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Featured Member: KITIMAI Tea and Coffee Inc.

October 1, 2021
BY: CLARA SALEHI

KITIMAI Inc. is passionate about mastering the art and craft of fine tea and coffee. They are an importer, distributor, blender, and packer of fine teas, while also operating as an industrious roaster of specialty gourmet coffees. More importantly, their resume of distinguished tasks is directed ethically to ensure social and environmental responsibility. KITIMAI manufactures organic and fair-trade coffee that is made from imported green beans that arrive in their facilities to be freshly roasted. They also formulate single-origin coffee, commonly considered superior to blended variations, as the beans are conserved in their purest form without any supplemental add-ins.

Moreover, KITIMAI is famous for its custom-made tea blending as they formulate exclusive blends for countless businesses. They have over 900 varieties of tea blends, often their personal formulations, all of which are available to other businesses to purchase. As a business-to-business corporation, they are a committed specialty tea and coffee supplier to a myriad of restaurants and coffee shops across the GTA, throughout Canada, and all over the United States.

Bhiku, Rakesh & Anish @ Toronto Coffee and Tea Festival 2019 (Image source: https://kitimai.com)

Additionally, KITIMAI specializes in private label tea and coffee, a component of their company that has experienced the most growth in recent years. Individuals and businesses from all walks of life will approach KITIMAI with the desire to develop their own tea or coffee brand. From there, KITIMAI will guide them through the steps as they work on building the new brand from the ground up. From product design and custom formulations to blending, manufacturing, and packing, KITIMAI can help anyone jumpstart their private label!

Nevertheless, it may be hard to believe the humble origins of KITIMAI Tea and Coffee Inc. while witnessing their success today. The company was founded in 1978 by Bhiku Shah, a now 83-year-old man that still shows up to work in his family-run business. His sons, Rakesh and Anish, joined their father in the early 2000s to continue to spread his passion for quality tea and coffee. Now with over seven decades of experience, the Shah family legacy that began in Kenyan farms in the 1960s has blossomed into a prosperous multi-service company.

Your favourite tea or coffee travels a long way to land in your cup, trust KITIMAI Tea and Coffee Inc. to deliver the quality and flavour you desire in your favourite drink! To learn more about their specialty tea and coffee, please visit www.kitimai.com.


Email: info@kitimai.com
Address: 1110 Finch Ave West, Unit 20, Toronto, ON M3J 2T2
Phone-
General Inquiries: 416-665-1318 | 1-877-402-4954
Sales: 416-605-4970
Website: www.kitimai.com

 

Featured Member: Absolutely Famished Catering

August 12, 2021
BY: CLARA SALEHI

Absolutely Famished Catering wants to make your next favourite meal! This catering company based in Toronto has decades of experience crafting consistently high-quality meals. Their dedicated catering team only uses the freshest ingredients to prepare delicious and authentic meals that you’ll enjoy until the very last bite! They collaborate with clients to craft menus that are specifically designed to suit their function and budget. In the past, Absolutely Famished Catering has served delectable meals to esteemed guests such as Martha Stewart, Jamie Oliver, and several Canadian Prime Ministers.

Image Source: Absolutely Famished Catering via Facebook

David Heymes, owner of Absolutely Famished Catering, proudly agrees that they “cook any kind of food imaginable”. He has worked in the catering industry since 1998 and knows his way around the business. David and his team work tirelessly 7 days a week to provide food for a variety of people and places, including corporate workplaces, special occasions, weddings, film sets, and more.

Like many businesses, Absolutely Famished’s catering services were put on hold upon the pandemic’s arrival in March 2020. However, as work on film sets eventually started up again in August 2020, David and his team were grateful for the opportunity to continue working in this avenue. His team took the necessary precautions as they adjusted their services to ensure optimal health and safety while preparing the meals. Film sets that once incorporated open buffets now have their meals packaged individually by sanitized, gloved, and masked caterers that ensure zero contact while preparing.

Image Source: Absolutely Famished Catering via Facebook

Owner David Heymes, who founded the business from the ground up in 1998, is continuously proud of what Absolutely Famished Catering has blossomed into today. Driven by his entrepreneurial spirit, David was the leading operative when Absolutely Famished first burst onto the catering scene, and he continues to be a hands-on owner by undertaking tasks like freshly preparing the salads in the morning and personally delivering the food.

As the pandemic eases its grip, Absolutely Famished Catering hopes to expand their services as the latter half of 2021 holds more promise for social gatherings, corporate functions, and office parties. They hope that their services can help bring these forthcoming occasions to life, and as people begin to reunite, good food is the best excuse to celebrate!

