David Alexander is Executive Director of the Toronto Vegetarian Association, and is responsible for operational planning and management at TVA. David has given public presentations at libraries, offices and community groups, and interviews with media including The Toronto Star, CBC Radio, CTV, and Global TV on the health and environmental benefits of vegetarian eating, how to transition to a vegetarian diet, Meatless Mondays, and the evolution of Toronto’s vegetarian business community. Since joining the TVA in 2006, David has worked with passionate volunteers and staff to introduce creative new projects and events. David has enabled TVA to meet the goals of a three-year Trillium Foundation grant for volunteer program development in 2009 and led the organization recognition as a finalist for a Green Toronto Award for Environmental Awareness in 2011.

1. What is your favourite Sweets from the Earth product? And why?

My wife has a gluten allergy and your Flourless Cashew Cookies were the first gluten-free treat I can remember swiping. Those are some very yummy cookies. Oh, and the Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are great too. If you can find some way to install some of those at a coffee shop near Baldwin Village, I would be very grateful.

2. Do you follow any special diets?

I follow the vegan cupcakes diet, where I try to eat a wide variety of vegan cupcakes. And other things. I’m not insane.

3. Where do you purchase your favourite sweets?

I purchase my favourite sweets at the Annual Vegetarian Food Festival, which I’ve been involved with for the past seven years. The quality and quantity of muffins, cupcakes, cookies, cakes, pies and other sweets available at the Festival has grown exponentially over that time period.

4. What inspires you on a day to day basis?

I’m inspired by stories. My decision to become vegan was inspired and informed by the stories of Harold Brown, Melanie Joy, Jonathan Safran Foer, and many others. But even beyond that, I’m a big podcast listener and I think what podcasting can do so well is really put you into the someone else’s head while they work through something. I’m a big believer in the power of stories to drive understanding and change behaviour. We’ve got some great storytellers lined-up to speak at this year’s Food Festival…

5. You’re the Executive Director of the Toronto Vegetarian Association. Are there any events coming up you’d like to tell us about?

Well, since you mentioned it, there’s this event I’m involved with called the 28th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival which takes place September 7-9 at Harbourfront Centre. In fact, I believe Sweets from the Earth is supporting the event as a Gold Sponsor this year – so thanks for that!

This year, we’ve got a fitness panel featuring ultra marathon runner Rich Roll and Ellen’s personal trainer John Pierre. We’ve got cooking demos with Caribbean vegan chef Taymer Mason, Toronto raw foods chef Doug McNish and many more. Plus we’ve got an event called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over Toronto where local businesses will compete to impress vegan cookbook legends Terry Hope Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz!

The Festival also features more than 100 exhibitors including bakeries, restaurants, along with other related nonprofits and businesses.

All that and we’ve still got a major programming announcement up our sleeve – so interested parties should stay tuned to festival.veg.ca!

6. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Like many people, I loathed my high school years. Things started to turn around for me at university as I got involved in a community as an activist and a writer. When I graduated, I started working with TVA where I got introduced to a whole new community of creative, smart, compassionate people. Then I started dating someone who makes me very happy. The world is an unhappy place for a lot of individuals, but between my friends and family and the meaningful work I’m able to do at TVA, I’ve got a lot in the plus column.

7.       What would we find on your nightstand?

That would be my Apple brand mobile device.

8.       If you could only take three items to a desert island, what would they be?

Not my Apple brand mobile device. Assuming I can’t bring my wife and my two cats, I’d bring a pen, a notebook, and a case of beer so that I could write poems and set them adrift in empty beer bottles.


We are thrilled to be seen in print in the current issue of Eco Parent Magazine.  Although we like our ad reminding all of you to buy our nut-free cookies for back to school, we are so impressed by the publication that we wanted to share with you.

Also, if you flip through their magazine (do it!), you will find a discount code for our sweets!


 One of the best things about being a kid has to be birthdays – the excitement of being a year older…  the anticipation of a birthday party that goes into the planning stages minutes after the previous year’s party ends… friends, food, balloons, games, and of course, the all-important birthday cake. Coming home covered in brightly coloured frosting, and bouncing off the walls on a sugar high… fond childhood memories, indeed!   

Before becoming a pastry chef, I worked as an occupational therapist in a long term care facility.  I spent my days teaching people with disabilities ways to increase their independence, and felt good at the end of each day knowing that my work made a difference in someone’s life.  I left that career after a few years to pursue a passion in baking – I was so excited to be spending my days in the kitchen, but there was a part of me that felt like it was a selfish choice.  I left a helping profession to follow some crazy dream that would make me happy, but didn’t for a second think it could ever make a difference in anyone else’s life.

