Vancouver Street Soccer League Partners
June 14, 2021 – Cedar Feast House Catering
Food is Medicine
“Food is medicine” that’s something that Theresa Contois founder and head chef of Cedar Feast House repeated multiple times on her call with the Vancouver Street Soccer League.
Vancouver Street Soccer recently has teamed up with Cedar Feast House to provide meals to our players after our typical Sunday practices. Cedar Feast House focuses on local ingredients with an eye towards healthy and nutritious meals with an Indigenous twist. What you don’t know about this story is the beginnings of Cedar Feast House and how it came to be today.
In 2001 Theresa moved from Winnipeg to Vancouver at the urging of her mother. However, very early on her time in Vancouver she found herself on the streets of the downtown east side turning to drugs very quickly. “I was a broken woman when I was living on the streets” said Contois.
Her life was continuing down that dark path until 2005 when her mom got quite sick, and Theresa knew things had to change. “Things had to change, so I could take care of my mom.” Theresa’s mom had developed quite hydrocephalus, a life threatening brain condition, so she focused on getting clean to help her family. As her mom was fighting for her life, so was Theresa and both of them found solace in food. “Food was a medicine for us. It’s where we could come together to get better” noted Contois, and it worked. Theresa got clean and her mom recovered after surgery.
With the love for food on her mind, Theresa decided to go back to school in 2008 to VCC for a culinary arts degree. “I have always been a good cook, so I thought it was important to follow my passion.” Theresa graduated top of her class and went on to receive student of the year. She followed that up by getting her hospitality management degree with a red seal certification from VCC. She was so successful that after she graduated in 2009, she started teaching at VCC.
“I wanted to continue to expand my interests” it’s with that in mind that Theresa opened Cedar Feast House in 2011. What started as a small kitchen with one employee has turned into a bustling business with twelve employees and COVID-19 hasn’t slowed them down. Last year, Cedar Feast House provides over 1500 free meals weekly to residents on the downtown east side and they provide a daily meal at an Indigenous retirement home. Recently, they did an 8-part YouTube series on Indigenous cuisine appropriately called “Food is Medicine.” With restrictions starting to lift, Cedar Feast House is looking to expand. “We have opened a 2nd kitchen with an eye towards providing more meals to residents in the downtown east side” said Contois.
To learn more about Theresa or Cedar Feast House go to https://www.cedarfeasthouse.ca/ .