The story of Fresh Dressing salad dressing is living proof that from what we perceive as bad news can be transformed into something positive. This story is both heartwarming and a testament to the perseverance of one family.
As a traditional Jewish family, food was always the center of our lives. Shabbos and holidays included sweet white challah, noodle kugel and everything else on the carbohydrate spectrum that you can imagine. If you wanted to find my mother, all you had to do was visit her kitchen where you would find her cooking up her latest recipes.
In the early nineties, my dad Eli Erdvin, was diagnosed with diabetes, a devastating blow. The idea of insulin shots was not an attractive one, so my father took himself in hand and went to visit a diet clinic (Dr. Poon’s Metabolic Diet Clinic) too seek out an alternative protocol to treat his disease.
In the meantime, as a caring and devoted wife, my mother, Devora Erdvin, got to work thinking of new ways to cook delicious dishes that were compliant with her husband’s new way of eating. By the time the next holiday dinner rolled around, life was different. Yet, although the food was adjusted for a diabetic, it was just as delicious as the ‘old way’.
As my mother brought out each healthy and tasty dish, as her family were in awe of how tasty ‘healthy’ could be. This was the beginning of a whole new lifestyle trend in the family. Pop was replaced with water and chips with salads.
The Next Step
My mother was so excited about her new way of cooking that she brought some samples for Dr. Poon to taste. Dr. Poon loved the food that she had created and got her in touch with Ontarian Nutrition Stores, which sell food products compliant with diabetics. Her meal plans, soups and soufflés were a bit hit, but her salad dressings took the cake. The stores couldn’t keep them on the shelves. Clients couldn’t get enough of them.
When word got back to us that some clients were drinking the dressings, it was time to make a bigger move. My brother-in-law, Eric Sotto, approached Devora with an idea: Begin focusing on her salad dressings. As a family we sat together and brainstormed ways to promote Moms salad dressing. Fresh Dress was born.
The word fresh is currently having its moment in the spotlight and we believe rightfully so. Who doesn’t want to eat things that are healthy rather than full of preservatives and ‘un-fresh’ ingredients? Our product is just that, fresh and full flavored. We never use dry ingredients and our dressing can only be found in the refrigerator section at the grocery store.
With this in mind we revamped her packaging giving it a really vibrant and fresh look and began approaching small gourmet boutique stores in the Toronto area to sell our product.
At first our salad dressings did not have a kosher certification and we were selling them to the mainstream community. People loved the unique taste and clean ingredients. “You can actually pronounce all the ingredients on the label”, is a response we often got at demos.
The observant community in Toronto began pressuring us to get a certification on our product. The people who knew us were buying it and eating it but were requesting a certification so that they could bring it to a friends house for Shabbos lunch without having to explain why they had a store bought product without a certification on it.
We couldn’t believe the phenomenal response we received. The moment we put MK on our products and starting selling them in the Kosher markets in Toronto, they literally blew out of the stores. In the kosher food world, we are unique.
Our dressings are not only good for diabetics, but for many different kinds of health related issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity etc. Most of the flavors are low carb, low sodium, sugar-free. They are all dairy-free, fish-free, gluten-free and preservative free. Two are vegan. Fresh Dress is a family owned business and all dressings are made in small batches with special attention to the quality and freshness of our ingredients.
Our Wicked Caesar is a dairy and fish free Caesar that tastes like there is Parmesan cheese and Worcestershire sauce in it. This is an excellent choice for people with allergies that do not keep kosher. But for us kosher-keeping folk, having a legitimate chicken Caesar salad just couldn’t happen before Fresh Dress’s Wicked Caesar came along.
We are diligently working to increase production and bring our delicious dressings to Montreal and other areas that service a kosher-eating clientele.
Look out for us shortly when you shop at your favorite store.