It’s been about 2 weeks since Halal Food Festival Toronto took place. As we wrap up the festival from our end, we’d like to take a moment to express our heartfelt thanks, apologies and intentions for next year, inshaAllah.
We are so taken back by the overwhelming support from the community. Thank you. Everything from the encouraging emails, words of wisdom, friendly smiles, pats on the back, shares and likes on Facebook and retweets on Twitter. When one person said it couldn’t be done, there were five to let us know that if Allah wills, anything can happen.
From our core team, we thank our project managers who went above and beyond everything we had hoped for. To our families, thank you for sacrificing your time with us so that we could commit our efforts to many months of preparation. To our volunteers, thank you for your passion and infectious, positive nature which gave us the legs we needed during the final days. To our Chefs and speakers who brought us amazing content, demonstrations, know-how, thank you for loving what you do and sharing your gifts with thousands of people. To our sponsors and vendors — thank you for believing in our team, learning with us each step of the way and giving support outside of what was asked. To our community leaders and scholars, thank you for your kindness, wisdom and support that went above and beyond what we had hoped for.
This being our first year, we weren’t sure what to expect. We had aimed to draw in 8,000 – 10,000 people. We realized that number was going to be doubled, potentially tripled within the first few hours. We apologize. We apologize first and foremost for the lineup that had many waiting to get in. We apologize for not being able to act on our contingency plan fast enough when we had to close our doors due to the venue reaching maximum capacity. We take many things back with us to learn for next year inshaAllah.
Our intentions. We are so excited for Halal Food Festival 2014 inshaAllah! We now have an event to compare to; precedents have been set, an idea of how many attendees we need to cater to, and a list of improvements to make your experience more rewarding and worth while. With more vendors now believing that this concept works, we can offer more variety and new experiences. Many businesses have been inspired to change, offer more health conscious options and a focus on transparency. We wanted to showcase the halal food market in Toronto, to the world — alhamdulillah, I think we’ve all helped in making that happen.
With that, we leave you with highlights from this past June 1 and 2. We look back to the smiles, laughter, brotherly and sisterly love that shone through and still resonates with us 🙂