Ryan Storm is 11 years old, and lives in Toronto with his mom, dad, little sister and little brother and likes to eat local, organic, healthy and nut-free foods. He has good taste (no pun intended) and in his quest to eat healthy, he rates and reviews!

Ryan  started his blog Ry’s Ratings to review restaurants he goes to with his  family. Now, he reviews everything from restaurants, products, people and markets – in writing and video

1.       What is your favourite Sweets from the Earth product? And why?

My favourite product is definitely the dairy free chocolate cheesecake because of its chocolatey goodness with that cheesecakey touch that I don’t normally find in vegan cakes.

2.       Do you follow any special diets?

No, but I’m mostly vegan with some goat/sheep dairy at home and meat about once every 3 months or so. I’ll eat anything when I’m out at a restaurant, as long as I know where it comes from. My sister has a nut allergy, so we have a strictly nut-free home.

3.       What do you want to be when you grow up? And why?

There’s a funny story there. I want to be a musician, but my great grandfather made me promise to be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, or an engineer.

4.       When do you indulge and eat your Sweets – Morning/Afternoon/Night? Why?

I usually eat them for dessert at dinner or I pack them in my school lunch.

5.       If you could be any superhero, who would it be and why?

I would be Organic Man, who uses his special power to show people around the world the benefits of an organic lifestyle. I chose this because I want to save thousands of people from being unhealthy.

6.       It seems that at such a young age, you eat healthier than most adults.  How and when did you start to eat this way?

It all started when my family figured out my sister had a nut allergy. Then, as my mom looked more closely at labels, she realized how bad the stuff we ate was, and we turned organic and learned to care about everything we were doing and eating more.

7.       How do you deal with kids your own age who don’t understand your eating habits?

I try to explain why, but they don’t believe me and for some reason just keep eating crap. I just keep eating well, writing my food review blog, and I ignore it if they make fun, and know someday they’ll realize it’s true.

8.       Name one person, dead or alive, who inspires you. Why?

My mom, because she was the one who made me aware of all the chemicals and toxins everywhere and showed me why eating organic is very healthy.

I’m getting married in about a month and think I may have some of the most health-conscious, diet-savvy guest list on the planet.  With Pure + Simple staff, dieticians, nutritionists, Naturopathic Doctors and most particular of them all: my mom, we gotta make sure the food we serve at all of our wedding events is uber clean.

So, I’m thankful to have found out that Sweets From The Earth do wedding cakes!  This bakery makes delicious vegan desserts, and retails them in Whole Foods, Noah’s, The Big Carrot and a ton of other places.  They are so meticulous that they even have two separate baking facilities (one specifically for gluten-free items!).  Ben was a bit wary about the taste because he has had bad experiences with vegan birthday cakes ordered for me, but during our tasting at Sweets From The Earth, he was shoveling generous mouthfuls of dairy-free fudge cake into his happy little mouth.  I, personally, was more worried about costs because I had been quoted prices up to $600 for a cake that serves 65 people – and since we’re having three wedding celebrations, I’m not prepared to spend $10 a slice.  Ben keeps telling me to stop being a stinge because “its a once in a lifetime experience” (I’m ready to put a veil on him).

Luckily, company owner Ilana met up with us last Sunday and gave us some options tailored to our budget.  She also let us preview their new chai cupcake, and it was so fantastic that we’re going to have it as one of our cake tier flavours.  Did I mention they only use natural dyes for icing?  The pale green icing on their nut-free chocolate mint cupcakes is made by pressing the pigment out of fresh mint leaves.  Man, it’s my kinda place!

And, being at the bakery was a lovely experience – they even gave us some gluten-free brownies to take home (after my 20 minute monologue on how much I love them).  When one of Ilana’s staff informed her they were having a “raspberry issue” I felt like we were in some wonderful cake land where problems were dusted with brown sugar.

So, if you are looking for a yummy but healthy cake for one of your special events, I highly recommend you check out Sweets From The Earth.  I half expected an Oompa Loompa in hemp overalls to come out and sing me a song about the benefits of nut milks.


Kristen Ma is an esthetician and Ayurvedic practitioner who co-owns Pure + Simple Inc., an independent chain of holistic spas in Toronto.  She has also authored the book Beauty: Pure + Simple.  Check out her blog on natural, Ayurveda-inspired beauty at www.holisticvanity.com – or www.pureandsimple.ca for more info on organic beautycare and spa services.

Happy May! Our Cupcake of the month for May is filled with strawberry curd, and is surrounded by vanilla cupcake, and topped with vanilla buttercream!

If you are a retailer, and would like to serve them, please just let us know. AND, if you would like your favourite retailer to have them in store for you, please let them know to let us know!

As always, you can special order anything directly from us.

Barbi Lazarus works as the Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator for the Toronto Vegetarian Association. A longtime vegan, she has an enthusiastic passion for food and spends much of her days daydreaming about her next meal or dessert. Getting to work at a non-profit organization for a cause that means the world to her is a dream come true, but her life isn’t all about animals and delicious plant-based meals. Barbi has a fascination with cacti and deserts, and loves crafts, hiking and watching the Home and Garden network.

1. What is your favourite Sweets from the Earth product? Why?

Date squares.  I have an enormous sweet tooth and man that thing is sweet! I love the sweetness and the soft, gooey filling. I also have a huge appetite and find it very filling and satisfying.

