This Sunday, Artscape Wychwood Barns will host over 60 local vendors for the popular Gluten Free Garage event. Shedoesthecity is proud to be a returning media sponsor and as such, we’re profiling various entrepreneurs and community leaders who, through their passion and hard work, inspire others to lead a healthy lifestyle.

We’ve profiled the women behind RawFoodz, the irresistible gluten-free bakery Bunners, the much-loved Children’s Art Studio, the chief scentalist of Aromacentric Aromatherapy and the cool ladies behind Earth and City. For Our final Q&A, we reached out to Marie Fitrion and Daniel Holloway, the co-founders of Urban Acorn Catering. (It’s a love story!)

Mmmmm, we are can’t wait to sample goodies and stock our shelves full of goodness. Hope to see you this Sunday!

SDTC: Tell us a little about the Urban Acorn origin story

Urban Acorn: Our focus on building a diverse and inclusive community with food began on our first date at the AGO. Chef Daniel and I clicked right away and spent most of that day sitting in the Galleria Italia looking out at the city and speaking candidly about our views on food, art, and what we wanted in life. At the time, Daniel was a private chef catering in the Halton region and I was completing my degree in Media Communications. We both felt there was a lack of parity in the food world; catering companies were either vegan with no meat options or meat centric without any real regard for vegan food. Feeling like Daniel’s food was somewhere in the middle, we stumbled on a Michael Pollen book which described our culinary flavour as “Felxitarian” or flexible vegetarian. Sometimes our events are solely vegan but generally speaking Flexitarian catering is less about removing meat and more about adding plant-based items on the menu. At the end of the day we think food should unite people and not divide them. The name Urban Acorn was inspired by that humbled day at the AGO where just like an acorn our little idea began growing into something mighty and big.

SDTC: Where do you find your culinary inspiration? 

Urban Acorn: We find our culinary inspiration from art, music and of course this amazingly diverse city. Every month we pick a particular theme like video games or the Beatles and create an entire vegan menu for our supper clubs. It helps try new concepts and keeps chef Daniel on his toes.

SDTC: Tell us about a catering job you’re particularly proud of?

Urban Acorn: Our proudest catering job technically hasn’t happened yet; it’s scheduled for November 23rd. The Perth Avenue Public School in the Junction Triangle is having a craft show fundraiser in support of their arts program. We have had the pleasure to do several communities and charity based events, but were particularly honoured when asked to cater this event.

SDTC: What advice would you give to young people who are planning on starting their own small business?

Urban Acorn: Make sure you do your research about the industry you plan to enter, find yourself a mentor, and never assume you know everything… you can learn something from everyone you meet in this world.

SDTC: Why should people come out to Gluten Free Garage?

Urban Acorn: It’s such a unique event with a wonderful back-story…. Ronnilyn curates from the heart and thanks to her, Toronto’s Celiac and gluten sensitive community has a market to call their own.

SDTC: What can we expect from Urban Acorn at Gluten Free Garage? 

Urban Acorn: We are bringing a mix of old favourites and a new exclusive dish for this show. This includes our scratch-made hot apple cider, sweet potato chips and new “Beer Beef Bourguignon.”

 SDTC: What other stands will you be sure to snag deliciousc samples from?

Urban Acorn: We are sauce and condiment junkies so we’ll be sure to hit up No. 7 Hot Sauce, Mad Mexican and Stasis Preserve.

We can’t wait! Hosting a party? Planning an event? Check out the Urban Acorn Catering website.

Look forward to seeing everyone at Gluten Free Garage this Sunday. Event details and a full list of vendors here.