Regent Park’s innovative culinary hot spot values more than profit
TORONTO, April 8, 2013… Paintbox Catering & Bistro Inc., in Toronto’s Regent Park, which is currently undergoing one of the largest urban renewal projects in the world, has become the first Canadian restaurant and caterer to achieve B Corp certification, among more than 700 Certified B Corporations across more than 60 industries from 25 countries.
The certification is significant for Paintbox, whose location is at the heart of a community in transition and one whose residents are uniquely positioned to benefit from socially responsible business. More than a food and beverage purveyor, the company was specifically created by Executive Chef Chris Klugman to also serve as a training ground and career development facility for under-employed Torontonians.
B Corp status is certified by the non-profit B Lab, whose founders conceived the organization to support a new age of entrepreneurs dedicated not just to building profits for shareholders, but also to solving social and environmental problems that affect every stakeholder — akin to LEED certification for green building, or Fair Trade certification for coffee. The MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (based in Toronto) acts as a Canadian B Corp Hub and worked with Paintbox to obtain certification.
The process of certification began over 18 months ago, at the company’s incorporation. “It is written into our DNA that directors must consider all stakeholders,” says Klugman. “We thought it was essential and are legally bound to consider the community, the environment and social issues.”
“This legal imperative — to extend corporate responsibility to far more than profit — is at the heart of our B Corp certification. Often, when corporations make decisions that affect profitability, they are obliged to do solely what’s in the best interest of shareholders. Paintbox, and B Corp, break away from that mould,” he says.
To achieve certification, businesses voluntarily submit to periodic audits and meet a set of stringent criteria whose point system is based on, in part, employee compensation and benefits; work environment including training, education and job flexibility; employee and leadership diversity; local sourcing practices; and charitable giving and community service. “Our mandate dovetails perfectly with B Corp certification,” added Klugman.
“B Corps use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. We are part of a new movement to redefine success in business — it’s not just about profit, but about people and the planet. We’re using business as a force for good. B Corp certification is another way we are differentiated from the competition,” he said.
Employees and management at Paintbox Catering & Bistro Inc. take every opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle, avoid waste, support local environmentally conscious products and businesses, and their community.
Visit Paintbox at 555 Dundas St. E., Toronto or online at PaintboxBistro.ca. For reservations and more information, call 647-748-0555.
About Paintbox Catering & Bistro Inc.
Located at 555 Dundas St. East, Toronto, Paintbox Bistro is open Monday to Sunday, from 11:30am to 2:00am. Paintbox is a rapidly growing corporation, offering and social enterprise located in the heart of Regent Park – a place where Regent Park meets the broader Toronto community. Its cuisine is a playful celebration of local abundance, full of inspiration from the community – a balance of complete culinary technique and whimsy, featuring strong, earthy flavours and naturalistic presentation. Paintbox Bistro and its Catering division prides itself in being innovative, offering a level of food and service that is unfamiliar to Toronto, and truly thinking outside of the box! Paintbox doesn’t aspire to be “trendy”; but a high volume restaurant that produces beautiful dishes while maintaining a strong social mandate. Tucked into the corner of the Daniels Spectrum – the new cultural hub in Regent Park – Paintbox Bistro offers a fun and welcoming environment to dine and dish with friends, or relax with cocktails and live entertainment.
Paintbox is a social enterprise, providing employment, training, and career development to residents of Regent Park and other close-by marginalized communities. Almost all of the charming staff are from the neighbourhood or other close by marginalized communities and have been offered the opportunity to study at George Brown College, one of North America’s top 10 culinary schools, in the Chefs program.
Paintbox is a true expression of what is going on in Regent Park – offering compassion and empowerment to those within the community who have become isolated. A restaurant that strives to sustain a community’s hopes. www.paintboxbistro.ca
About B Corp
Certified B Corporations meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. As of April 2013, there are more than 700 Certified B Corporations from over 60 industries and 25 countries, representing a diverse multi-billion dollar marketplace.
About B Lab
B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement to redefine success in business so that all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Lab drives this systemic change through a number of interrelated initiative: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing legislation to accelerate growth of social entrepreneurship and impact investing (12 states have already passed benefit corporation legislation); 3) driving capital to high impact investments through the use of GIIRS Ratings and Analytics (more than 60 investors with over $3B in impact assets under management use GIIRS); and 4) providing free, powerful tools for businesses to measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance (more than 7,000 businesses use B Lab’s free B Impact Assessment).
About MaRS Centre for Impact Investing
The Centre for Impact Investing is a social finance hub and project incubator that acts as a neutral collaboration space for all sectors – government, community and private—to strengthen our collective ability to mobilize private capital for public good. We lead and support the development of impact investing in Canada by supporting a number of different activities including acting as a Canadian B Corp Hub through a unique partnership with B Lab.
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