We’re just as passionate about food as you are. That’s why you can count on us to deliver you the quality, consistency, and accuracy you deserve so that you can shine for your customers. At Bondi Produce, we make it happen.
Our beginnings are humble. In 1976, freshly immigrated to Canada, Ignazio Bondi tried his hand without much success at several odd jobs around the city to make a living for himself and his family. At the encouragement of his wife, he headed to the Ontario Food Terminal one morning and bought a small assortment of fruits and vegetables, packed them into the trunk of his car, and went knocking on the back doors of local restaurants hoping he could sell a case or two for a profit. It was his first foray into the produce business and little did he know he was laying the foundations for what would become Bondi Produce and Specialty Foods.
Those car deliveries eventually became too big, so he bought a truck. When the truck became full, he converted the three car garage of his Markham, Ontario home into a refrigerated warehousing facility. He worked around the clock, delivering seven days a week, including holidays.
Less than a decade later, it would be Ignazio’s son, Gus, who would assume the reigns of the company and propel it forward with his vision of being an everyday low price boutique wholesaler. The second generation of Bondi Produce saw rapid growth through innovation and sales. With a knack for negotiation, Gus worked tirelessly to cultivate relationships with suppliers local and abroad in order to offer the most competitive prices he could. He was also instrumental in establishing Bondi’s retail DSD division by leveraging its purchasing power and distribution capabilities. During this time, Bondi Produce also began sourcing its potatoes, onions, and root vegetables directly from local farms.
In 2000, Bondi moved into a 16,000 square foot facility just outside of Toronto’s downtown core and set its sights on becoming one of Toronto’s premier produce distribution companies. With the third generation of the family entering the business for the first time, a new focus on branding and IT infrastructure emerged during this decade. We rebranded ourselves, launched www.bondiproduce.com, and embraced this new thing called social media.
As Toronto was quickly becoming a culinary destination thanks to a new crop of amazing new restaurants—like the Black Hoof and Bar Isabel—we shifted our focus to strengthening our supply chain. We began to build relationships with growers locally and abroad and championed farms with innovative new products. We built a reputation for finding unique ingredients and hands-on service.
In 2014, we became members of Produce Alliance, a buying group of over 50 independently owned distributors with $4 billion in purchasing power. We got a new place, too. In October of that year we set up shop in our 40,000 square foot facility on New Toronto Street.
With minimum wages rising and quality back of house labor proving to be difficult to find, we launched the New Toronto Food Co. to offer fresh cut produce options to restaurants. When we first started, we had zero manufacturing expertise and no customers. So we challenged our existing customers to let us do their most labor intensive tasks in the kitchen. Our first gig was cutting chiffonade kale for a popular salad at a local restaurant. Today, we chiffonade over 3,000 pounds of kale!
With our backs against the wall due to COVID, we rolled up our sleeves and launched Bondi Home Delivery. What began as a small skunkworks project to move excess inventory quickly morphed into a way for us to share our passion to food with the public. We also got to showcase some of our friends’ amazing food thanks to our Restaurant Partners Program.
Construction begins on our 40,000 square foot outbound distribution centre. Located next door to our current space, this state of the art facility will allow us to carry ingredients beyond produce and will give us the largest footprint of any Toronto foodservice distributor.
Tanimura & Antle
Denboer Family Farms
Bennet's Apples & Cider
D'arrigo Bros. Co.
Amco Produce Inc.
We The Roots
At Bondi Produce. we strive to operate in the most environmentally sustainable manner because we know that the health of the planet is essential to the quality of our product and the longevity of our partners and families. Our mission is focused on providing the highest quality product at a fair value while leaving as minimal of an environmental footprint as possible.
Since moving into our new facility in 2014, we have developed multiple verticals in which we are striving to have meaningful short and long-term impact. Our strategic goals are targeted at resource conservation, energy efficiency, and waste reduction.
As a family business, we hope our efforts provide our future generations with a model they can be proud of and a healthy environment they can call home.
In 2013, Bondi Produce began recycling all unused/broken pallets unsuitable for day-to-day operations. Our partners take our pallets and refurbish where possible. By sending our broken pallets to our partners, we ensure that the life span of pallet is extended which helps decrease the resource demand for hardwood in the industry.
In 2014, we extensively overhauled our lighting system in our new facility with LED motion sensor lighting. These smart LED systems detect when our warehouse associates are in the respective zone and turn lighting on and off as required to complete their tasks. Since implementing this new lighting system, we have reduced our energy consumption by over 750,000 kWh. This equates to removing roughly 120 passenger vehicles from the road and 610,681 lbs of CO² from the environment.
In 2018, we installed a cardboard bailer to recycle excess corrugated generated by our operations. Since the installation, we have recovered 20 tons of cardboard which will be recycled and repurposed by our partners. This directly minimizes the need for additional resources and reduces landfill. We project to produce close to 100 tons of cardboard recycling in 2018, which will allow us to save 1700 trees.
Additionally, in 2018, we invested in automatic routing software that has helped optimize our routes and reduce time spent on the road by our fleet. Our software takes into account delivery windows, traffic patterns, and cube capacity of each vehicle. We are hoping this will help reduce our fuel consumption by 10%, which equates to removing roughly 44,950 lbs of CO² from the environment.
Since 2011, Bondi Produce has had practices in place to ensure any spoiled product that is not fit for human consumption is sent to local animal farms where the product can be utilized as animal feed. If our feed partners cannot accept the product, it is diverted to agricultural farms where the waste is used to generate compost for upcoming growing seasons.
Bondi Produce invested in a full warehouse management system in 2018, which integrates fully with our internal ERP system. Computerizing our receiving and picking process will help reduce paperwork necessary to run our day-to-day warehouse operations. With this new technology we are expecting a further reduction in paper usage by 600,000 sheets per year which equates to saving an additional 72 trees and preventing 16,804 lbs of additional CO² from entering the atmosphere.
In 2020, we rolled out paperless invoicing technology. This new technology has helped us further reduce paper consumption by an additional 274,000 sheets of standard A4 paper. That’s the equivalent of about 32 trees!