The last 6 months have been a whirlwind here at Little Foot Foods! We have kept you incrementally updated about the goings ons in these parts, but due to the sheer level of busy-ness on our end we have severely been lacking in the social media department! Let’s take a time warp back to January 7th, 2017. Our son, Ellis, arrived in this world. We planned for him and thought we would have a break in January. Rachael would take time off and Rob would take care of things at the kitchen. It was a breath of fresh air having this new life to be responsible for! Winter sales continued to push forward, however, and we were busier in the kitchen than expected. Nothing we couldn’t handle 😊
As the months pushed forward and Ellis grew, so did our production ability. Unfortunately, the kitchen couldn’t grow alongside us and we began inching closer and closer to maxing out our capacity there. Around the same time, we came across an offer too good to refuse: a full set of equipment to automate our operation. After several late nights and lengthy discussions about how automating would effect our hand-folded pierogi business, we decided to take the leap.
In our industry, more specifically with our products, most places we compete with are non-profit groups who have volunteers producing for them. Taking this opportunity will help ensure we will be around for a long time producing the flavors you love and offering better availability than ever for our goods! As this is an expansion, we have hired some great new people to help us scale up properly (we’re still looking for more employees, email your resume to email@example.com if you’re interested). Now we can spend more time focusing on making delicious fillings, creating new dishes, and maybe bringing back some old faves! Our goal is to ensure that you can get your favourite comfort foods at your convenience.
Understanding our operation was in for a major change, we also had to come to terms with moving locations. The equipment we were acquiring was simply too big for the space. We were already maxing out and we knew the extra production would easily push us over that threshold. The Riverside Sports Center was a great spot for us to get our footings and we’re grateful to Tom, Craig, and the board for giving us a home for the past few years.
And so, the search for a new home for our business began. We looked at several places across the city (after scouring Riverside for something close to home) that would work for us. Alas, our checklist was long and ready-to-go kitchens are in short supply in this area. We were lucky enough to come across Goran at Remax Reality who end up leading us to our new location! Not only was there enough room for our production, but for a large storefront as well! Every box on our checklist had been ticked, and even some we didn’t know were on there!
At this point in time, it is now mid-April, we’re supplying our retailers more than ever, we’re cleaning and prepping our new space, and we have a 3-month-old! On top of that, April was our planned month to start doing events again and we had several scheduled already! It was some crazy times! Running on little sleep and relying on our employees to remind us to take a break to eat, we saw it all coming to a head. Splitting ourselves and our team between 2 locations and trying to stay on top of things at home was exhausting! I highly recommend avoiding that if possible! We saw the light at the end of the tunnel and knew we just had to keep pushing to achieve our goal of a June open. Of course, there were problems and hiccups along the way, but our resolve was strong. There wasn’t time for problems, only solutions. Our team scrubbed the Shop from top to bottom, replaced lighting and ceiling tiles, and helped us move in and set up our new home! During the process, our new equipment was delivered and we finally had the opportunity to finally play with our big toys! Now we are rocking with a blast freezer, a huge stand mixer and a Potato Peeling machine that looks like it could be the villain in a 70’s sci-fi movie! They cut down on some of the most tedious parts of pierogi making!!
The Pierogi machine, however, is the real game changer!! It clearly allows us to produce at a speed that was unthinkable before. There was definitely an adjustment period getting use to the machine and it’s quirks. By the time we were a few batches in, we had worked out any major problems we came across. The first issue, and maybe most important, was the balance between the dough we used to roll out and the thickness the machine needed to pop them out with no tears. Our new dough is slightly thicker than before but still thinner than your average pierog. 😉 After several initial batches, we’ve really learned how to stuff em!!
One of our biggest issues in the past was having to pare down our offerings to ensure we could produce enough. Now that the lengthiest part of the process has been nearly cut out of the equation, we will begin to produce all our flavours on a regular basis. We will keep you posted on our Social Media for what we’re adding back into our line up!
We’re located at 1404 Tecumseh Rd E at Moy. We have our wide selection of Pierogi, Cabbage Rolls and Stuffed Peppers available throughout the week. We are also teaming up with some of the friends we’ve made over the years to bring you even more locally produced product! Look for The Holistic Guy, Brewin Bros, Robbie’s Gourmet Sausage Co and more in store as we expand our offerings over the course of the summer! Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the immense support you have given us over the years! If it were not for you we would not have been able to pursue our dream and get to the point we’re at now! We promise to continue to offer high quality food and excellent customer service and to continue to exceed your expectations with every visit! If you haven’t checked us out yet please feel free to stop in, say hello, and let us introduce you to the wonderful world of gourmet pierogi! If you have any questions feel free to contact us via phone (226-246-2382), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or through private message on Facebook.
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