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O N T A R I O May 2015 Vol. 30 No. 4

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Triple threat

Nipun Sharma, NGFF Holdings CEO. taurant industry for more than a doz- gourmet food, design with attention en years and is the creator of MTY to details and an engaging cooking Group’s Tandori Indian Cuisine fran- process. “Healthy, of course, is a broad TORONTO — Following the suc- chise. NGFF, which stands for Next Gen- word, but I think it is an important cessful opening of Rose City Kitchen (RCK) last year, Nipun Sharma eration Fast Food, owns Rose City word, because our health knowledge REQUIRED Smash Juice Bar, Clockwork keeps changing,” he said. “Food has launched two new concepts in aAPPROVAL tri- Kitchen, The enclosed proof is sent for your approval. We will not proceed with the job until the proof is returned. VERBAL CHECK CAREFULLY! become more trendy, but one thing I Coffee andINSTRUCTIONS. VAMs Culture. branded location on April 20. DO NOT GIVE Beyond this point we cannot accept responsibility for any errors. Alterations (other than typoerrors) will beSharma charged extra. Mark proof “OK” or “OK with corrections” as theparcase may think is permanent is: if it’s high qualsaid three things are The chief executive officer graphical of be, signing your name so we may know that the proof reached the proper authority. NGFF Holdings has been in the res- amount to the success of a restaurant: ity, if it’s natural, it’s good for you.” By Kristen Smith, Associate Editor

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The first Rose City Kitchen opened in February 2014 at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue. “This was my take on the next generation of the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean concept,” said Sharma. He said there are many other dimensions to Middle Eastern food than shawarma. RCK’s menu allows diners to pick chicken, falafel, steak or halloumi cheese on boxed rice or in a pita and choose the regional component such as Egyptian, Moroccan, Greek or Lebanese. RCK’s take on poutine is fresh cut fries dusted with sumac, tabouleh, grated halloumi cheese, fried carrots and hummus. Named for the Jordanian city of Petra (or Rose City), where the spice traders of the Mediterranean coast lived, Sharma said the name represents some of the culinary constants in the region: flatbreads, garlic sauce and spiced meat. The next two concepts NGFF created were Clockwork Coffee, which focuses on handcrafted espresso beverages and pour-over coffees, and Smash Juice Bar. “Clockwork is a serious brand; it’s about the art of roasting, it’s about the baristas, it’s about the craft,” said Sharma. Smash Juice Bar offers juices, smoothies, fermented drinks, a selection of healthy meals and snacks and

all-natural, edible skin products. “We make everything from scratch: our kombucha, kefir, coldpressed juice, raw, vegan food that tastes like real food — it tastes like an indulgence,” he said. The tri-branded location opened in about 2,200 square feet located below office space at 36 Toronto St. They share common seating for about 35, each operating independently with its own staff, design and corner area. The brands are complementary, said Sharma, allowing them to operate together and focus on different dayparts. “You have a reason to come down here more than once,” he said. NGFF’s fourth business, VAMs, was purchased after Sharma intended to outsource the kefir water and kombucha products to the husband and wife team (who “have perfected the fermentation art”) and realized the company needed a financial boost, he said. Sharma has individual expansion agendas for the Smash, Clockwork and Rose City brands. He said RCK lends itself better to franchising. For the other two brands, he would prefer new units to be corporate. “What’s surprising me is almost everybody wants all three at the same time,” said Sharma, adding he will consider this option for franchising under the right circumstances.

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