Agata S., Owner + Creator
Agata S., Owner + Creator
A love of gifting, a passion for creative cooking, and a desire to help others cook great meals for themselves with confidence, inspired Agata to found Simple Pantry. The ready-to-cook one-pot meals in a jar are not only perfect for the lazy, or unskilled cooks, they can also be great for all levels; she encourages everyone to get creative and add their own twist to the finished product. Her jars are for those who are intimidated by cooking, do not have time to cook or just anybody who wants a simple, healthy, homemade meal. One of her mottos is “made by me, cooked by you” because she wants her customers to take the credit for an amazing meal. Although it came from a package, she assures; it is still handmade.
Where did the inspiration for your business stem from?
My products in a jar initially came from thinking of gifts during the holiday season. I wanted to give my family meaningful, consumable handmade gifts that would be enjoyed from beginning to end.
With the right encouragement, love and confidence, Simple Pantry was born.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an entrepreneur?
I chose a very difficult industry to work in, the food industry. There are a lot of rules and regulations you must abide by when selling food to your community, with good reason. That is the main struggle; to always ensure my products are high quality and comply with standards. However, I am creating something that I believe in, comes from my passion for cooking, and it is my own creation.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Confidence and putting yourself out there is key. What held me back was not knowing where to start and thinking I could never run my own business because I am not business or financially savvy. However, once you take that first step and throw yourself in, you learn along the way that there are many resources and simple technologies that can help with the things you fear. You have to be your own cheerleader and throw yourself into selling your product. Everyone has their own unique beginning and the most important step is your first one.
In your opinion, where is the best place to visit in your city?
If you are looking to satisfy your inner foodie, take a trip to Toronto’s Kensington Market! There are so many amazing food shops where you can get sweet or savoury (or both) snacks, meals, and drinks. I went to an underground supper club twice in Kensington Market, and that is where my foodie passion began!