Toronto Foodies to Unite Underground


TORONTO — The Toronto a la cart street vendor food program failed, but former foodservice marketer Hassel Aviles sees a bright future for the city’s foodie scene with the upcoming introduction of an Underground Market.

A similar San Francisco project has inspired Aviles to organize regular events with home-cooked dishes sold to local foodies for a fair price. “One of the reasons I’sm doing this is to fill a void in Toronto’s food industry,” the entrepreneur told “When it comes to street food, we’sre not very multicultural; we don’st really have a good selection.”

Health and safety regulations will still have to be met, but at conventional markets such vendors would need to cough up the cash to become certified and use a commercial kitchen. Participants at the SF underground market join online for free, signing a waiver acknowledging the food sold was not cooked in an area inspected by public health officials.    

The outpouring of support for the market, which is expected to be held four times a year, starting this fall, is encouraging. “What started as a passion project for me is becoming a community movement,” Aviles told the Star.

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