The fermentation and preservation of foods is an ancient practice that has made a swift resurgence into the modern food scene. In the heart of Toronto’s Kensington Market, Bryan Lavers and Tye Thomas opened their shop, Thomas Lavers Cannery and Delicatessen, with impeccable timing. It was December 2012 – just when the fermentation buzz was ramping up. “It just seems like around the time we opened, fermenting and preserving became a very on point restaurant and food culture thing, we lucked out,” says Thomas.
Lavers, the hands-on professional chef, and Thomas, the curious home cook, are long-time friends that have over 40 years of combined experience working in food and cooking. They opened the cannery to fill a void in the neighbourhood’s offerings. Despite the incredible variety of options available at Kensington Market, it did not include a brick-and-mortar quite like the Thomas Lavers Cannery and Delicatessen.