ICYMI: New Black-owned business directory launches in Canada, cake vending machine trend, and more

Here are five food stories you might have missed this week

With the seemingly never-ending stream of stories covering protests, grocery store stocks, and COVID restrictions, it's more than likely that much of the week’s most notable food news has gone under the radar. 

But fret not fellow Canadians; we are here to fill you in. From the launch of a new Black-owned business directory and marketplace to a $100-million food quality improvement plan getting underway in Quebec, to a beloved Saskatoon grocery store’s incredible run soon coming to an end, here are five food stories you might have missed this week.

Black-owned business directory and marketplace launches in Canada

To mark the start of Black History Month, the Black Business Association of BC launched a new Black-owned business directory and marketplace on February 1 that will support Canadian Black-owned businesses across the country. 

The platform currently features more than 400 listings, with more being added daily. Black-owned businesses can sign up for free at the Black Biz Global website

Find the full story at Daily Hive.

Quebec’s $100 million food quality improvement program

Quebec’s Health Ministry and the Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec recently announced a $100-million project that will aim to improve the quality of food in the province’s long-term care centers. 

A minimum of 50 per cent of the program’s budget will go toward hiring staff to evaluate residents’ nutritional needs, develop recipes, serving policies, and varied menus, while the rest will likely be allocated toward the purchase of food and equipment. 

Find out more about the project at the Montreal Gazette.

Saskatoon’s iconic Extra Foods to close in April

Loblaw, parent company of Saskatoon’s Extra Foods grocery store, announced this week that the historic Broadway Avenue landmark will be closing its doors for good on April 23. 

In addition to being a much-loved community hub for many Saskatoonians, the grocery store was also the last real grocery store in Saskatoon’s urban core. 

Visit Global News for more.

Regina’s plastic bag bylaw now in place

Regina recently became the newest Canadian city to implement a plastic bag bylaw in an effort to reduce plastic waste, prevent plastic litter, and extend the life of landfills. 

According to the bylaw, a person will be fined $100 for a first offence, $200 for a second offence, and up to $500 for a third offence, while businesses will be fined $500 for the first offence, $1,000 for the second offence, and up to $10,000 for a third offence. 

Get the full breakdown from CBC News.

Vending machine market continues to grow

As the trend of smart specialty vending machines continues its slow, but steady growth, a new line of “Cake ATMs” have recently begun popping up across the country serving individually-wrapped slices of cakes from the U.S.’ popular Carlo’s Bake Shop.

The industry itself is expected to see 10 per cent growth each year until 2027, which has resulted in multiple large companies to invest in the market. 

Head to CBC News for a comprehensive analysis of the Canada’s vending machine industry.