IQ Food Co
By YP Contributor

Solving the Lunch Problem Really, Really Well

Great ideas are often born out of a sense of personal frustration. For Alan Bekerman, founder of iQ Food Co., his personal frustration reached a boiling point when the former office dweller would leave his downtown desk every day in search of a healthy place to eat lunch and would often find nothing at the local food courts.

Alan’s lunch problem inspired a business journey that has given rise to one of the financial district’s most popular lunch spots. Since opening in 2011, Alan’s iQ Food Co. has become a top destination for downtown lunchers seeking taste-heavy and health-conscious meals, served quickly and for a great price.

It’s all about creating environments for people to enjoy, and if they want to grab some healthy food along the way, that’s a bonus. - Alan Bekerman, founder
iQ Food Co, Boxes, Snacks, Smoothies, Coffee and tea, Baked goods

Thoughtful and Healthy

A suit-and-tie guy working in private equity in 2010, Alan was part of a growing group of professionals starved for healthy meal options in the downtown core. “There was nowhere to go for healthy lunches that weren’t deep-fried, processed, or the uninspiring make-your-own salad,” says Alan.

After a year of research and planning, Alan quit his job and set up a take-out counter in the food hall of the TD Centre at 100 Wellington St. With no restaurant experience, but a knack for retail and a passion for food, Alan donned an apron and started serving up what he calls “really innovative, healthy and vibrant food.” Within a week, the lineups were forming at 11 a.m. and the food began selling out on a daily basis.

“The iQ menu and philosophy are centred in innovative details,”says Alan.“The whole is greater than the sum of all the parts and I think that speaks to what we do here.”

Everything on the iQ menu is unprocessed and made in-house from scratch every day. It’s a full-service restaurant mentality applied to the casual quick-serve experience. The menu starts with iQ’s famous “boxes,” perfectly balanced meals that are beautifully put together and served up in a recycled paper container. Boxes begin with a base such as organic quinoa, brown rice, arugula, or shredded kale, then topped with fresh produce and proteins like chicken, tempeh or grilled salmon. Most popular is the Mexican-inspired Lima Box, featuring chicken, black beans, Tabasco-tossed corn, grape tomatoes, avocado and aged white cheddar, topped with traditional Mexican hot sauce, fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice. The menu expands to include, smoothies, snacks, scratch-made baked goods and gourmet coffee from a local roaster. More specifically, you can also find avocado toast, raw overnight oats and maca and acai-based smoothie bowls.

iQ Food Co, Boxes, Snacks, Smoothies, Coffee and tea, Baked goods

Delicious in the Details

iQ Food Co.’s flagship outlet sits at 18 York St., with an entrance and a charming patio on the north side of Bremner. Paired with the Brookfield Place location on Bay Street, the two exceptionally designed spaces embody Alan’s unique approach to healthy casual dining and the guest experience.

As detailed as the iQ menu might be, just as much thought has gone into creating a thoroughly wholesome environment, including original art on the walls, gorgeous furnishings and fixtures, and even hand-picked playlists selected by the staff every week. “It’s all about creating environments for people to enjoy,” says Alan. “We want people to stay awhile and hang out, and if they want to grab some healthy food along the way, that’s a bonus.”

iQ Food Co, Boxes, Snacks, Smoothies, Coffee and tea, Baked goods
Close menu