Brand Spotlight – MadeGood

We love to champion some of the companies we stock on our shelves. We are so lucky to meet some totally awesome people bringing lots of passion, innovation, and community love to the local food scene. Sometimes those companies even get to take things global. One of those companies is MadeGood.

We just love how MadeGood, a family business run by three siblings, Nima, Sahba, and Salma, and located right here in Toronto, has grown into an internationally recognized brand. MadeGood specializes in making truly delicious snacks families can feel good about: created from healthy organic whole food ingredients and without top-allergens, these are the go-to bars, cookies, and granola balls for nutritious school-safe snacks.

As a Certified B Corp business, MadeGood meets B Lab’s rigorous standards for social and environmental performance. They’re proud of the diverse and inclusive workplace they’ve built. And this has been the vision for their company from the beginning: Nima, Sahba, and Salma are New Canadians themselves and fundamentally understand the importance of creating a people-centred workplace that values the varied perspectives and experiences life brings.

Part of both their B Corp Certification and True Silver Zero Waste Certification means that MadeGood has also built an environmentally sustainable business. For instance, they divert more than 90% of their waste through reuse, recycling and composting.


And beyond that, MadeGood really loves to give back to a range of local and international organizations. Now these are snacks to feel great about!



Education Cuts Hurt Kids

We've got (most of) your essentials for this year's back to school! Shop our selection of litterless lunch wares, school safe snacks, and more in-store.

Posted by The Sweet Potato on Monday, August 26, 2019

We stand in solidarity with Ontario Educators fighting for a better future for this province. Education cuts hurt kids and that damage hurts our collective future.

We’re so grateful to Ontario Educators for fighting against the budget cuts that will result in fewer supports for students and even larger class sizes. And educators are fighting for our kids at great cost to themselves.

That’s why for the duration of the job action, all educators with a valid OCT, OSSTF, EFTO, OECTA, or AEFO card (accompanied with ID) will be extended a 10% discount* at The Sweet Potato.

Educators, please show your ID and card from one of the qualifying organizations for your discount at checkout. And thank you again for engaging in this important fight!

*some exclusions apply

The healthful benefits of GT’s Kombucha

Mounting research is pointing to the importance of maintaining a healthy human biome. That is, maintaining an optimal ratio of good gut bacteria in our bodies. So how exactly can we do this? One simple way is to increase the number of fermented foods in our diet which add living probiotics.

And one of the easiest ways to add living probiotics to our system is to drink ’em! We love GT’s Kombucha, a super refreshing, lightly effervescent kombucha that’s raw and unpasteurized and comes in a range of interesting (and delicious!) flavours.

What is kombucha?

Kombucha is a tea that has been fermented by a living culture (a SCOBY – a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). During the fermentation period, the tea becomes naturally rich with probiotics, amino acids, polyphenols, and active enzymes.

Why are fermented foods important?

Fermented foods create living probiotics that we can ingest. Probiotics are instrumental in supporting a healthy and harmonious digestive system and promote overall wellness.

How does it taste?

If you’re used to sugary beverages, like soda pop or juice, the taste might first catch you off guard. Kombucha is slightly tangy, with a taste similar to an apple cider vinegar. GT’s Synergy line does incorporate organic juices which may be more palatable for those unfamiliar with kombucha’s tang.

What are those floaties in the bottle?

If you can believe it, those strands aren’t present at the time of bottling! They are the strands of SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria & Yeast) culture that form after bottling as an indication that the product is still living and active. The longer that the product is bottled, the more culture strands form.

Is it supposed to be fizzy?

The effervescence in GT’s Kombucha is totally naturally occurring! CO2 production is a by-product of fermentation and because of this, the fizziness can vary from batch to batch and bottle to bottle. Unlike with soda, the effervescence actually increases over time. So fresher product tends to be more still.

How should I store it?

Because kombucha is raw, living food, it should always be kept in the fridge. It should also be stored upright (not on its side) and should never be shaken.

It’s Too Dang Hot: Kaitlyn’s Easy Bean Salad

Even when it’s too hot to think about turning on the oven, we still want to help you keep cool and well-fed. Try one of our no-heat recipes, all of which are tried-and-true and come directly from members of The Yam Fam!

These are all no-heat, no stress recipe. If you don’t have the right quantities, work with what you’ve got. If you don’t have all the ingredients, go substitution wild. When it’s too hot to cook, it’s WAY too hot to stress!

Continue reading “It’s Too Dang Hot: Kaitlyn’s Easy Bean Salad”

It’s Too Dang Hot: Kaitlyn’s Heat-Beatin’ Ceviche

Even when it’s too hot to think about turning on the oven, we still want to help you keep cool and well-fed. Try one of our no-heat recipes, all of which are tried-and-true and come directly from members of The Yam Fam!

