My roots run deep in the food world, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I come from a Macedonian family entrenched in simple farming. When our family immigrated to Canada with few materials to our name, I was only an infant. My father took a position as a cook, and my mother as a factory worker, before they saved enough money to open a 50-seat diner in Toronto.
It was there in the small kitchen of Moonlight Grill on Queen Street East, at eight years old, that I first flipped eggs and hand peeled a bag of potatoes. The entrepreneurial spirit I witnessed in my dad had been in our family for generations. The value he put on an honest day’s work inspired me... It continues to motivate me today.
With education being integral to my family, I went on to York University. Several business ventures later, I found myself back in the restaurant business with the launch of Sassafraz. When a devastating fire occurred there, it redefined my career as I came away with a new sense of the vital importance of community and a passion for creating positive change.