Vancouver, B.C. (February 7th, 2018) – The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers named Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar’s Ian Wharton the 2018 Aspiring Sommelier at the organization’s annual competition. As the first recipient of this newly minted award, Ian’s superlative wine knowledge and service acumen earned him his coveted title amongst a talented group of six up-and-coming sommeliers.

In a recent cover story in Vancouver Magazine’s January/February issue, Ian is described as one of the city’s new guard of sommeliers and the ‘wine architect’ due to his earlier studies at Carleton University before being smitten by the world of wine. This ambition is truly a case of passion conquering all.

“In many ways, Ian embodies a seasoned sommelier who builds a relationship with his dining guests to select wines based upon their preferences and the nuances of winemaking,” says Blue Water Cafe’s Wine Director William Mulholland. “We’re delighted to have Ian as part of such a strong team to pair vintages from around the world with Executive Chef Frank Pabst’s stellar cooking.”

Ian’s title of Aspiring Sommelier exemplifies Toptable Group’s front-of-house talent pool and continues the legacy of the true art of hospitality with CinCin Ristorante + Bar’s Wine Director Shane Taylor winning Best BC Sommelier in 2017, Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar’s Wine Director Samantha Rahn in 2013, and West Restaurant + Bar’s Wine Director Owen Knowlton in 2011.


February 9, 2018

It is with tremendous pleasure that I announce the opening of the newest La Carnita located at the Baltimore Washington International Airport.  This unit marks the first La Carnita restaurant to open in the USA and features a customized breakfast menu to meet the needs of business and casual travellers.

I would personally like to congratulate our franchisee Larry Isaacs of ​Slip Hospitality, as well as the Monarch & Misfits’ team on this exciting achievement.  We are truly delighted to bring La Carnita to foodies in the community.

La Carnita is a licensed full service Taqueria and Mexican street food concept with a Gringo twist that embodies urban culture through food, drink, art, and sound.  The menu features street food including corn, ceviche, and churros to ribs, empanadas, paletas and tacos.  Lots, and lots of tacos.  It’s all inspired by Mexican street cuisine and it’s all made in house.

The brand experience also includes our logo the ‘Meathead’ that is in reference to the “Day of the Dead” and our funky interior design is crafted by local and international artists, as well as a collection of soundtracks ranging from golden era hip hop to future rap classics, mixtapes are curated by Canadian Djs.

La Carnita opened its first location in downtown Toronto in 2013 and since its inception, has quickly become one of the “hottest” franchises in the industry.  To date, we have awarded franchises in Canada, the United States and in Dubai.

This recent store opening reinforces our position as the market leader in the full service Mexican segment and further establishes Monarch & Misfits as one of Canada’s leading franchisors.

For information regarding this outstanding franchise opportunity, please contact:



 // 44 UPJOHN RD / TORONTO, ON / M3B 2W1


BURLINGTON, ON, Feb. 8, 2018 /CNW/ - Bunzl Canada ( today announced its exclusive agreement with Visionstate Inc. to distribute its IoT-based restroom monitoring system, WandaNEXT™. This is the second next-generation technology partnership announcement in recent months by Bunzl, following on its introduction of an exclusive electrostatic disinfecting technology.

"First-to-market innovations are one of the many reasons that our customers choose Bunzl to support their business success", said Bunzl Canada President, John Howlett. "This latest technology partnership with Visionstate will help our customers maximize their operational efficiencies and deliver improved restroom facility management."

Visionstate specializes in analytics, interactive customer service, and IoT applications designed to streamline operations. The company recently acquired Montreal-based Chatbot Incubator, which specializes in applications for artificial intelligence (AI).

"Visionstate is extremely pleased to be working with a partner like Bunzl," said Visionstate CEO, John Putters. "This relationship leverages the strengths of both companies, maximizing our collective capacity to bring this innovative technology to market on a global scale."

More information will be made available about WandaNEXT™ in the coming weeks. The product has been proven successful in a wide range of commercial, retail and healthcare applications throughout North America, including the Edmonton International Airport. 


Mississauga, ON, Feb. 8, 2018 /CNW/ - This year, Boston Pizza is celebrating National Pizza Day for the first time ever by giving Canadians the chance to win free pizza for a year. On Friday, February 9th, for one day only, Canadians can test their pizza knowledge by playing The Slice is Right, an online pizza trivia contest. Those who answer all the trivia questions correctly will be enter into a draw to win free pizza from Boston Pizza for a year, valued at $2,000.

"While every day is pizza day at Boston Pizza, National Pizza Day is a time for everyone to celebrate this round, saucy, cheesy food that brings people together," said Donna Finelli, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Boston Pizza International. "The Slice is Right is our way to share our passion for pizza with fellow fans, while giving them the chance to win the ultimate prize – free pizza!"

To promote The Slice is Right, Boston Pizza released a series of fun videos with in-arena host for the Toronto Raptors and foodie who loves pizza, Kat Stefankiewicz. Posted on the Boston Pizza FacebookTwitter, and Instagram accounts, the videos dished out some pizza trivia to help fans warm up for the big quiz on National Pizza Day.

Canadians can visit to play The Slice is Right and find out if they're a Pizza Pro, Crust Connoisseur or Dough Dabbler. The lucky winner of free pizza for a year will be announced on February 12th on Boston Pizza's social channels.


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