Invest in Brampton
By Jane Dummer, president, Jane Dummer ConsultingAlima Foods Brampton Cardinal Meats Coke Canada Bottling McKay Foods Ontario
Sponsored by City of Brampton
Home to one of the largest food and beverage ecosystems in Canada
Brampton is the home to one of the largest food and beverage ecosystems in Canada. Supported by industry-leading technology, top-quality products and rich agricultural tradition, there are over 60 direct food and beverage manufacturing facilities employing more than 8,500 people. A number that has grown considerably over the past five years. The economic activity associated with these facilities creates more than 13,000 additional indirect “spin-off” jobs in upstream and downstream industries (e.g. agriculture, packaging, logistics) across Ontario and more than 6,500 additional indirect jobs elsewhere in Canada. Let’s explore four success stories in the City of Brampton.
Alima Foods Inc.
Gibraan Ali, President of Alima Foods Inc., describes, “Brampton is a well-located, newer city that offers a certain freshness we believe is unmatched by other cities in the Greater Toronto Area. It is situated in a prime location, with easy access via major thoroughfares such as the 401, 407, and 410. Brampton is a diverse city, which offers a great opportunity for products that appeal to those that enjoy Caribbean flavours influenced by Indian cuisine. We specialize in Caribbean food, particularly items from Trinidad and Guyana. Our specialty is Roti, and in this segment, we have an item which is our best-selling product, Parathas. A paratha is an Indian/North African inspired flatbread. We have grown from two employees to over 40 employees. We launched an online store to meet the growing demand for home delivery. We have seen an increase in sales 100 per cent year over year. Our website uses the latest technology that is often only used by bigger companies. For customers’ convenience, we have introduced a curbside pickup option. This service allows customers to place their orders online and have their purchases delivered straight to their vehicle.”
Coke Canada Bottling
Coke Canada Bottling operates Canada’s largest integrated soft drink manufacturing and distribution facility in Brampton, which employs nearly 1,400 people. Todd Parsons, CEO of Coke Canada Bottling, explains, “Coke Canada Bottling is a family-owned Canadian business with close, local connections with the communities in which we operate. With a history of more than 20 years of operating locally in Brampton, we are proud members of the Brampton community. The Brampton Coke Canada facility is the largest in Canada, and many of the Coke Canada Bottling products Ontarians enjoy originate from Brampton. Our Brampton facility contributes close to $200 million to the local economy, making and packaging 100+ different flavours of products on five production lines. Building a strong relationship with the City of Brampton, the city’s economic development team, and the Brampton Board of Trade has been vital to our growth journey. We care greatly about how we can best support Brampton’s overall community and economic development. At Coke Canada, we believe diversity is our superpower. We aim to have a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities in which we operate. We continue to be active leaders in contributing to the development of a stronger Brampton business community and operating in Brampton allows us to be active agents of change. By operating and embedding our businesses within Brampton, we can authentically participate in initiatives that support Brampton’s overall reputation, growth, and which ultimately drive the local economy. For instance, last year we participated in #ReadyBrampton, the Brampton Board of Trade’s campaign encouraging Bramptonians to support local. The campaign featured our own employees who work in Brampton and built off of our #LoveYourLocal campaign which was launched during the pandemic in support of our local customers.”
Brent Cator, owner and CEO, Cardinal Meats, explains, “As a leader in the protein manufacturing industry, the City of Brampton continues to be very helpful and supportive of our business and future growth plans. We moved our facility to Brampton in 2011. Our location gives great access and proximity to suppliers and customers both in Canada and the USA. But moreover, as a food processor, a talented workforce is critical to our success. We’ve found that Brampton has a quality talent pool of potential new staff including new immigrants who want to succeed at their first jobs in Canada.” With their roots firmly in place in the city, Cardinal have been continuing to innovate and expand their operations. “As we continue to grow our business with industry leading innovations like our Natural Texture Forming technology in the burger category and our proprietary Safe Sous Vide™ line of fully cooked proteins that are ideal solutions for consumer, restaurant and industrial customers, we have also been able to expand our production capacity with the recent completion of a 33,000 square foot expansion of our production facility. We worked with the City of Brampton’s economical development team who were a tremendously supportive partner and helped expedite that process.” said Cator.
McKay Foods Inc.
Brampton Venture Zone (BVZ) is a purpose-driven, non-equity incubator launching early-stage technology start-ups in Brampton. At BVZ, start-ups are more than just a vanity metric – they’re key players in the ecosystem. BVZ understands the most pressing problems that need solving and invest in ground-breaking technology start-ups to build solutions for the greater economic and social impact of the community in Brampton. Brad McKay, founder of McKay Foods Inc., says, “As a health care logistics start-up company, I am very pleased with the Brampton Venture Zone. It offers well-thought-out programs and mentorship for the 18 successful companies who make it through the application and vetting process. Specifically, the support for how to build and run a business is top-notch. The location of Brampton offers access to high-quality tech employees from the Waterloo to Toronto, Ontario corridor. The physical innovation hub where the BVZ is located in downtown Brampton has created a cloud of innovation for the city.”
The City of Brampton represents one of the most important locations for food and beverage facilities in North America. Investing in Brampton’s food and beverage sector creates a one-stop shop for innovation in manufacturing, processing and support industries in the North American supply chain.
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