Saturday, December 21, 2013

[Product Review] Sweets From the Earth - Peppermint Nanaimo Bar

Company: Sweets From the Earth


Product: Peppermint Nanaimo Bar, $2
Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free?: Yes to all

This review is long overdue, but now it is finally up! I finished my last exam this past Wednesday and I have more time on my hands before the winter semester starts. I will try to tackle the posts that need to be done before I get busy again (fingers crossed)!

In the beginning of November, I was at Ryerson when I saw a sign for free snacks around the school. Being the kind of girl that stake out for free food, I obviously had to check out the event. To my surprise, there was a big booth set up for Sweets From the Earth (SFTE) where they were giving out free samples and selling individual snacks for $2. If you aren't familiar, all of their desserts are all natural and 100% vegan. Whilst I was piling on the samples, I introduced myself to one of the co-owners who was manning the booth. I told him that whenever a cafe sold their products, I always mentioned them in my review. As a thank you for spreading the word of SFTE, I was given a free Peppermint Nanaimo Bar! I was quite excited because I never tried anything from SFTE, despite seeing their products in 90% of the cafes I'd been to.

I decided not to eat the bar that day because I wanted to save it. So the next day, I went to The Abbott and thought it was perfect to have with my latte. When I took a bite out of the Peppermint Nanaimo Bar, it did not last five minutes before everything was consumed. It was my first nanaimo bar and it was absolutely delicious! To the point where I was scratching on the packaging to savour what was left! It was soft and chewy with just the right amount of chocolate and peppermint combined. I would not have realized it was vegan if I did not know beforehand. Combining it with the latte was perfection. This was the best nanaimo bar I had up to date and since I haven't had the chance to try anything else from SFTE (asides from the mini cookie samples, which were good as well), I definitely recommend picking up a Peppermint Nanaimo Bar the next time you see it in a cafe!

To read my interview with the founder and owner Ilana, check it out here:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Coffee Shop Project

I like to support independent related-things. Independent art, independent jewellery brands, and of course independent cafes! Do you know what else is great? Independent music, for free!

I was reached out by Kaitlyn from The Coffee Shop Project for a quick shout out. I actually knew about this project when I picked up one of their download cards at El Cafecito last year.

For those who aren't familiar, The Coffee Shop Project's goal is to promote independent music at different independent places, such as cafes. Each month they feature an artist from Maple Music Recordings and you could download the artist's single for free. All you have to do if find a cafe that offers the download cards and you can drop by to pick one up! Check it all out at: and let me know if you downloaded any cool songs.

Friday, December 6, 2013

[Interview] Sweets from the Earth with Ilana Kadonoff

So I decided to do something a bit different on my blog today. If you are a regular reader or cafe-goer, you may be familiar with Sweets from the Earth. A majority of the cafes I have featured on the blog actually sells many gluten-free and vegan snacks from SFTE. I thought it would be nice to do a quick interview with the founder of this delicious company (I will have a mini product review up later once I figure out the post set-up!). Hopefully you enjoy this interview and will pick up something from SFTE next time!

You can check out their site here:

1. Please introduce yourself and your role in Sweets from the Earth!

My name is Ilana Kadonoff and I am the founder and president of SFTE.

2. What inspired the creation of SFTE?

I was a long time vegetarian/pastry chef with a sweet tooth, and a budding vegan with no sweet options! I started playing around in the kitchen with traditional pastry recipes using alternative ingredients, and when I came up with a few good products, I approached some stores and cafes to get some feedback, and people loved them! I never actually set out to start a business – turned out that vegans were ready for great tasting vegan desserts instead of the “healthy-tasting” ones that were available at the time, so this little hobby quickly evolved into a business.

3. What is the future of SFTE? Any plans for expansion?

The future of SFTE is to keep growing and coming up with new products. We’re working on some exciting new things out of both our gluten free and nut free facilities.

4. Out of all the treats that are currently being sold, which is your personal favourite?

I have two favourites and they are both from our original product line. Chocolate cake with a tall, cold glass of almond milk, and chocolate chewy nut bars, right out of the freezer. I also have a soft spot for the cashew cookies and our chocolate mint cupcakes.

5. Will we be expecting anything new from SFTE soon?

I have a list a mile long of products to develop. The key is finding the time! But as I mentioned above, we are working on some new things, and hopefully some of them will be making an appearance in the new year.

6. Since this is a cafe blog, which is your favourite Toronto cafe? It doesn't have to be one that you are working with!

I base my café opinions on how good their lattes are and whether they offer vegan treats! There are a few I love:

1. Hotel Gelato has great vegan lattes, large assortment of vegan pastries (from us as well as other companies), and delicious vegan gelato!

2. Aroma

3. Café Con Leche

4. Cocoa Latte