It's not easy breaking down barriers — standing out from the pack takes courage. Luckily for our industry, there's no shortage of boundary-pushing individuals ready and willing to shake things up.
These industry innovators saw a gap in the hospitality sector that was ripe for a rework and committed to doing the work to change it up. From connecting food with those in need to gaining global recognition by bringing the Michelin Guide to Canada, these individuals have made industry firsts second nature.
Find out how these tech titans and hospitality heroes are changing the game and taking our industry to the next level.
Michelle Genttner & Luis Martins
Co-owners of Unboxed Market, a zero-waste grocery store
Raised in Huron County, Michelle Genttner’s family always had a large garden where she participated in planting, harvesting and preserving food. Later in life, her international travels led her to observe other communities’ experiences with environmental issues, and cemented her desire to create something positive in her personal and professional life. Her partner, Luis Martins was born on a citrus grove in the south of Portugal. Raised in a farming community, Martins’s agriculture-centered youth honed his respect for food and the environment. In 2011, Genttner and Martins transitioned their restaurant Habits Gastropub into a brewpub, which tied for second best brewery in the province in the Ontario Craft Beer Guide. After selling the business, they recognized an opportunity to build on their shared desire to respond to the current environmental crisis. In February 2019, Genttner and Martins opened Unboxed Market, a zero-waste grocery store at Dundas and Dovercourt that focuses on eliminating single-use plastics and excess packaging wherever possible. Unboxed Market is raising the bar by working from producer to customer to create a zero-waste, eco-conscious shopping experience.
Franco Stalteri and Donato Carozza
Co-founder of Charlie’s Burgers
Charlie’s Burgers started in 2009 as a series of dining events and has been Canada’s premier monthly wine delivery service since 2013. Co-founded by Franco Stalteri and Donato Carozza, the CB Wine Program is a monthly wine delivery service where members receive a different case of mixed wines imported exclusively from a different global wine producer. The legendary CB dinner series has collaborated with chefs recognized by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the Michelin Guide and Relais & Chateaux, in Canada, England, France, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and the U.S. Stalteri and Donato were instrumental in bringing the Michelin Guide to Toronto and Canada, having started the Michelin Guide project with the city of Toronto in 2017.
CEO and founder of Tre'dish
Peter Hwang is the CEO and founder of Tre'dish, a technology platform that empowers local food entrepreneurs around the world to share their authentic dishes and stories within their communities, and create sustainable long-term businesses. Tre’dish levels the playing field and gives culinary innovators a backbone, with essential tools, revenue opportunities, marketing and support to operate and scale. They’ve developed the infrastructure needed to reinvigorate the industry and empower talented entrepreneurs who represent the future of food. As CEO, Hwang is passionate about creating a new way for people to experience food and culture through the food sharing economy.
Johl Whiteduck Ringuette
First Nations food sovereigntist and owner of NishDish Marketeria and Catering
Born in North Bay, Ontario, chef Johl Whiteduck Ringuette is Anishnawbe and Algonquin, and his grandmother is from Nippissing First Nation. His clan is Mink clan. Since 2005, Whiteduck Ringuette has been the owner of NishDish Marketeria and Catering, which specializes in Anishnawbe cuisine. He is one of Tkaronto’s leading First Nations food sovereigntists and has dedicated his life to identifying, sourcing, relearning and reclaiming what the traditional Anishnawbe diet is. His unwavering commitment to this vision has broadened his work beyond NishDish as a public speaker and a teacher. He teaches for one of the only Anishnawbe land-based culinary arts program, Ojibiikaan Indigenous Culinary Arts Program, which led to some of the first traditionally planted Three Sisters gardens in the GTA. Whiteduck Ringuette launched a not-for-profit, Ojibiikaan Indigenous Cultural Network; co-founded Red Urban Nation, a grassroots project that envisioned a focused Indigenous community district in Toronto; and founded the Toronto Indigenous Business Association.
Founder and CEO of Flashfood
Josh Domingues often cites that if international food waste were a country, it would be the third leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, behind the U.S. and China. He’s the founder and CEO of Flashfood, a mobile marketplace that strives to eliminate retail food waste by connecting communities with discounted food nearing its best-by date. Domingues created Flashfood in 2016 after reading about the environmental effects of food waste. He leads the corporate strategy for the app, which has diverted more than 45 million pounds of food from landfills and has made groceries more affordable for more than 290,000 families and counting.
Director of the One of a Kind Show
As the flagship event supporting local crafts and makers, the One of a Kind Show is the largest and best-attended event of its kind in North America. The show has been around since 1975 and gathers the most talented makers, artisans and designers from across Canada to showcase their diverse artistic expressions. As the director, Janice Leung oversees the bi-annual Toronto events from concept to completion. With a strategic vision to expand One of a Kind beyond its physical footprint, Leung leads her team to build year-round initiatives — both online and offline — in an ongoing effort to evolve the business while maintaining the purpose to champion creativity.
Chef/partner at Restaurant Pearl Morissette
Daniel Hadida is no stranger to working in the world’s best restaurants, including Septime in Paris, Edulis in Toronto and Pujol in Mexico City and Central in Lima. However, having spent time working on organic and biodynamic farms around France and Belgium, he was inspired to return to Canada and open a restaurant at Pearl Morissette Winery, where he could reflect the integrity of the local ingredients. Hadida is the chef/partner of Restaurant Pearl Morissette and their bakery and café, RPM Bakehouse, in Jordan Village. Restaurant Pearl Morissette was one of the first Ontario restaurants to implement a no-tipping policy to ensure equity in compensation for all its staff.
Founder of Oyster Boy
Adam Colquhoun founded and opened one of Toronto’s best seafood restaurants, Oyster Boy, on Queen West in 1999. As Toronto’s true Oyster Boy, Colquhoun has taught over 5,000 people how to shuck via his Shuck U course (an oyster master class), and is the three-time winner of Ontario Oyster Festival’s First Place Trophy as well as the three-time runner-up for Canada’s Oyster Shucking Championship. In 2020, Colquhoun awarded a five per cent share of his restaurant, worth $25,000, to the six dedicated staff members who worked with him to keep his business going throughout the pandemic.
Want the chance to celebrate these industry leaders in person? Enter to win a pair of tickets to Foodism 40 here.