Vendor Spotlight

SIPBAR bar
1024 683 Platterz

How SIPBAR Brings the Party to Your Office

Read Time: 3 Min

From an app concept to a booming full service business, SIPBAR began when brothers, Jack, Daniel, and Alex created a restaurant-rewards app while running pop-up bars in offices on the side. Bar bookings were filling up the brothers’ schedules, becoming the core of their business, causing the app to be put on hold. They saw an opportunity to create an elevated corporate bar experience that would change the way offices host events.

drinks

“[You can] create a bar that suits your specific event profile, and check out online, in less than two minutes”.

Our visit with SIPBAR was unlike any other—they invited us to their summer party (how lucky are we)?! Upon arriving, the brothers welcomed us as if we were longtime friends—offering us drinks and food, while live music was playing in the background. The event had all the ingredients for a lively party, complete with food from one of our most popular catering partners, Per Se Catering. We sat down with Alex and Edmund, SIPBAR’s Toronto City Lead. “Corporate event planners have a difficult time pulling together an elevated bar experience at a reasonable price for any event, while caterers don’t put as much effort into their cocktails and bar experience”, explains Alex. “SIPBAR.com, was the solution to that. [You can] create a bar that suits your specific event profile, and check out online, in less than two minutes”.

office party

“It comes down to the bartenders, the team, the cocktails, and the quality of ingredients.”

“We started building the business around an efficient high level scalable bar service”, Alex explains. “We have a wide range of productsanything from craft beer, premium wines, spirits, and a cocktail menu that changes season by season,” Edmund adds. SIPBAR puts an emphasis on customer service, ensuring that all clients have a bar experience that is unmatched by any other service alike. “It comes down to the bartenders, the team, the cocktails, and the quality of ingredients.”

sipbar bartender

“Having Platterz as a sales arm and marketing channel has a direct benefit.”

SIPBAR launched in January 2017 and began working with our team that October. We have had the honour of watching SIPBAR grow from the early stages all the way through to now, where they have officially launched in New York City (and are a part of our roster of NYC vendors as well). “I always feel like Platterz wants to learn more about our product to be able to promote us better on the [Platterz] site,” Edmund explains, speaking to our partnership. “Having Platterz as a sales arm and marketing channel has a direct benefit,” Alex adds. Platterz has unique offerings for our clients, especially through SIPBAR, so we were thrilled to hear such positive feedback. We have an upscale bar service that pairs well with any event, meeting, or happy hour—safe to say, SIPBAR and Platterz are a pretty killer team together.

SIPBAR party
With Fall officially upon us, we’re starting to plan for the holiday season (did we mention we can plan your office holiday parties—for free?), and we’re thinking of all the amazing drinks and cocktails SIPBAR can add to your event. Looking for a custom cocktail? Get brainstorming, and let’s plan a party to remember.

 

For behind the scenes footage from our shoot, check out our Instagram page highlights!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram

Instagram: @thesipbar

Website: https://www.sipbar.com/

Cities: Toronto & New York City

colourful salads
1024 683 Platterz

It’s Not a Myth: Aaamazing Salad is Truly Amazing

Aaa·ma·zing Sa·lad

/AHˈmāziNG ˈsaləd/

When moving to Canada from China eight years ago, chef-owners Eva and her husband, Jacky, wanted to do something AH-mazing. Fast forward eight years, Aaamazing Salad is a booming healthy spot in Toronto’s trendy Kensington Market. One being a chef and the other boasting an art background, this dynamic husband and wife duo creates colourful healthy salads that appeal to not only the eye, but also the body.

“In China, salad is just fruit and romaine lettuce with a simple dressing. Here, salad can be a [whole] meal.”

Aaamazing Salads Salad

When first moving to Montreal, Eva and Jacky walked past a salad restaurant that had a lineup out the door. Coming from China, the two of them never thought that salad could serve as a main dish, nor be a restaurant’s main focus–they only viewed it as an appetizer. “In China, salad is just fruit and romaine lettuce with a simple dressing. Here, salad can be a [whole] meal,” says Eva. With a young daughter, who they wanted to grow up living a healthy lifestyle, the couple was inspired by this Montreal spot, and thought ‘we can do this too’!

“It’s pronounced AH-mazing. I wanted to do something amazing, and it just came to me.”

Kensington Salad Shop, owners Eva and JackyAfter diving deeper into health and nutrition research, Eva and Jacky started experimenting with nutrients and various healthy flavours. “We try to match tastes together, while also thinking of everybody’s’ [nutritional] needs. I also love the colours of vegetables,” Eva explains as she compares salad to a piece of art. When asked about the name of her restaurant, Eva explains “it’s pronounced AH-mazing. I wanted to do something amazing, and it just came to me.” We can attest that her salads are AH-mazing indeed!

“We have to get the best [quality] of each ingredient. Quality product is more expensive, but it’s worth it.”

Aaamazing Salads Salad
In 2014, Eva and Jacky opened Aaamazing Salad. Prior to opening, Eva explains that they worked on developing their asian sesame dressing for more than one and a half years, and continue to perfect it, four years later. Eva and Jacky use the same approach in developing their whole menu; they are always working to improve the taste and ingredients of their product. “Quality [of ingredients] is really important,” explains Eva. “We have to get the best [quality] of each ingredient. Quality product is more expensive, but it’s worth it.”

“We start with a new recipe for a dressing, and based on the texture, we match it to grains or salads and then build up from there.”

