available to our customers that please the palate and enhance the body. Inevitably, as we continue to grow, we will have to move into an even bigger facility and when that time comes we will welcome new adventures with open arms.
We love that we could be part of Toronto’s rich manufacturing legacy over here in the east-side. Leslieville has definitely helped us grow as a brand and as professionals. And of course, all of this is worth it thanks to our amazing customers who have supported and continue to support our endeavors. Thank you.
Psst, here's the announcement you've been waiting for! We're doing a VAMS trivia with a special giveaway! Head over to our instagram @vamsculture to stay updated and get the chance to win some prizes! Trivia will start on Monday April 3. *Hint*: Be sure to keep this blog post handy 😉