These are mostly no-heat, no stress recipes, but we do encourage a bit of care when making Ceviche. Since this is actually a form of cooking (albeit using chemistry in the place of heat) please make sure that you’ve got your bases covered before engaging in substitutions. When it’s too hot to cook, it’s WAY too hot to stress – but it’s never too hot for food safety. Bon appétit!

Continue reading “It’s Too Dang Hot: Kaitlyn’s Heat-Beatin’ Ceviche”

It’s Too Dang Hot: Amanda’s Red Cabbage Slaw

Even when it’s too hot to think about turning on the oven, we still want to help you keep cool and well-fed. Try one of our no-heat recipes, all of which are tried-and-true and come directly from members of The Yam Fam!

These are all no-heat, no stress recipe. If you don’t have the right quantities, work with what you’ve got. If you don’t have all the ingredients, go substitution wild. When it’s too hot to cook, it’s WAY too hot to stress!

Continue reading “It’s Too Dang Hot: Amanda’s Red Cabbage Slaw”

Recycling Your Black Plastic

The Sweet Potato Toronto - recycling black plastic for our community

The Problem

You may have been surprised to learn last spring that black plastic isn’t recyclable in the City of Toronto. We certainly were, as were so many other businesses that, like us, thought they were making a prudent and environmentally sustainable choice.

We’re looking at more sustainable options going forward (stay tuned!). But we also wanted to come up with a better solution for all of the black plastic containers that we purchased back when we thought they were properly recyclable, and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve come upon a solution that, while not ideal, we think is viable for the time being:

We’ve found a private recycling company that processes black plastic. We are sending our recyclable black plastic to their facility in Fergus, ON.  Here’s where you come in: if you’ve purchased some Sweet Potato Kitchen prepared meals, feel free to bring those plastic pieces back to the store for recycling. And beyond this, we’ve decided to open this recycling program up to our entire community. In other words, if you have black plastic at home that should be recycled (hint, most takeout in the city seems to rely on black plastic), please bring it into the store, cleaned first, and we will make sure it’s recycled responsibly.  We’re doing the same thing for baby food pouches – it doesn’t matter to us what brand they are, or from what store – we will accept all clean black plastic and baby food pouches, and we will pay for them to be recycled.

So What Can Be Recycled?

Recyclable black plastic includes CPET black plastic typically marked with the recycling symbol.  Food-safe black plastic like takeout containers, produce packaging, coffee cup lids are all examples of recyclable black plastic. (We cannot recycle office and household items like printer cartridges, computer packaging or accessories and equipment.)

Where do I bring it?

You can bring these items to our Customer Service desk anytime the store is open; our priority is diverting stuff from the landfill, so we don’t care what store they came from.  Not everyone has the ability to be zero waste, but we believe that there are very often creative solutions to the environmental problems we all face – and we’re delighted that our business allows us to offer this service to the entire community.  We’re constantly trying to improve the accessibility of our store and our services, and so we’re thrilled to extend this offer to everyone.

Please bear in mind – this isn’t a permanent solution (we hope). While we are happy to at present assume the cost of this endeavour, we don’t believe that private solutions are the fix for public problems (like the state of public recycling infrastructure) – so we hope you will continue to advocate for a more sustainable civic infrastructure.  In the meantime, however, we’re very glad that we won’t all have black plastic cluttering up the place, or going needlessly to landfill.

The Sustainability of Raincoast Trading

The Sweet Potato Toronto - image of the ocean with a rainbow in the distance

Here at The Sweet Potato, we’re approached by so many brands about stocking their product. But we’re pretty darn choosey about what ends up on our shelves. Of course, it has to taste good. And we prioritise local, organic and Canadian companies whenever possible. But we also have a long list of banned ingredients, ingredients that have been nixed because research suggests they may not be great for human health, they’re dangerous to the workers processing them, or because they’re bad for the environment. Well here’s a brand we’re only too pleased and proud to have on our shelves: Raincoast Trading, a Canadian seafood cannery.

 

Raincoast Trading logo

 

Raincoast Trading makes the best tasting canned seafood (among other fishy delights). It’s single-cooked and packed in natural fish oils, creating a rich and dense flavour, while upping the nutritional punch. But it’s their commitment to sustainability that makes us reach for them again and again. Raincoast Trading fishes with integrity, working hard to minimize overfishing, bycatch and habitat damage, all serious issues that face our marine ecosystems. In fact, every tin of Raincoast Trading seafood can be fully traced back to the fishing vessel, captain, harvest method and area of catch. This information is shared not only with consumers but with international ocean conservation groups too because it’s important to substantiate any claim of sustainability.

 

Their commitment to only sourcing from fisheries with sustainable stocks and to fishers who use responsible methods (like pole-and-line tuna fishing) have made them the ONLY Canadian packaged retail seafood company to be endorsed by Ocean Wise’s Conservation program. Yup, their cans carry the Ocean Wise seal of approval.

 

So next time you have a hankering for a tuna sandwich, are frying up some fish cakes, or want to get more inventive with your recipes, give Raincoast Trading a try. You’ll thank us later.