For more information about Absolutely Famished Catering and their services, please visit: http://www.absolutelyfamishedcatering.ca/ and check out their Facebook page @AbsolutelyFamishedCatering for countless images of their meals!


3974 Chesswood Drive,
Toronto, ON
M3J 2W6

Email: info@absolutelyfamishedcatering.ca
Phone: (416) 636-6999
Website: http://www.absolutelyfamishedcatering.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AbsolutelyFamishedCatering

 

Featured Member: Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club

July 07, 2021
BY: CLARA SALEHI

It’s easy to get caught up in the name, but Toronto Azzurri S.C. is much more than just a soccer club. Located at 4995 Keele Street, behind the Keele reservoir, they are home to an expansive 3000 sq. ft. clubhouse and a FIFA regulation size field. The club operates as an inclusive space, working closely alongside those with special needs or from high-risk neighbourhoods, providing these athletes with the tools to grow, train, and learn.

Outside of their youth soccer teams, Toronto Azzurri S.C. strives to do more for its community through an established line-up of diverse cultural and educational programs. The club’s extensive list of community initiatives includes partnering with the Toronto Police Services to advocate for important messages that align with community values, like reducing gang violence and youth bullying. They also run a community food drive that occurs twice a year in North York with the Harvest Food Bank, an effort that was especially valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, they have collaborated with Toys R Us and the Toronto Fire Services Department to donate over a thousand toys to children in need.

“President Ralph Ciccia, Councilor James Pasternik, and Toys R Us Manager John Da Silva with local Toronto firefighters.” Facebook: Toronto Azzurri

Nonetheless, Toronto Azzurri S.C.’s Treasurer Ron Smale sums up the organization’s diverse portfolio best, stating that they are a “community-based soccer club” with a special focus on “cultural and educational programs that work closely with pillars of the community.”

As pandemic restrictions ease, the Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club hopes to welcome more than just soccer players, but changemakers that want to make a difference in their community. This upcoming summer is especially exciting for the club as they will welcome kids to a long-awaited summer camp from July 12th to 30th, all while working alongside Diabetes Canada to educate and inspire future generations.

The Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club continues to value its connection to DUKE Heights as the BIA’s support has helped encourage the club’s presence in the neighbourhood through free promotional services and tools. With their low rates and an active group of local investors, Toronto Azzurri S.C. is open to all community members to learn, train, and play in a way that aligns with the area’s inclusive spirit.

To learn more about the Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club’s community initiatives or youth soccer programs, please visit their website: www.torontoazzurri.com.


Toronto Azzurri Youth Sport Village
4995 Keele Street
Carmen Principato Way
Toronto Ontario M3J 3B2

Email: information@torontoazzurri.com
Phone: (416) 782-1578
Website: www.torontoazzurri.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/torontoazzurri/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/toronto_azzurri/

Registration for the 2021 Season is Open at Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club

April 09, 2021

During these unpredictable times, the Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club has been busy at planning their upcoming outdoor 2021 season. They have reviewed and continued to update themselves in navigating through the various phases of Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guide and strict COVID-19 protocols and procedures.

In an effort to allow them to organize and prepare meaningful and exciting services and programs for the 2021 summer season, they are continuing to accept player registrations. Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club is providing a special offer strictly to the BIA membership of a $50 coupon off the registration price for the first 100 registrations. Use coupon code BIA50 to receive this special offer. (Note: You must enter the code before payment as we cannot apply the discount afterwards.)

The summer registration includes 32 sessions of soccer activities taking place on Monday and Wednesday evenings starting at 6:00pm. They will also be offering Saturday morning activities. They are planning to launch their season in early May. Each registrant will receive a player kit (jersey, short and socks) a water bottle, and a soccer ball.

Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club will be strictly adhering to their Return to Play protocols set out by the City, Public Health and Ontario Soccer. Please take the time to go on-line and register at www.torontoAzzurri.com. Once registered you will receive a confirmation of your son or daughter’s registration.

We are very much aware that this unsettled times, conditions, and circumstances will continue to exist, and the environment will change constantly moving forward. The outlook for our community is getting better so don’t miss out on the opportunities to have fun playing some outdoor soccer activity for your son and daughter. Flexibility, programming, understanding, training, competition, compassion will all be captured under the umbrella of safety at the Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club.

If your company is interested in sponsoring children etc., Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club has some great opportunities with respect to sponsorship signage, company names on the jerseys or providing signage at their beautiful stadium field for the summer months.

If you have any questions or concerns, or you require clarification on opportunities with the club, please contact the office at 416-782-1578.

* This article was composed by Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club.