Preparing SaladThe items on the menu all start with an idea. “We start with a new recipe for a dressing, and based on the texture, we match it to grains or salads and then build up from there,” describes Eva. Their popular (and delicious) Rocket Bowl began with a chickpea sauce. “Step by step we add ingredients”, such as eggs and avocados which are key items in the Rocket Bowl.

“Platterz gives us a chance to serve a lot of different customers and really big companies.”

Aaamazing Salads Kensington Market
Aaamazing Salad heard about Platterz from another local spot, Toronto Popcorn Company, who serve gourmet popcorn flavours—including Maple Bacon Popcorn. Yes, you read that right—just across the street from Eva’s restaurant. “Platterz gives us a chance to serve a lot of different customers and really big companies,” denotes Eva on our working relationship. “Platterz focuses on both their customers and their partnerships, making sure both parts are happy.  We can really feel it. I’ve had a really good experience working with Platterz, and give a lot of thanks to Platterz for our business.”

Healthy Salads
Eva made us feel so at home during our visit, and ensured we did not go hungry either. She sent us home with enough salad to feed our team for a week (not to mention it was incredibly delicious AND colourful).

What are you waiting for? Bring some healthy colour into your office—people will love it, we promise!

For behind the scenes footage from our shoot, check out our Instagram page highlights!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram

Instagram: @aaamazingsalad

City: Toronto, Ontario

Healthy Salads
1024 683 Platterz

Café Neon’s Healthy Catering Infuses Greek Heritage Into Every Bite

“In Greece, every village has a cafeneon, where all the locals gather to eat. A day doesn’t go by without going there.”

Walking into Café Neon, we were transported to a Greek café right by the Mediterranean sea. With brightly patterned walls, music beating, and the fresh smell of coffee, we felt far away. It didn’t feel like a Tuesday, or the beginning of a work week. It felt like we were in a small town in Greece—a place full of life and culture. We sat down with Greek owner Niki Tsourounakis at Café Neon, to hear her story and learn about her restaurant-catering business.

Veggie Platter

Named after the Greek traditional meeting spot, “cafeneon”, Niki wanted to bring a piece of Mediterranean culture to Toronto. “In Greece, every village has a cafeneon, where all the locals gather to eat. A day doesn’t go by without going there”, mentions Niki. Cafeneons bring people together over food—which at Platterz, we know a little something about. “I loved the feeling that they exuded. It was a local spot, and you met your relatives and friends, and caught up on the day’s events” Niki explains. Upon opening her restaurants and catering business, Niki wanted to bring this exact feeling to Café Neon and its cocktail counterpart, Bar Neon.

Being born into three family restaurants, Niki always felt at home in the kitchen. “I just had it in me”, she says. “I learned so much being in the restaurants. I learned how to cook by watching the chefs in the kitchen. I still have visions of how they prepared things to this day.”

Freshly baked croissants

“This is what I should be doing. It’s my passion.”

Despite her family history in the restaurant industry, Niki wanted to do something different. “I thought I wanted to leave the restaurant industry to challenge myself more. I went to school for forensic psychology. I wanted to be a criminal profiler.” After going through schooling for forensic psychology, Niki purchased a property and rented it out to a budding chef. “Watching him cook re-inspired me, and brought it back out of me. I thought to myself, what am I doing? This is what I should be doing. It’s my passion.” Stemming from this realization, Niki started participating in catering events, cooking out of her small apartment.

“I just dreamt it. I thought, this is going to be the place, this is perfect.”

Keeping busy with small-scale catering events, Niki was approached to do an office launch party for 300 people. Seemingly an ambitious undertaking, Niki was ready for the challenge. “I was cooking out of my tiny loft, but I never say no to anything.” Inspired by the neighbourhood of the event, she ended up finding a vacant space online, which would become Café Neon. “I just dreamt it. I thought, this is going to be the place, this is perfect.” Café Neon opened shortly thereafter in 2011, and just six months later, Niki opened Bar Neon. She now operates the business with her partner Katy Chan, who is a Stratford trained chef. 

Oatmeal Cookies Behind Glass

“We like to stick to simple ingredients, and letting them shine. Less is more.”

With a healthy Mediterranean fusion menu, Café Neon’s food is made from scratch. “One of our biggest mantras is that we don’t use anything that’s processed and we use mostly organic ingredients. We make everything.” Niki is proud of the ingredients she and her team uses, and even imports her family’s olive oil from Greece. “It tastes like liquid-gold.” She mentions how eating healthy is important to her, and how this is incorporated into her catering. “We like to stick to simple ingredients and let them shine. Less is more.” 

Café Neon signed on with Platterz about a year ago. On working with Platterz, Niki says “it feels like having an extra team member.” We work with our vendors daily to make sure that they feel like they are a part of our family, so it was extra exciting to hear Niki say that she feels like we are a part of her team.

In terms of opportunity, Niki reflected on how her business has recently evolved. “We’re catering to people we would’ve never approached. We don’t really advertise that we cater, and we don’t really have to because of Platterz. They’ve opened a lot of avenues for us, and are allowing us to grow at a much faster pace.”

Cafe Neon

After hearing about Niki, her Greek heritage, and how the kitchen is Niki’s natural habitat, our admiration for Café Neon instantly grew. This is why we love meeting our vendors—their stories and the care they put into their food is truly inspiring. We felt very at home during our time at Café Neon, and love the way Niki’s passion for food comes through in her catering. If your team is in need of some healthy comfort food, Cafe Neon has got you covered!

Take a look at their menu on Platterz and be sure to let us know what you think!