MONTREAL—On this World Vegan Day, Sodexo Canada and Humane Society International/Canada are excited to announce another milestone in their national collaboration: the launch of Verde, a 100% plant-based dining concept. The first ever Verde location has just opened at Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and is being operated by Sodexo Canada.
“Our new Verde offer is a game changer in the food service industry where Sodexo Canada continues to commit itself to the well-being of its students and the planet through an innovative plant-based, plant-forward concept,” said Martin Lapointe, senior vice president of operations for Sodexo Campus.
“We’re very excited for the opportunity to grow our relationship with HSI by opening the first Verde location in Canada,” said Kyle Mason, senior manager culinary development for Sodexo Canada. “The increased demand for plant-based food has been dramatic over the past few years and HSI has supported us through this exciting transition. The training sessions have not only provided our chefs with the skills to add more plant-based items on their menu, but they’ve also become a networking opportunity where our chefs can connect and collaborate on ways to further increase the number of plant-based items on their menu.”
The introduction of Verde is part of Sodexo’s nationwide commitment to transition 20% of its protein purchases across Canada to plant-based by Dec. 31, 2024—a pledge made in conjunction with HSI/Canada’s Forward Food program last year. Forward Food works with leaders in the food service industry to make plant-based options more widely available, meeting consumer demand for more ethical, sustainable and nutritious food choices.
“We are overjoyed to see Verde come to life, making it easier for students and staff at Confederation College to enjoy plant-based meals,” said Riana Topan, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada’s Forward Food program. “Working with Sodexo’s leadership on this initiative has been a dream and we are so proud of their progress to date in making more compassionate and environmentally friendly meals a bigger part of their menus.”
Sodexo and HSI/Canada began collaborating in 2018, and since that time they have co-hosted a series of plant-based training sessions for the food service management company’s culinary staff. A star participant in those trainings was Chef Leanne English, Sodexo’s national director of culinary experience for campus and the creative culinary mind behind Verde.
The concept’s initial offerings include dishes such as an avocado sushi bowl, black bean and sweet potato burrito, plant-based meatball sub and cheesy tofu scrambled toast. Chef English’s launch menu makes use of a wide variety of ingredients, from staples like chickpeas and quinoa, to dairy-free cheeses and a dark chocolate spread made from scratch.
Sodexo plans to open other Verde locations in the future, continuing to elevate the company’s plant-based menu options at their higher education, corporate services and energy and resource accounts in Canada. HSI/Canada and Sodexo Canada will also co-host their ninth culinary training session this month, and Sodexo Canada’s sustainability manager, Davide Del Brocco, will participate in a webinar hosted by HSI/Canada at the end of November.
The collaboration between Sodexo and Humane Society International spans across the globe, including in Singapore, Europe, United Kingdom and the United States. HSI commends Sodexo’s corporate social responsibility strategies that help people eat healthier, lighten their footprint on the environment and deliver on improved animal welfare standards across the food service industry.
Stephanie Aubin, director of communications, Sodexo Canada, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riana Topan, senior campaign manager, HSI/Canada, cell: 438-882-7231, email: email@example.com.