Murati Accounting Offers Tax and Full Cycle Accounting Services

February 4, 2021

Murati Accounting is a mother-daughter-run business bringing tailored solutions for your tax and accounting needs. They offer a wide range of services, whether you are an individual looking to file your annual tax return or need full cycle accounting services for your business.

“With a combined experience of over 30 years as Chartered Professional Accountants, we decided to start our own practice with a simple vision in mind – helping our local community by providing easy and affordable access to accounting and tax services. With this guiding principle in mind, we make it a point to develop close relationships with each of our clients and understand their goals and priorities, so that we can tailor our services specifically to their needs.”, says Erta Murati.

Recognizing that we are living in a challenging time, Murati Accounting wants to make it as easy as possible for clients to access their service. As such, they are now able to provide all their services virtually in the interest of the safety of the clients and their families.

Having been long-standing residents of DUKE Heights BIA for over 10 years, Murati Accounting cares for the residents of the community and goes above and beyond to ensure that their fellow neighbours and friends have a team they can rely and depend on for all their accounting needs. Feel free to contact them for a free consultation.

Phone: (416)-389-5218
Email: info@muratiaccounting.com
Address: 714 – 1070 Sheppard Ave. W, Toronto ON M3J 0G8
Website: muratiaccounting.com

VE-Smart Training now available in Canada

Would you like to know how to increase staff performance in the new virtual workplace?

Have you noticed that your staff is facing difficulties with adjusting to working from home?

We have a solution for you!

BTT College now offers a unique VE-Smart Training program available for Canadian companies, so your staff will discover the basics and logistics required to succeed in the VE world.

  • Learn about solid communication practices to be set up for success working in the virtual environment.
  • Your employees will recognize their strengths and weaknesses in the VE world.
  • And so much more!!

This program is developed in partnership with global leaders in virtual employment.

Your company may qualify for funding under VE-Smart training.

Please contact BTT College for more information.

Join their exclusive program this February 1st, 2021.

Contact BTT College: 416-483-3567

Email: iwantinfo@bttcollege.com

Cash Flow Challenges Faced by Businesses and How the BIA Can Assist

October 6, 2020

Written by: Atul Oka, Senior Director of Strategy and Business Development, DUKE Heights BIA

The impact of COVID19 has been particularly hard on many businesses across Canada. A poll earlier in the year by Stats Canada revealed that over 50% of businesses reported a decline in revenue and two-thirds experienced significant declines in consumer demand. Most business expenses however have remained static resulting in many businesses facing increased financial stress. With many areas expecting a second wave, consumers will once again become more hesitant in frequenting places of business and reduce nonessential spending.

Studies have shown that even in a healthy economy, 82% of small businesses that fold do so due to cash flow issues. How then can businesses better manage their cash flow? On the broadest level, managing cashflow revolves around two main themes, namely income, and expenditure. Traditional thinking around cash flow management while effective during normal economic conditions, cannot all be applied during the challenging environment many businesses currently face.

The initial and correct response for most businesses involves the reduction of overhead expenses where possible. These include cutting down all nonessential recurring expenses, as well as evaluating and rationalising essential expenses. Security services as an example may be seen as a nonessential cost that can be cut or reduced. If your business intends to cut or reduce security services, let the BIA help you supplement this by registering for the FREE security service offered by the BIA.

Both employment and rental costs also form a large part of any business which are often seen as areas where costs can be reduced. Cutting or reducing these costs in the short term however comes at the trade-off of less flexibility and agility when the economy improves, thus creating a disadvantage over the longer term. Businesses are encouraged to solicit professional advice so that they can best understand the financial state of the business, and the options available to the business, thereby making the best-informed decision possible during these trying times.
If you do not have access to a finance professional or require a second opinion, the DUKE Heights BIA is offering a FREE consultation with a professional accounting firm for both general financial planning, and assistance in accessing and applying for federal support grants or loans. This service will soon be supplemented by a funding tool that will be launched on the DUKE Heights BIA website, allowing businesses to better identify relevant funding for their particular needs.

While cost-cutting can relieve pressure on working capital, a concurrent and potentially greater drop in revenue may lead to an increase in total debt as businesses try and finance the shortfall utilising loans and other forms of debt in the hope that revenue will increase before the cost of servicing that debt becomes unsustainable.

In this instance, businesses have little choice but to explore adding new products and services to their offering, while expanding current sales channels to sell more, to a greater audience. Many businesses in the BIA are looking at creating an online presence and trying to sell directly to the end consumer. This change in business model can seem daunting, and lack of knowledge and skills on e-commerce can create a barrier inhibiting many businesses from implementing this change to their business model.

