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Introducing the Substance Food Group: Four Successful Ontario Restaurants Now United Under One Brand

Posted on September 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm


Introducing the Substance Food Group: Four Successful Ontario Restaurants Now United Under One Brand

- Flagship Restaurant Terra Celebrates 20th Anniversary -

“…A finely tuned culinary machine.”

“The best steak [in Toronto] isn‘t even at a steakhouse. Terra‘s inexpressibly tender steak tastes of the grill and perfection.”

“…a menu that is the ultimate in creativity … The consensus is this showstopper offers excellent food and service…”

Toronto, September 29, 2015 – For more than 20 years, three men, four restaurants and a great friendship have driven the evolution of a diverse portfolio of dining locations well established in Toronto and beyond, and now officially known as the Substance Food Group.

Led by President and Partner Ian Chase; Executive Chef and Proprietor Stephen Perrin and Maitre d’ and Partner Michael De Tommaso, Substance Food Group encompasses a number of long-standing neighbourhood restaurants: Terra in Thornhill; Sarpa in Richmond Hill; Rusty’s at Blue in the Town of the Blue Mountains as well as the recently opened Francobollo Posto Italiano in North Toronto.

The Substance Food Group is united by a common mission: to serve up quality cuisine and outstanding service with both confidence and pride. With continued expansion planned for the future, the Substance Food Group is constantly developing innovative restaurant and catering concepts, and seizing opportunities to make them a reality. Clientele of all four restaurants have come to rely on the Substance Food Group to deliver a consistent and positive dining experience for any occasion.

Executive Chef and Proprietor Stephen Perrin began his culinary career at George Brown College in Toronto, which quickly led to an apprenticeship under Chef Leighton Azzopardi at Peppercorn Mill. Following his apprenticeship, Perrin travelled throughout Europe to discover and learn the foods of different countries, eventually settling in England to work in a high-volume trattoria in Manchester called Est Est Est. After returning to Toronto, Perrin landed an apprenticeship at North 44 under Mark McEwan where he learned to cook great food quickly. Stephen then returned to England and had the opportunity to work at Hanbury Manor (a 14th century manor house north of London) under the guidance of Rory Kennedy of Le Gavroche in London, and one of Europe’s greatest chefs, Albert Roux. Stephen subsequently returned to Toronto to open Terra, the flagship restaurant of the Substance Food Group.
Since opening in Thornhill in 1995, Terra has become not only one of the best restaurants in the northern region of the Greater Toronto Area, but one of the best restaurants in the area, period. Terra’s stature and reputation have stood the test of time through constant innovation, prudent expansion, strict culinary standards and service that goes above and beyond. Now celebrating 20 years in business, Terra remains a landmark in the city, never content to rest on its laurels and continually pushing the envelope in terms of food, service, quality and value.

Boasting an authentic competition grade ten-foot smoker barbeque, Rusty’s at Blue has become a landmark in the Village at Blue Mountain since it opened in 2008, the Substance Food Group’s second location. Perrin’s love for all things barbeque is evident by the first place titles he’s taken home at top international grilling competitions such as the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, Memphis in May World Championship, Salisbury Pork in the Park BBQ Festival and more, solidifying his position on the map within the North American barbeque circuit. Stephen’s background as a fine dining chef paired with this skill and passion for barbeque has resulted in an approachable and crowd-pleasing menu. Rusty’s is also the hub for nightlife in the Village, with live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday that consistently generates a full dance floor.

In 2010, the Substance Food Group opened their third restaurant, Sarpa in Richmond Hill. Sarpa is inspired by the Italian spirit, using artisanal ingredients that smile at the “americano” culture through food, music, atmosphere and hospitality. The restaurant boasts a unique menu inspired by memories of the Italian regions of Veneto, Piedmont and southern Calabria. Nestled in the Richmond Hill community, Sarpa is the go-to neighbourhood restaurant as well as a dining destination for those in the city.

Francobollo Posto Italiano opened in December 2014 and is the most recent restaurant introduced by the Substance Food Group. Rooted in the classics, this modern, casual, neighbourhood gem distinguishes itself from others with warmth and sincerity, present in all elements of the dining experience. Located in North Toronto, Francobollo Posto Italiano presents an intimate, comfortable location perfect for a special occasion, a casual night out with friends or family, or booking a private event.

In addition to the four restaurant locations, the Substance Food Group provides a wide variety of catering services both on and offsite for any occasion, whether it’s an intimate dinner or grand scale event.

For more information visit:
Social media links:
Twitter: @SubstanceFood
Instagram: SubstanceFoodGroup

About the Substance Food Group
Constantly developing new and unique restaurant concepts and seizing opportunities to make them a reality, the Substance Food Group continues to expand. No matter what the concept, clientele rely on the Substance Food Group brand to deliver a consistent and positive dining experience for any occasion that has them coming back again and again. The Group is led by President and Partner Ian Chase, Executive Chef and Proprietor Stephen Perrin and Matire d’ and Partner Michael De Tommaso.

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Media Contacts:
Vanessa Andres, Holmes PR

Jackie Koffman, Holmes PR