Sunday September 25th, 2016 was an exciting day for QFoods Canada, the parent company of Sweets Canada because our CEO Sam Dhutia was out meeting consumers and offering gourmet chocolate tastings to hundreds of restaurant and supermarket owners as an exhibitor at the 2016 Canadian Coffee and Tea Show in the main hall of the Toronto International Centre.
There were business people from all walks of life at the busy show, including food scientists and culinary experts, newspaper critics, photographers, top chefs and other artists – there were buyers and sellers of every description.
Q’licious booth was a hot spot on the 2016 trade show floor, and Sam was its singular focus point. Dressed in a cream coloured suit, he spent the day flashing his powder blue eyes above an open box of chocolates, ready to impact any passerby that struck him as being interesting. He watched the crowd for hungry smiles and provided the sweetest treat at the show. Our CEO invited anyone that intrigued him to try the gourmet chocolate laid out on the table under the Q’licious and Sweets Canada brands before they got down to talking business.
The Canadian Coffee and Tea Show is produced by EnsembleIQ, and once again this year the blue ribbon marketing agency headquartered right here in Toronto did a great job of entertaining and informing attendees about all aspects of coffee and tea service in Canada.
There’s some learning to be had in here for sure. Hospitality managers and food and beverage directors were taking names and making notes at many of the busiest booths.
Besides listening to talks from some of Canada’s most renown chefs and café owners, there were also complimentary Barista Workshops courtesy of Zuccarini Importing happening every twenty minutes, and covering many different aspects of café operations.
On that busy Sunday in September, Tradeshow Hall 1 at the Toronto International Centre hosted about eighty exhibitors in 10 x 10 booths. The featured sponsors were all logical pairings that, however obvious, might strike new attendees as being unusual at first glace. But they are all related in the coffee business.
For example, there was a huge exhibit dedicated to water science and water filtration technology with large under-the-counter water filter units by 3M available for purchase. What is that doing here? You might wonder why water science is a priority, but then of course clean water is something all cafes and coffee shops want to get right before they brew three thousand hot beverages every day.
There were coffee syrups galore – just about any flavoured coffee you can imagine was available as syrup. And there was also a myriad of delicious looking ready made desserts (the samples the dessert booths dispense get smaller as the show gets busier!), and baked goods and biscuit companies, and of course tea and coffee companies from all over the world.
Canadian Vending Magazine was at the show, and this is something Sweets Canada is considering, but with an unusual twist which will of course be the subject of another blog post. Our creativity is not limited to making confectioneries as this blog portal will attest.
The Canadian Coffee and Tea Show is part of the professional coffee barista performance circuit. Its the pro tour for coffee baristas as they can perform here and be judged and graded and win honour for themselves and their cafes. Latte Art is celebrated here.
Although only open to industry insiders, our appearance at the 2016 Canadian Coffee and Tea Show is a high point in the rapidly expanding brand life of QFoods Canada and its many child brands, not the least of which is Sweets Canada and this website and blog.