If you are exploring e-commerce but need any assistance, the BIA has, with various partners, created a suite of FREE digital services to help you with this transition. These services include a FREE initial evaluation and assessment of your digital needs by DMS (Digital Main Street), a grant to create or update your website including e-commerce functionality, FREE access to a large digital marketing platform called GetintheLoop which can expose your products and services to thousands of new consumers, and FREE marketing on social media channels.

As a key partner to all the businesses in the area, it is hoped that these FREE services and initiatives offered by the BIA, aimed at helping your business better manage short-term cash flow and long-term growth, are fully accessed and utilised by our members.

Should you require additional information on the BIA or the services available to you, please access our website (dukeheights.ca), or email us (info@dukeheights.ca).

What to do if someone in your workplace has COVID-19

September 30, 2020

Toronto Public Health issued new guidelines for workplaces in view of the return of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Role of the employer during a COVID-19 outbreak in their workplace: 

  • Develop a preparedness and response plan in the event, someone becomes ill with symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Communicate with employees and business partners early and often to ensure accurate information is being shared.
  • Keep a list of the names and contact information of all participants at in-person meetings or events. Toronto Public Health will use this list to notify and provide instructions for close contacts to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Any personal information that is collected for COVID-19 contract tracing can only be used for this purpose unless an individual provides their consent. Records should only be kept for 30 days, and then shredded.
  • Contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 for guidance if you have been notified that an employee has tested positive and/or you have concerns that employees may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • Provide Toronto Public Health with contact information of exposed employees and customers to assist with contact tracing.
  • If a staff member, client, or customer has tested positive for COVID-19, Toronto Public Health will interview the person to determine if he/she was contagious while on your premises. Consent is obtained from the employee before disclosing personal health information to the employer.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that may have been touched by the sick employee as soon as possible.
  • Additional public health advice in the event of an outbreak may include additional cleaning and disinfecting measures to reduce the risk of spread in the setting.
  • Follow public health guidance on additional preventive measures.
  • Support employees who need to be absent from work due to illness or being a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of employees’ personal health information.
  • Report to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) if you have been advised that one of your employees has tested positive due to exposure at the workplace.
  • Encourage staff to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.

Source: City of Toronto website

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Businesses (CEAP-SB)

September 9, 2020

The Government of Ontario has created a program to help support small businesses during these challenging times. The province has pulled together $8 million to support small businesses that are struggling to pay their energy bills. The Ontario Energy Board has created the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Businesses (CEAP-SB). The program provides a one-time, on-bill credit for electricity and natural gas accounts that have outstanding payments as of March 17, 2020.

Applications for this program are now open through Toronto Hydro and Enbridge Gas. Enbridge has provided a number to call to both check eligibility and to apply. That number is 1-877-362-7434.

Toronto Hydro is also accepting applications but online at https://www.torontohydro.com/covid-19.

WSIB Health and Safety Excellence program for Micro Business (1-5 employees)

 

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services is offering a unique opportunity to a limited number of micro businesses to join the WSIB performance-based incentive program for companies with 1-5 employees.

The cost to join this pilot program is $49 + HST only for a limited time and it is first come first serve.

This pilot program is built for small businesses (1-5 employees):

  • Flexible timelines allow employers to work at their own pace
  • Registration is open all year round with a 12 month cycle at $49 + HST for a limited time only.
  • Recognition is based on individual participant performance and a rebate up to $1000 upon validation.
  • A WSPS Volunteer/or an Excellence Guide will assist along the way as he/she will provide coaching/feedback as the business owner work to implement the Excellence program topic.

For more information, click on this link  https://www.wsps.ca/Small-Business-Centre/Good-to-Know/Rebate-Program

 

Download WSIB Health and Safety Excellence program for Micro Businesses – flyer (538 KB PDF)

If you are a local business in the BIA with 1-5 employees and want to take advantage of this program, please submit your filled application to business@dukeheights.ca.

WSPS H&S Excellence program Application Form

For other business sizes over 5 employees, you can promote the WSIB H&S Excellence program through your regular communication channel.

This link provides further details https://www.wsps.ca/Health-and-Safety-Excellence-Program/WSPS-Health-and-Safety-Excellence-Program.aspx where the registration fees are based on the amount of premiums a company has paid the previous year.

Here is the breakdown:

  • Small Firm with less than $100.000 in WSIB premiums is $800 + HST
  • Medium Firm between $100,000 and $1M in WSIB premiums is $1700 + HST
  • Large Firm greater than $1M in WSIB premiums is $2,500 + HST

To learn more, contact DUKE Heights BIA at business@dukeheights.ca.