Since 1974, Island Foods Restaurants have introduced Toronto to authentic Caribbean flavours. Our hot sauce has always been a part of that taste experience. With a combination of fresh scotch bonnet peppers and my mom’s special spice blend, our hot sauces deliver heat with a unique home-style flavour that our customers describe as “mouthwatering”
In 2008, when I started helping my mom make our Island Foods® Hot Sauce, it was exclusively for our three restaurants. However, customer demand and take-home sales grew and kept growing. People found our versatile hot sauces tasted great on almost everything, not just Caribbean! With my mom as my guiding principle and standard for excellence, I decided to make Island Foods® Hot Sauce more accessible to everyone
Today, we still make our hot sauce in small batches with the same quality our friends and customers have enjoyed for over 44 years. Now all our new friends can take home a bit of Caribbean heat to savour on all their favourite foods.
How It All Began… A New Life
In 1967, my parents, Ramasar and Ruth Sawh left Trinidad for New York to study Computer Programming. In 1968, they came to Canada, where Toronto became their home. Unsatisfied with the jobs they had secured, they decided to start their own business and so their journey as entrepreneurs began.
Finding the right business took a little time but in 1973, an opportunity to open a restaurant in Dufferin Mall Food Court appeared. By this time, the family had grown to include my 3 yr. old brother and myself. My mom had always been a great cook but neither parent had restaurant experience. Taking a chance, they invested everything and opened the first Island Foods Restaurant the following year.
In a short time, clients became lifelong friends, staff – an extension of family…and Island Foods was a success. By 1976, family and business had grown. Our family welcomed the arrival of twin girls and the restaurant expanded to a new location at the C.N.E. The 1182 King Street West and Village by the Grange locations followed. Over the years, we are proud and happy to see our customer base grow to include the newest generations of our customers’ children and grandchildren.
Today, we still believe in serving only our best. We are truly a family business. My brother and his family operate their own location at 1310 Don Mills Road and other family members can always be found at our 1182 King Street location.