BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
Some of the tastiest and flavorful foods in the world come straight from the streets of Trinidad. Finger licking good doubles, melt in your mouth aloopies and soft and fluffy pulorie puffs dipped in a savory tamarind sauce, it’s true what they say, you can’t have just one.
Sardia Mustapha, also known as Sandra and her husband Amid Mustapha owners of Authentic Trini Foods on the corner of Williams Parkway and Airport Road in Brampton hail from Trinidad and immigrated to Canada in 1988. While living on the island Sandra had various jobs as a seamstress and doing some work in warehouses taking shipping orders, while her husband was in construction as a certified welder.
They always had an interest in cooking and preparing tasty and flavourful meals, working in different restaurants over the years, that didn’t include West Indian, but mainly Italian, Mexican and other cuisines. They learned a lot of their culinary capabilities from trained chefs and trusting their West Indian taste buds to spice up their recipes.
Amid always hoped that he and his wife would someday own a restaurant. They had hoped to open up a restaurant that fused together the flavours and techniques of Italian and Trinidadian style cooking utilizing the various spices and seasonings to create something different. They had picked up the idea from a restaurant they had previously been working at called Osso Bucco in Brampton, until it had closed down they thought they would revisit the idea and possibly bring it to fruition.
Amid and Sandra took over Authentic Trini Foods in July 2013. They opened the restaurant offering authentic West Indian cuisine, with that sought after home-cooked taste and inviting atmosphere.
Since their opening they have experienced many struggles in running a small business. In their first year business was slow, but heading into their second year business picked up and since then they have been getting more and more regular traffic, including people and businesses around the area who come to sample their take on authentic Trinidadian cuisine.
“Running your own small business there’s a little bit of challenge in everything you do,” says Sandra. “You are constantly on the go, you spend most hours here at the shop and there is always something that needs attending too.” Sandra explains the difficulties in running a small business comes with not having enough hands. She does most of the work at the restaurant, from cooking the food to managing the storefront, which leaves little time for anything else. “We are constantly on the go, there’s always something to be done,” she says.
Sandra really enjoys cooking her own food, ensuring that her customers get fresh meals everyday of the week, including hot fresh doubles, aloopies and pulorie when they place an order. She recommends that customers place their orders in advance before coming to pick up an order, as this isn’t a fast food joint. Attention to detail ensures that all meals are cooked fresh and portions are hot off the stove to guarantee the quality of their food. So if you have to wait a 10-15 minutes, remember that’s service you might not get somewhere else!
“We don’t mind having to cook food fresh everyday,” Sandra explains, “If we have left over curry, or doubles from the day, we throw it away and start fresh the next morning.”
Down at Authentic Trini Foods they offer some of the freshest West Indian Cuisine that Brampton has to offer. Located at 1650 Williams Parkway they offer a selection of delicious meals that you can dine in or take out if you’re on the go. Their very appetizing menu includes rice or roti with bone, boneless chicken or goat, shrimp, duck, stew chicken, curry potato, channa and aloo.
Choose from their very reasonably priced appetizers that include, doubles, aloopie, pulorie and saheena with or without channa! Try it mild, medium or take a little sting with that hot pepper it won’t disappoint!
Authentic Trini Foods offers specials like Callaloo and Stew Chicken with Rice or Red Beans and Stew Chicken with Rice. Craving something more? Why not sample their Bake and Smoked Herring, Salt fish or Shark? They bring Maracas Bay to you!
Best known for their Roti, (only $11.99 for a Wedding Size Buss Up Shot) they offer one of the best deals in the city right now based on quantity ordered. Authentic Trini Foods serves only Halal Meats and also veggie meals for those fasting or with dietary restrictions.
Buy five doubles and get one free! How can you refuse a deal like that? Hosting an event? They cater large quantities for weddings, parties or office events and much more!
Looking toward the future, they know that it is filled with endless possibilities. With every passing day there are trials and tribulations that push them to do better and continue working on the business plan that they have. Their main goal is to provide their customers with a welcoming and inviting atmosphere offering great customer service and guaranteed freshness in every meal they make.
They encourage their customers to provide advice for how they can continue to improve, meals they would like added to the menu or any changes that could be made. They are very open to suggestions and they are always happy to see a friendly face. If you come into the restaurant and order a meal that’s not quite up to par, let them know and your next meal is FREE!
Authentic Trini Foods is open seven days a week Monday – Friday from 10am-8pm, Saturday from 9:30am – 8pm, and Sunday from 10am – 8pm. Their doors are always open and they are always ready to provide you with a hot fresh meal delivered straight from the islands. Come in and experience a taste of home and see what exotic flavours they have to offer!