When we had our IT Consulting business our offices were in Cabbagetown; the beautifully refurbished old Victorian neighbourhood of Toronto.
One of our business neighbours in Cabbagetown was a newly started catering business called Daniel et Daniel. They also had a store front from where we bought our daily dose of calories in the form of delicious croissants, delectable pastries and unique mouth watering salads. Their other claim to fame at that time was they catered our staff and client functions.
Fast forward a few years (actually many years) and Daniel et Daniel is now a major force in Toronto’s catering world. They have achieved significant success while still upholding their high quality. They are still at their orginal Caggagetown location; 248 Carlton.
What lessons can we learn from them?
- Daniel et Daniel was in the wholesale business but decided to wind that down to focus on its thriving catering business. The lesson to learn; find your niche; that thing you do really well and get better and better at it.
- Daniel et Daniel really are 2 partners. One of the partners looks after accounting and sales; the other the kitchens and food. The lesson to learn; if you want a successful business partnership make sure you have very clear roles and responsibilities.
- Success didn’t come overnight; they grew the business piece by piece making sure their quality and service kept pace with the growth. The lesson to learn; growing a successful business is a journey not a quick fix.
- Like all growing companies they had cash flow challenges and so they originally opened the store front to generate cash flow; the store front is still open. The lesson to learn; cash flow is what keeps companies alive and so explore all options to increase cash in while managing the cash flow closely.
- To quote one of the partners; “we never stopped learning and improving what we were doing”. The lesson to learn; business owners must be always learning because the world is constantly changing, especially for a growing business. And never stop improving what you do!
With spring now here and the Victoria Day long week-end coming up I highly recommend a visit to Caggagetown. Just some of the attractions:
- A visit to Daniel et Daniel of course; 248 Carlton Street
- A farm. Yes you heard me a farm! So when your country cousins come to stay take them to the farm; that is an experience they probably can’t have at home!
- Street upon street of beautifully restored Victorian houses
- Necropolis Cemetery – home to many famous Torontonians and a beautiful walking space
Cabbagetown is east of Parliament, bounded by Wellesley to the north and Gerrard to the south. It is an area to be walked not driven around. So if you are driving plan to park the car and walk. Have a wonderful time!