A few words about us
How the Regent Park Catering Collective began
The Regent Park Catering Collective is cooking up three things: a sense of community, belonging and diversity.
Nestled in the heart of Regent Park, the Catering Collective is a group of men and women in the community are engaging themselves in the community by bringing their passions for cooking, creativity, and learning together to foster personal and community development.
It all started in 2013 when a member of the Regent Park community wanted to learn how she could sell homemade food at farmer’s markets. The Centre for Community Learning and Development (CCL&D) started the Regent Park Food Incubator Program to facilitate this, and the Regent Park Catering Collective is an extension of this. Since then, the group has grown into a virtual family who is harnessing their cooking talents while learning new things along the way. The group went on to receive their food handling certificates from Toronto Public Health and soon became local entrepreneurs, catering for a growing list of clients including the Toronto District School Board and the Liberal Party of Canada.
Members of the Catering Collective during a potluck in the Regent Park Centre of Social Innovation on Thursday, March 11th, 2017
The most essential thing the Catering Collective does is foster a sense of community, belonging, and diversity. The Catering Collective is made up of a diverse mosaic of people who reflect their diversity in the food they make. Everything from samosas to dumplings, flavoured rice dishes to lasagna is on the group’s menu. One thing that the group prides themselves on is being able to offer a world of variety within the local community itself. By cooking together, they have been able to break down language and culture barriers, interact, engage with, and learn from community members they might not have otherwise had the chance to.
One woman at the catering collective says, “This community is my therapy, emotionally and physically. It has given me unconditional love so I have to give it back [here].” The Catering Collective has given these full-time mothers, community members and long-time residents a platform to become community leaders and innovators.
Provide food entrepreneurs the opportunity to formalize and grow their businesses by providing Food Handling Certification Training, affordable commercial kitchen space, access to market opportunities, while providing premium business support and advice throughout their journey.
Our vision is that entrepreneurs gain financial security by doing what they love to do, creating an innovative, vibrant, evolutionary and prosperous economic landscape.
Members of the Catering Collective with Member of Provincial Parliament Glen Murray at the International Women’s Day Bazaar on Friday, March 6th, 2015
Centre for Community Learning & Development
Strong Communities Together
Centre for Community Learning & Development (CCL&D), formerly known as East End Literacy, has been an active member of Regent Park since 1979, and in 2010, cemented our commitment to the community with the opening of the TD Centre of Learning ‐ a 2,200 square foot storefront hub ‐ on Dundas Street East.
Since the doors opened in 2010, the TD Centre of Learning has seen approximately 20,000 residents come through the doors each year to meet, learn and connect with neighbours. Program participants, from Regent Park, Moss Park, and St. James Town, face different challenges, but all come with a desire to feel a greater sense of belonging. The TD Centre of Learning helps them grow, and gain the tools they need to fulfill their potential.
The Regent Park Catering Collective is one of our social enterprise incubators. We facilitate growth through helping with training, organization, and resources. To ensure these results are met, we focus on developing the following areas
- Ensuring proper accreditation for all members
- Development of skills and best practices surrounding business strategy and customer services
- Pairing catering collective members with mentors in the food industry
- Develop toolkit and resources to allow for long-term growth
Years of operation, countless years of experience