When Lisa Labute, co-owner of The Goods, was still working in advertising, her diet was not great. “I was on the Ad Diet!” Lisa laughs. Her daily food intake consisted of a latte for breakfast, a burrito for lunch, and usually a fancy client dinner in the evening. She prided herself in not being able to cook, and avoided vegetables like the plague. But, surprise surprise, she wasn’t feeling good. One day she found herself reading a book about raw food, which inspired her to try making a green smoothie at home. She braced herself for the first sip - convinced it would taste gruesome - but to her surprise, it was refreshing and delicious! And so began her journey.
Lisa quickly began to feel so good that she wanted to share her experience with everyone she knew. Colleagues were curious, and so she offered to make smoothies and salads for them for a week to see if they noticed a difference as well. It started with just four friends, but soon grew to more than 20 people requesting her salads and smoothies, five days a week. A business had begun!
It didn’t take long for word to spread throughout the community. Demand grew, and a friend who owned a nearby bar offered up the kitchen for Lisa to use so she could keep up. “I didn’t know what I was doing!” she says. “I had a blog that we were taking orders through, and we were just making it up as we went along.”
Her friend and former colleague, Cat Parker, had been helping where she could, but finally quit her day job and jumped on board full time. She, too, believed in the power of clean eating and green smoothies and wanted to spread the word and change people’s minds about the food they eat.
So when a space came available to open a store and have a full time kitchen on Dundas West, Lisa and Cat jumped at the opportunity. They may have gotten overexcited and forgot to measure the width of the door before signing the lease, but they’ve adapted. “Who needs a commercial refrigerator when you can have five residential ones that do the job and fit through the front door?” asks Lisa, laughing.
The Goods was born out of Lisa's and Cat’s frustration with the tendency toward deceptive marketing in the restaurant and health food industry. They believe strongly in transparency of their whole process, so they have an open concept kitchen and food prep area. All ingredients are whole and unprocessed, the environment is extremely clean and the foods they make are vegetable based. “Our food is good for you, good for the planet, good for the environment…that’s why we call it The Goods!” explains Lisa. And, boy, does it ever taste good, too.