Bandidas Taqueria provides handmade, Mexican-inspired, vegetarian food in the heart of East Vancouver. Co-owners Jackie-Rae Avery and Aiyana Kane opened their doors with the support of many friends in January 2009 to an immensely supportive community. Then and now, they make everything from scratch–the limes for the margaritas are squeezed daily, and the tortillas are pressed minutes before they make it to your plate. Bandidas was built on relationships and human connection, with the help of friends and the wider community in its initial days. Bandidas always wanted to be more than a restaurant. They strive to be a welcoming and inclusive space for all members of society and serve healthy, abundant food at a reasonable price.They invest back into the East Van community, regularly donating to local initiatives, host fundraisers for social justice causes, and display the work of local artists.
Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?
Answer: We work with about 40 suppliers and most of them are based right here in B.C. We love our local suppliers – Herbal Republic, BSI Biodegradable Solutions, Sunrise Soya Foods, Driftwood Brewery, East Village Bakery, Donald’s Market, Dollar Grocers, El Comal Mexican Foods, Horizonte Imports, Chasers Juice and so many more! We also work with local service providers for accounting, banking, car sharing, construction, recycling, compost and maintenance. We love working with Vancity, Modo, and others.
Question: What social practices are you proud of?
Answer: We’ve focused a lot on our people. We have a staff of 48 people, and we pay them higher than average industry wages. We have an employee benefits package, we provide a development investment to pay for training and leadership development programs, and give all of our staff annual holiday bonuses. We also re-invest in our community, focusing on fundraising for various causes. We seek out partnerships with local businesses who share our commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices. We continually look for ways to reduce the environmental impact of our operations. We divert as much as we can to compost, and recycle everything else. In 2016 we eliminated straws because they created unnecessary waste.