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After a year as a pop-up, Filipino chef Tristen Petate is setting up a full-time spot for Tito Ron's in Toronto's Kensington Market
105 backers pledged CA$ 8,206 to help bring this project to life.
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CA$ 8,206

105

Ito Kame (This is Us)

Hello Toronto from Tito Ron’s! I’m chef Tristen Petate. You’ve seen us out there at your favourite foodie events over the past year frying up our special brand of goodness. We’ve spent the last year both giving and receiving some Filipino food education, and now we need your support so that we can graduate!

We’re hitting that next level and we’re not going to stop being different now that we’re leaving our temporary tent and moving to a real counter - bricks, mortar and all! We’ve built this business on you, Toronto; You made our first year such a success. All I had when we started this dream was a partner and a credit card, but the amazing foodies in this city have come out over and over to show us that your appetite for Filipino food is not satisfied!

Our funding hasn’t come from the banks' faith in Filipino food. It’s been you, Toronto, that’s moved us forward and we want you to be there to help us graduate from a little popup with a big heart to a permanent part of the heartbeat of Toronto.

We can’t get there alone. Read along and watch our video, and you’ll see that we have the passion to be there every day. If you’ve tried our food, you know we have the taste. If you know Michael or I, or you’ve had the pleasure of meeting the Tito himself, you know we have the heart. All that’s missing now is you, and we need your help to make us a success in our store the way you made us a success in our tent.

Ang Aming Pagkain (Our Food)

There’s just something about Filipino food. To me, nothing compares to the simplicity, the comfort, the soul, the sheer love that I see in Filipino food. Food in the Philippines is influenced by many cultures; Chinese, Spanish and Malaysian just to name a few. Dishes differ from region to region and from family to family.

At Tito Ron’s, we add Caribbean influences to our food. An important part of my family is Trinidadian and our family gatherings usually include curries and rotis as well as lumpia and pancit. There are so many ingredients and methods of cooking that are common between the two types of cuisine. Pineapples, coconuts, cassava, tamarind and plantains are a few ingredients that we use in both cuisines and that we love using to create our own dishes. Look at the simple, slow-cooked stews that are made by both cultures and you’ll see that both value the importance of comfort in food. It seemed natural for us to combine the two cultures in our own offerings.

The first Tito Ron’s recipe that I tested was for Lumpia Trinidad. “Doubles” is a common Trinidadian street food. Channa (curried chickpeas) are served with bara (a flat, fried bread). We make fresh, hand-rolled Filipino style lumpia with a channa filling and serve it with a Tamarind barbecue sauce. While we aim to honour traditional Filipino ingredients and methods, I find the addition of Caribbean flavours adds an additional level of spice and seasoning that makes our food truly unique.

Ang Aming Trabaho (Our Work)

It’s hard to believe, but Tito Ron’s has only been operating since May 2015. 8 short months. In that time, we were able to establish ourselves on the summer festival circuit in Toronto. We’ve successfully participated in the T.O Food Fest, the inaugural Sweetery Festival, the Coconut Festival and the Parkdale Flea Market. We capped off the season with the much publicized Toronto Food & Wine Festival where our sweet and savoury lumpias got finger-licking thumbs up from celebrity chefs David Rocco, Roger Mooking, Gail Simmons and Mark McEwan!

We’ve rolled and sold thousands of lumpia, we’ve expanded our menu, and we’ve built a solid following of lumpia lovers on social media who come out just to see us. We even had three sold out days at this Fall’s Gourmet Food and Wine Expo thanks to our loyal fans. Now we’re ready to take our work to the next level. We want to be able to serve up our food every day for the city that we love.

Ang Hinaharap (The Future)

The first questions we hear after someone has tried our food are, “Where are you located? Where can I find you?”

We’re here to answer the call; We’re moving into a space in the food court at 214 Augusta Avenue in Kensington Market this March! We want people to be able to get their Filipino food fix every day. We’ll have a weekly rotating menu of Filipino classics remixed with a little Caribbean flavour. We want people to come to us when they’re feeling unique, unpretentious, affordable comfort food.

Tito Ron’s, along with amazing support and funding from Futurpreneur Canada, have already put significant funds towards making our dream a reality. We’ve secured the space, we’ve done research and development and solidified our business administration, but there’s still a gap in funding between where we are and where we need to be and we’re hoping that’s where you come in!

