La Panthère Verte
By David Kynan

From Small Beginnings to Montreal Hot Spot

Chaim Shoham left Israel at age 20 to race motorbikes in Australia. He experienced more crashes than victories and decided to head to India for a yoga retreat. While there, he opened a small restaurant that served food out of the back of an old building. Out of necessity, he learned to rely on using only natural, local and organic foods, and how to serve his customers with very little in the way of resources.

If he could do it in India, he wondered, could he do it in the developed world? He set out to do just that and relocated to Montreal in 2002. He began whipping up healthy cuisine in his kitchen and delivering it on his bike. In 2009, his little operation spawned La Panthère Verte, a full-on restaurant in Montreal’s Mile End.

Among the staff was Dave Adams, an expert dishwasher until Chaim found out about his past (Dave was a sales executive in London, but sought to escape the stresses of his high-pressure job). Once Chaim discovered this, he promoted Dave to food truck manager, then asked him to run the restaurant and soon made him the director of operations.

The aim of Panthère Verte is to make healthy, wholesome food with no animal products whatsoever, accessible to anyone and everyone. - Dave Adams, director of operations
La Panthère Verte, vegan organic cuisine, vegan organic desserts, delivery,

Organic Vegan Cuisine, Sustainable Practices

From the outset, the vision of La Panthère Verte was to serve organic vegan cuisine produced with 100 per cent green practices. “The aim was to make healthy, wholesome food with no animal products whatsoever, accessible to anyone and everyone, both in terms of recipes and prices,” explains Dave.

Disturbed by the wasteful food practices common around the world, Chaim and his team felt they could set an example and prove to other businesses that fresh, delicious food could be prepared and served profitably and sustainably. While the reviews were superb from the get-go, business was a struggle for the first 18 months. Then, in their second year, the idea caught on, and La Panthère Verte can now be easily spotted by the lineups out the door.

“The name Green Panther was inspired by the Black Panther Party of the ’60s and ’70s,” says Dave. “If the black panther symbolized the fight for racial equality, then the green panther could stand for the battle for sustainability.”

Business Name La Panthère Verte, vegan organic cuisine, vegan organic desserts, delivery,

A Fresh Menu with Something for Everyone

Everyone’s favourite on the menu is the falafel, based on an old family recipe handed down to Chaim from generations past. It’s no surprise that the falafel at La Panthère Verte has been voted best in Montreal, while its dishes voted best vegetarian cuisine. To top it off, La Panthère Verte was a runner-up for best vegetarian restaurant.

All those nods might have to do with the variety of food options available. Each day features a special and a changing selection of savoury soups and salads. And if you can’t make it in, Panthère Verte delivers; and to keep with the mission, all deliveries — rain, snow or shine — arrive by bike.

If you have any doubts about how green its practices really are, you don’t have to take its word for it. Panthère Verte is the first restaurant in Canada to receive the Green Business Certification, an internationally recognized stamp of approval in green initiatives.

La Panthère Verte, vegan organic cuisine, vegan organic desserts, delivery,
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