2. Do you follow any special diets?

Just veganism! I prefer to focus on making sure to incorporate lots of healthy and delicious foods, rather than focusing on foods to avoid.

3. What do you love most about working at TVA?

Meeting and working with so many amazing and inspiring people. Since working here, my network of like-minded individuals has grown exponentially, sometimes I feel like I live in a little vegetarian bubble and I now find it so weird that people actually eat meat because I’m so used to being around people who don’t! It’s so amazing to be able to meet so many people dedicated to such an important cause, and it keeps me inspired, motivated and positive knowing that there are so many good people out there contributing. Of course being the first to hear about new vegetarian or vegan places opening up and little perks like free samples from time to time is also a major bonus!

4. What is your  favourite trade shows?

Can I say the Annual Vegetarian Food Festival? It really is true!

5. Do you feel that Toronto is a leading city for vegan and vegetarian living?

Definitely. I constantly have a growing list of new restaurants I still need to try, as well as old favourites I don’t visit enough. If that’s coming from someone whose been living as a vegan in the GTA for over 14 years, I can’t imagine how difficulty it must be for people travelling and visiting Toronto!

6. If you had to choose your last meal on earth, what would it be?

One of my absolute favourite meals is a recipe from jae steele’s Get It Ripe, Coconut Cauliflower Channa, but I could also go for my mom’s spaghetti and “meat sauce” made with Yves ground round.

7. What is your guilty pleasure?

I insist on using straws to drink my smoothies, even though I know it’s wasteful. When it comes to food, I indulge quite a bit in all things sweet and decadent but I don’t consider that a guilty pleasure. There’s no guilt to be had when I know the food is cruelty-free!

I am blessed to have a job that is aligned with my values and ethics. I am the Director of Outreach and Development for Shoresh Jewish Environmental Programs. Shoresh was established in 2002 to lead the Jewish environmental movement in the Greater Toronto Area. Through educational programs and grassroots initiatives, rooted in Jewish social and environmental values, Shoresh is working to build a more connected and ecologically sustainable Jewish community. Using food and environmental issues as our lens, Shoresh’s hands-on learning opportunities allow community members to explore and experience Jewish teachings and ethics in real and meaningful ways.

On February 5th, we hosted the first inaugural Shoresh Food Conference. This sold-out event was wildly successful and participants left feeling inspired to make changes in their lives and the world. The workshops, lectures and spontaneous conversations inspired new relationships and a palpable energy generated from participants and directed towards healing our broken food system.

One of our greatest challenges in organizing the Food Conference was to figure out how to feed 110 people in February while holding the values of supporting local food producers, procuring organic and fair trade products, minimizing our carbon footprint and honouring the Jewish laws of kashrut all at the same time. This was not an easy task! Thankfully, the food was delicious (and nutritious) and we managed to balance our multiple values to the best of our abilities.

Sweets from the Earth made this process simpler by generously donating delicious deserts that were aligned with our values. We are so thankful that Sweets from the Earth exists and look forward to continue working together to co-create a more sustainable, local and delectable food system.

For more info about Shoresh, visit shoresh.ca, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

When not working for Shoresh, Sabrina Malach works as a Pollinator Producer in urban farms and gardens throughout Toronto. She is the organizer of the annual Pollinators Festival at Evergreen Brickworks.

Megan Cote is the Director of Execution and Evolution at Borden Communications + Design, and the host of ‘A Greener York’ on Rogers TV‘.  Megan is passionate about educating and motivating herself and others to make positive change. She feels strongly about clean, healthy, and sustainable living, and believes together, we can make our community a greener place to live.

1. What is your favourite Sweets from the Earth product? And why?

Wild Blueberry Cheesecake. I was on Pinterest one day at work, and this decadent cake looked so drool worthy, I had to pick one up on my way home from work. The consistency and deliciousness of this cheeseless cheesecake totally blew me away.

2. Do you follow any special diets?

I believe my diet is indeed very special. It nourishes me, fuels my passions, and brings me great pleasure, what more could one want from a relationship? I like to feel connected to my food, and eat meals that were grown with love, and made with love.

3. When did you decide to switch your eating habits and make smarter food choices? And why? 

In my early 20’s I had been battling depression for quite a few years, and knew something needed to change. I didn’t know much then, but I knew pills weren’t the answer for my personal journey. I started exercising, reading new books, meeting new friends, and eating new foods. The more healthy choices I made, the more excited I became about my life, and the best part is, it’s never plateaued. Life continues to get sweeter and sweeter each day.

4. When do you indulge and eat your Sweets – Morning/Afternoon/Night? Why?

Thursday evening’s Sweets taste so good. My friends run a Community Acupuncture Program in Richmond Hill, and every Thursday after we close up shop, there’s nothing better after a 12-hour work day than a warm mug of tea, and SFTE Chocolate Chip Cookies with friends. 

5. Where would we most likely find you on your day off?

Outdoors! In the summer you’ll probably find me (if you can) camping in the woods, or at the baseball diamond with friends and fam, and in the winter, on an ice rink, or snowboarding.

6. You have $10.00 to buy lunch, where do you go?

Nature’s Emporium for salad bar and a tea, then carry it over to Ferry Lake to enjoy!

7. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you? 

My boyfriend, my dog, and a guitar. Let’s make this happen.