“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” -Paul Coelho
Tania GANASSINI, co-founder
Tania grew up in a family that prioritized food and quality time over just about everything else. She was always drawn to the kitchen, and at a young age began cooking for friends and watching The Food Network avidly. Tania has cooked in some of Canada's top restaurants, including Canoe, Café Boulud at the Four Seasons, and a Michelin Star Restaurant in Italy. In 2015, she was a finalist on Chopped Canada, and was a contestant on Season 7 of Top Chef Canada. She also has appeared as a culinary expert on The Marilyn Denis Show. Tania's personal mission is to heal people through her nutrient-dense cooking and good vibes. She vows to advocate for nutrition literacy on a multitude of platforms. She is also a sauerkraut junkie with a love of crystals and reiki (not necessarily in that order).
amanda alI, Co-Founder
Amanda has always loved food. Her dream as a preschooler was to own a farm where she could grow her own food with a pet pig named Penelope. She has learned since how to grow her own food, but is still working on getting a pet pig. Amanda is educated and trained in nutrition and health through the lens of community development and humanitarian aid. This has led to experiences working with communities in various parts of the world on nutrition education programs, increasing food security, and emergency disaster relief. It's her passion for health and wellness, both physical and mental, that led her to help create Staff Meal with co-founder Tania; a meal program to help foster a healthy work environment while feeding hungry bellies.
staff meal niagara
Staff Meal is a movement. We believe in collaboration, sustainability, nutrition and of course, plants. We love building community around conversations about food. Sometimes that means teaching workshops at our favourite wellness shop- Garden City Essentials, and other times that means hosting private cooking classes coupled with restorative yoga. Whatever it looks like, we are #niagaraproud. Our mission is to joyfully nourish the souls and bellies of our community with the utmost respect for the environment.
Garden City Essentials — GCE is a clean beauty and holistic lifestyle shop in downtown St. Catharines run by Jolene Antle, CNP. In addition to their own small batch product line, GCE offers products from like-minded brands who share their holistic approach to beauty and wellness. Garden City Essentials is committed to bringing you the best - creating, curating and cultivating with love and respect. They host workshops and pop-ups in their beautiful space and highly recommend you check it out!
STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM
Staff Meal was born out of a shared experience between Co-Founders Amanda Ali and Tania Ganassini while working together in the Niagara-on-the-Lake hospitality industry. Frustrated with the lack of health-focused eateries in the area, Amanda and Tania saw health and nutrition gaps, and felt the community was undeserved in that regard. After chatting with friends, family and co-workers, they decided to help busy staff across all industries swap their soft drinks for smoothies and bring make healthy options available. When Amanda and Tania shifted to plant-based,whole-foods diets, they noticed a profound impact on mood, energy levels, and performance in the workplace. something they wanted to share with others.
“ Eating Niagara: Calling all Ched-Heads” — The Standard, March 13 2019
" Two young chefs choose NOTL over the world" — The Local, January 16 2019
"Pumpkin hummus with pumpkin-spelt lavash " — The Marilyn Denis Show, October 30 2019
"Drool-worthy vegan recipes " — The Marilyn Denis Show, January 9 2019