Here we are 2 years later, with our products in over 200+ retail stores nationally, it still seems so surreal.
Collective co-founders, Chef Dino, his brother John, and friends Nelson and Dave, are the X-Factor foursome behind a line of hot sauces enjoying a steady rise to national recognition. Having navigated the risky roads of small business entry, the entrepreneurial endeavours of this local business with international appeal have cause for congratulations.
Under the best of circumstances, approximately 20% of Canadian businesses fail in the first year. As one of the 112,764 entrants in 20201, Four Fathers have first-hand experience operating within the parameters of a pandemic. Statistics Canada report, “Starting a Business In A Pandemic: The Experiences of Businesses Created During COVID-19”, we learn of a 5.4% reduction in start-up activity compared to 20192. The bureau’s report from 2000, “Failure Rates for New Canadian Firms: New Perspectives on Entry and Exit”, tells readers, “A new firm that is still in business just prior to its second year has a 22% likelihood of failing during its second year.”3 More recent findings from Fortunly, “a financial product-review service”, confirms data haven’t budged for two decades, stating: “Only 78.5% of small businesses survive their first year.”4
For the saucy sons, highlights of the two-year-old food company’s milestones include:
More impressive is Four Fathers’ cross-country success, given the fluctuating failure rates of businesses bordered by province5. By December 2021, after just a year in business, Four Fathers’ culinary products are available in more than 100 retail locations across Canada. By September 30, 2022, the competitive condiments, well-priced around $10, are sold in over 200 retail stores, including: Longo’s, Sobeys, Foodland, Fresh St. Market, IGA, Vita Health, and Healthy Planet.
A two-year accomplishment appears as such, however, the trek to this anniversary is years in the making. Partner and restaurant owner of Pronto Café & Eatery, Chef Dino, counsels his 30+ years’ experience to develop delicious products that provide the perfect heat level, complimenting every plate and palate. Brother and co-founder, John reminisces about growing up in an Italian home, traditional meals, and the magic of family. For co-founders and friends, Dave and Nelson, pasta dishes and matriarch-made meals are inseparable from the best of childhood memories.
“Looking back on the last two years, it’s crazy how an idea and conversation at a neighbourhood dinner party, about starting a business, led to launching a company during unforeseen times. Here we are two years later, with our products in 200+ retail stores nationally, it still seems so surreal. We are humbled and super excited about what lies ahead. Sky’s the limit.”
- John Pontoni - Partner, Four Fathers Food Co.
With new flavours in testing, and weekly growth of the store count, the guys are focused on continuing to partner with their retail partners and deepen the relationship with their customers.
To learn more about the guys, the brand, and the brotherhood, visit www.fourfathersfoodco.ca. Additionally, for recipes and storytelling charm, gather round their lively “Kitchen Mix” podcast, offered on Spotify, Google Podcast, and YouTube.
For locals and foodies from far and wide, save the date for the Four Fathers’ appearance at this year’s Christmas Market, December 4th, 160 Bayview Parkway, Madison Greenhouse, Newmarket, ON.