The endless food options surrounding the Ryerson University campus can be seen as either an advantage or a daunting task. With so many choices, it can be difficult to narrow down exactly what you want to eat.
While most students opt for big name fast food chains, some head over to the often overlooked food stands, located across from the Student Learning Centre, for a delicious meal or dessert.
Among the cluster of food stands and trucks, you’ll find Crumbs Patties, Choco Churros, and La Marquesita.
Crumbs Patties is a stand that sells patties, which are pastries that contain different kinds of fillings, most commonly beef.
“What makes us different is the options,” said Pierre St. Rose, founder of Crumbs.
Customers at Crumbs Patties love ordering the beef, curry chicken, or their signature beef and cheese patty. Apart from these, Crumbs also offers vegetarian options.
“We do a stuffed patty and a deluxe patty so it’s not just your standard patty shop. We have modernized it,” said St. Rose.
He believes in giving each customer great service. He enjoys talking to customers, asking how they’re doing and ending each interaction with a ‘pound’, also known as a fist bump.
“A thank you is one thing but also giving the pound is saying much respect, just from a culture standpoint,” said St. Rose, who is Jamaican and Trinidadian.
“Yes, in reality I’m a business and you’re a customer, but it should be more than just that.”
He typically runs the stand with his cousin and a few other employees. They were once located just across the street, but after a big restaurant bought the building, they decided to temporarily move over to the stand that they have now.
“It’s working but it’s small for the operation we have,” he said. He is currently working on opportunities to expand Crumbs.
This sentiment is something that is shared between the stands in this area. At Choco Churros, they are also hoping to expand the business. Sergio Herrera, one of the employees, said that they want to have a place with an actual cafeteria and provide more places for people to sit in.
The stand opened up in downtown Toronto in October of last year, but the business was actually started by Herrera’s cousin in the 80s in New York.
“What makes us special around this area is that no one else is selling this kind of dessert,” said Herrera.
Churros are fried sticks of dough covered in cinnamon sugar. This stand also offers different sauces on top, the most popular being caramel and chocolate.
Making sure their churros are affordable is one of the philosophies of the business. “You can get three big churros for less than $10,” said Herrera.
Their other philosophies include providing good customer service and ensuring that the food is always fresh.
“I come one hour before opening so I can make fresh dough for you guys. They’re actually the freshest churros in town and what’s a churro if it’s not fresh?” said Herrera.