Café By Tao offers raw vegan cuisine, providing delicious food prepared in a way that preserves nutrients and keeps enzymes alive. Dishes are made with 100% organic ingredients in a process that keeps all nutrients alive and vital. Whenever possible, Café By Tao buys ingredients from local farmers and businesses first. Not only does the cafe offer fresh and colourful dishes, they have a grocery section with foods to assemble meals at home, raw ingredients and recipe books, and offers online classes.
They recently moved locations, and can now be found one block north of the Lonsdale Quay above the Shoppers Drug Mart. Tao is passionate about their community – so much so that in July 2017 they launch “Healthy Ways at Tao’s”. They will fill the Plaza outside the Cafe on Sundays with local entrepreneurs focused on healthy living, and organize workshops, demos and presentations.
Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?
Answer: We always buy local first; we have a deep respect for their dedication in providing the best organic and biodynamic food there is. Our suppliers are local, and they know of our commitment to our local farmers, so they provide local ingredients when possible and in season. However many of the ingredients come from outside BC or Canada since they are not available here. Our suppliers for specialty chocolates and kombucha are locals. We buy many of our services locally – we support local accounting and bookkeeping companies, renovation contractors, IT services, use local marketing, waste management and repair companies. We’d also like to expand, but rather than franchising, we’d rather teach our business model to others, supporting other local entrepreneurs.
Question: What social practices are you proud of?
Answer: Tao’s vision is to share and teach how to include a plant based living in one’s daily life. The way to a healthier us, a healthier planet starts on our plates ;o) Owner Agathe Mathieu alleviated her own health issues by moving to a raw vegan diet. She later won many of her family members over, and now the cafe, store and training help her change the lives of so many others by improving their health and energy levels. The cafe makes products, that are made with 100% organic ingredients, available at similar prices to other businesses who might use only partially organic or conventional ingredients. We also offer our wholesale prices on produce and bulk dry goods to our employees to make eating organic more affordable for them.
Question: What environmental practices are you proud of?
Answer: Café By Tao was created from love and respect for our planet. We source 100% organic or wild-harvested ingredients, supporting organic practices and reducing chemicals in the soil, air and our bodies. We pride ourselves on how we reduce our footprint since almost all food offered at the café is made in house.
We produce less than 10% waste from our operation – our weekly waste is 14 bins of compostable matters, 1 bag of plastic for recycling and only 1 bag of garbage. We’re so proud of our composting program – 80% of our waste is compostable matter. Not only that, it stays on the north shore. Cascadia Society and Edible Garden work with us to transform our compost in a rich organic soil full of nutrients to help grow new harvests. Our grocery items are package in containers that are 1st reusable and 2nd recyclable. Our customers are so awesome they are so keen in bringing the containers back for us to sanitize and reuse. Most of our employees are from the area, so don’t need to travel so far – 75% are in North Vancouver, and 25% are in Vancouver. Our footprint is super lite – there is a bright future ahead!