It was love at first bite when Marie Fitrion met Daniel Holloway and discovered their shared passion. “Food is the original social media,” Marie says. “We see food as a vehicle that brings people together and inspires good conversation.”
Daniel is a professionally trained chef. Marie is a Public Relations graduate. Together they launched a business with an idea that began simmering while Marie was still in school.
Marie wrote the business plan in a post-secondary entrepreneur class. Her teacher read it, saw her pupil’s passion and suggested that she consider launching the business for real. That nudge led Marie and Daniel to create Urban Acorn, a flexitarian catering company committed to sustainable, healthy eating.
“Food should unite, not divide people,” Marie says. “At Urban Acorn, we create meals that satisfy both taste buds and dietary needs.” That meant meals for vegans, gluten-free and meat lovers. Urban Acorn started off hosting monthly vegan supper clubs. Over time, it grew into a full catering shop, operating out of their loft style kitchen in the Junction Triangle in Toronto. But Marie wasn’t done yet. She had set her eyes on another business expansion.
In September 2015, Marie and Daniel opened a retail store, Urban Acorn Market, which features specialty pantry items as diverse as Vegan Magic, a coconut-based oil that makes food taste like bacon, and Prairie Boy Bread. That’s when Marie began researching a way to accept debit and credit cards that was as flexible as her clientele’s food preferences.
“I didn’t want to buy a clunky cash register system,” Marie says. “I needed something that could transition from our store to the commercial kitchen and events.” A friend recommended PAYD Pro Plus™, a mobile based point-of-sale solution that works with Apple iOS tablets. “I already had an iPad, so I just needed to download the app and connect a PIN pad, and we could accept payments just about anywhere.”
Marie was especially pleased with the app’s easy-to-use features and support services. When new pantry items arrive, she can update the inventory from the same app she uses to accept payments and run business reports. “I love the 24/7 access to customer support,” she says. “The events we cater often run late and it’s nice to know that help is always available.”
Five days a week you can find Marie hustling around the market while Dan’s in the kitchen. Finding time in their schedules is tough, but they remember it was the act of sharing food that brought them, and their business, together. At the end of the day, after using her iPad and PAYD Pro Plus to reconcile the days’ transactions and clean up, Marie makes their shared passion a priority.
“I’m happy that I can still find time after a day at the shop to enjoy a good meal and conversation with my fantastic business partner, chef and husband.”
™PAYD Pro Plus is a trade-mark of Moneris Solutions Corporation.
Apple and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc.
IOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license.