At the end of 2018, Allison Rounding and Holly Atkinson launched Fierce friends, a vegan food company in Acton that seemed destined to come to Guelph.
The two met at George Brown College’s chef school over 20 years ago and dreamed of starting a restaurant one day. With Atkinson’s experience in traveling and cooking across the world and Rounding’s background in business management, the two decided to start their own cafe in Acton.
Rounding and Atkinson had been vegans for most of their lives and for them it made sense to start a store that served accessible vegan foods with whole local ingredients.
While Fierce Friends has done well in Acton, it has been hit hard by the pandemic. Without the support of the Guelph community, Rounding said the store would not have survived. So it moved to Guelph this summer as an online business.
“We had regulars who came from Guelph when we were in Acton as a cafe. As soon as we closed we decided we had to go to them, so we started offering deliveries to Guelph, and then that gave us the option to just expand, so we started doing deliveries to Acton, Rockwood, Georgetown and Guelph, ”said Arrondi.
“Now we’re as far away as we can get so without them I don’t know if we would be here right now. “
The two owners and chefs cook various vegan dishes. Burritos, roasted peach salad, pumpkin and pecan stuffing, moussaka, empanadas, grilled cheese and poutine are just a few examples.
“It’s really nice to be so close to the community that has helped us stay open,” Rounding said.
“COVID has been really tough and a lot of our supporters – once we started offering the delivery – really made an impact on us and we just wanted to be closer to everyone who supports us so we can just get involved more. to our charities and that kind of stuff.
Fierce Friends is involved in a number of community initiatives such as providing vegan meals for Hope House’s food insecurity program, advocating for 2SLGBTQI + communities in Guelph, and finding homes for rescued animals at GLO Farm. Sanctuary and Karuna Lane Sanctuary and Farm Stay.
Now the two owners take care of the catering as they research commercial space to officially open a storefront for customers. They also offer specialty catering, weekly mailboxes, and regular market menus through their website.
“They can select the delivery date they want or the Saturday delivery they want, then they just order what they want, and every Saturday they are delivered anywhere from Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo, Toronto, Oakville, Burlington and Hamilton ”says Borough.
Rounding, originally from Mississauga and Atkinson from Guelph, now lives in Guelph.
“We used to be called The Plant Society Kitchen and it suited the time and what we were, what we did, now things have changed a bit, we decided to embrace our personalities more when we represent the ‘business,’ Rounding said. .
“We feel very fiercely our feelings towards animals and all that. We are allies and in many ways inclusive. We love the drag community.
Rounding said the company primarily uses local food sources such as Flour Barrel and a produce store in downtown Guelph. He also grows much of his own produce.
Rounding said Fierce Friends will be offering a pickup with Uber Eats soon. Their food is prepared at 281 Woodlawn Rd. And currently the only way to order is through their website.
“Everyone we have spoken to is just delighted that we are here. There are so many vegan options involved, but we’re just happy to be just one more, affordable and accessible to everyone, ”Rounding said.