We’ve got big plans for the Kickstarter funds; your donations will primarily go toward buying much-needed equipment upgrades and renovations for the space. Small-to-medium sized expenses add up quickly, everything from fryers and cash registers to signs and utensils need to be bought before we can start offering up the food we think Toronto deserves. With your help, we can make sure that Tito Ron’s comes out swinging, offering the best street food around from a facility that’s properly equipped to show you what we can do.

If I’ve learned anything from my experiences building this business, it’s that you really never know when something amazing is about to happen. Who knew growing up eating eggs and spam for breakfast with my mom and dad that it would cultivate a love for food and cooking that would last a lifetime? Who knew when I signed up for Tinder that I would find the man and business partner of my dreams?

My passion for Filipino culture and Filipino food grows every day, along with our hopes and dreams for this business. It grows along with our love for our city and for each other. This venture went from a part-time project to a full-blown business. Mike went from my boyfriend to my fiance. I went from pursuing a paycheque to pursuing a dream. I want Toronto to be a part of my next adventure. Support Tito Ron’s and, I promise, amazing things will happen!

Risks and challenges

We are well aware of the amount of risks and challenges that can arise when planning even a simple takeout counter setup like this.

Once we're funded, we could potentially run into problems with escalating equipment and food costs or difficulties with permits and licensing; not to mention simple lack of traffic. However, Tito Ron's has taken considerable steps to mitigate those risks.

Much of the necessary licensing is already in place and in effect and, by leasing space in an established food court in the heart of Kensington Market, there should be considerable traffic to draw in.

If we should run into further unexpected costs or difficulties, Tito Ron's owners plan to provide personal funds in order to ensure the project is completed.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    Come in and pick up an adorable Tito Ron's badge of honor! Get a limited edition Tito Ron's Kensington button.

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    6 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About US$ 8

    Get a voucher for a free lunch special the first time you come in for some Tito Ron's!

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    20 backers
    CA$

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 30 or more About US$ 23

    EARLY BIRD

    Get your limited edition Tito Ron's tote bag AND a free lunch voucher at a special price for our earliest supporters!

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    Limited 18 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 35 or more About US$ 27

    Come pick up your limited edition Tito Ron's Kensington Market tote bag AND a free lunch voucher!

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    5 backers
    CA$

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About US$ 38

    A Filipino Gift Pack filled with all kinds of goodies from the Phillipines!

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    4 backers
    CA$

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About US$ 38

    EARLY BIRD

    Only 25 of these special t-shirts will be printed for the backers that supported us first! Come pick up your limited edition Tito Ron's "I Got My Ron On!" T-Shirt!

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    Limited 3 backers
    CA$

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About US$ 76

    A DELUXE Filipino Gift Bag! More treats than the smaller pack along with 3 vouchers for a free lunch special, all in a stylish Tito Ron's tote bag!

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    Limited 15 backers
    CA$

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About US$ 113

    Get a 'Fineapple' Card, good for a free lunch special once a month for a whole year!

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    Limited 3 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 250 or more About US$ 189

    Become immortalized in the #lumpialovers calendar! Backers of this limited tier get to have a photo of themselves (or of their choosing!) represent one of the months in our upcoming custom #lumpialovers calendar! These calendars will be printed for 2017 and given out to anyone who passes through Tito Ron's! It's your chance to be famous!

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    Limited 0 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 300 or more About US$ 226

    Online Takeover! Take down the Ron!

    For one day, we won't be Tito Ron's, we'll be Tito (or Tita) You! Our branding will change for the day as you take down the Ron and usurp his power! Your name will be all over our logos and you'll be in control! Post selfies to our instagram, make a hilarious announcement. It's up to you! (Within reason, of course)

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    Limited 0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About US$ 377

    Name a Lumpia or a Siopao!

    We plan to feature an endless array of unique and fun Lumpia flavors! Backing this tier will give you the chance to name one of these fantastic creations yourself! Any time we sell that flavor, it'll be on the menu with the name you gave it!

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    Limited 2 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About US$ 753

    An Evening with Tito Ron's!

    Come to the restaurant and Chef Tristen will present a Kamayan feast for six. An intimate and unforgettable experience that will leave you and your guests dreaming of Filipino delights.

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    Ships to Only Canada
    Limited 1 backer
    CA$

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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 20 or more About US$ 16

    Get four (4!) vouchers for a free lunch special each when you come in for some Tito Ron's!

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    Reward no longer available 18 backers
    CA$

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Funding period

- (30 days)