A few years into my baking career, those selfish feelings disappeared when I got a call from a grateful mom.  Her son, Steven, who had been anaphylactic to eggs and dairy since birth, had never had a birthday cake before.  She thanked me profusely (that day and for years to come) for creating something that he could enjoy as part of his birthday celebration (his 8th birthday… can you imagine, seven birthdays without cake?!).  It was at that moment I realized that I actually was still helping people! 

My daughter Kali celebrating her 6th Birthday

Of all the things we make, kids’ birthday cakes are my favourite. They just get SO excited about them!   I love that we can make a cake the birthday boy or girl will love, and parents will feel good about giving them.  No dairy, no eggs, no nuts, no preservatives, artificial colours or flavours, and they can still have a delicious, decadent, brightly coloured cake like the ones they see at their friends’ parties.  They may still come home covered in frosting, but with unrefined sugar and no fakie fake colours, they’re not likely to be bouncing off the walls!

 

Ilana
Founder

If you’re interested in a custom Sweets from the Earth cake for your special occasion, please contact us directly.


Did you know that National S’mores day is coming up on August 10th?  Perfect timing as our nut-free and vegan cupcake of the month is S’mores!

Here’s our Sweet Deal so you can celebrate around the campfire (or not!):

Campfire Not Required

Buy 12 Sweets from the Earth cupcakes (any flavor) and receive 6 S’mores cupcakes FREE with your order.
Place your order TODAY by calling us directly!

Valid on orders placed August 7th through 9th, for pick-up, on August 9th or 10th.

Happy S’mores Day!

P.S Our cupcakes do freeze well

*this special offer cannot be combined with any discount card or program.


Mira Katz is an eighteen year-old student studying Physiology at McGill. She has been vegetarian her whole life, and has a passion for food and health. She is also the newest member of the Administrative Council of the Montreal Vegetarian Association.

As a student in Montreal, I can say I’m more than blessed to have McGill practically in my back yard. And, as a vegetarian I can say that Montreal is more than friendly to my dietary needs amid my busy life-style and tight budget. So, here’s my condensed 101 guide to the secret to my plant-based meat-free success.

1. Food shopping: Fruits and veggies are always in abundance in my fridge, meaning they take out an abundance from my wallet. Finding cheap and fresh produce may seem like a challenge, however I’ve come up with a helpful list: Adonis, PA, Akhavan (just to name a few). The true fun lies in the Asian grocery stores that offer an array of exotic protein-filled goodies that keep my meals exciting without breaking the bank. For those special treats I like to hit up my local health food stores like Rachelle-Béry and À Votre Santé. That’s where I pick up my Sweets from the Earth products to get my sweet-tooth fix (my favorites are the Spiced Carrot Cake and Blueberry Cheesecake…I love that they’re vegan too!)

2. Going out: Despite my passion for cooking, I have a love for dining and eating out. The thrill of ordering off a menu and then having it magically appear on my table then biting into a plate full of new flavors never tires me. For those special moments, my favorite vegetarian restaurants are usually my go-to spots: ChuChai, Crudessence, Pushap.

3. Activism: Now don’t get me wrong, cooking and eating and talking about food are definitely a huge component of the vegetarian package, but there are other key parts too. My smaller environmental impact and health benefits are very important, and play a huge role in my decision-making and general life-style. I got involved with the Montreal Vegetarian Association so that I can educate people about the benefits of limiting meat consumption and practicing socially and environmentally conscious eating. We give talks, make a resto-guide and share relevant information to help people make more informed decisions about the way they eat (vegemontreal.org). Making the world a better place starts on our plates…or maybe I’m just hungry!

Good luck!


Our cupcake of the month is… our S’mores Cupcake, filled with vegan marshmallow, spelt graham crumbs and chocolate. Campfire not required!

Whether sitting around a bonfire, or in the comfort of your own home, you’ll enjoy this classic summer treat by biting into our decadent S’mores Cupcake! These are made in our nut-free bakery, and are of course, dairy free, egg free, free of preservatives and refined sugars, and all of the other great qualities of our desserts.

These are available starting TODAY at select locations, and as always, by direct order with us.

 


Our muffin of the month is…our Morning Glory Muffin, filled with organic carrots, cranberries, coconut, and ground vanilla beans (talk about Glory-ous tasting!).

 

Pick up one (or a dozen) of these nut-free muffins that are made with GMO-free, dairy free, and egg free ingredients, and made with all the other great qualities we put into each Sweets from the Earth dessert we create.

These are available starting TODAY at select locations, and as always, by direct order with us.