The Qualifirst Philosophy
Qualifirst has made finding the world’s best specialty foods its #1 mission for more than 50 years. We’ve lasted this long because we have a passion for extraordinary products and know every great dish begins with stellar ingredients. We believe in:
If you want top-quality, go to the source. We crisscross the globe in search of the best ingredients we can find—olive oils from Spain, pastas from Italy, curries from India, rice from China, spices from all over the world, wine-based vinegars from France, and much more. Our standards are unyielding and our vendors represent a smorgasbord of the finest food artisans in the world.
Qualifirst works primarily with family-owned vendors because we’ve discovered they tend to share our passion. Like Qualifirst, they don’t necessarily want to be the biggest—just the best. We want foods that are free of preservatives and chemicals and are made with real, natural ingredients. We found that smaller companies tend to be more hands-on and believe you can taste the difference when there is a commitment to quality at every level.
Passion for Food
We don’t sell ketchup at Qualifirst. We sell gourmet food that has provenance and flavor, with quality that shines through. Our customers and clients are true foodies—people who share our passion for world-class ingredients, cutting-edge techniques, and exquisite presentation.
Qualifirst Foods Ltd.
Qualifirst Foods Ltd. began with a simple idea: Have a dedication to find the best gourmet products the world has to offer, and make them accessible to foodservice professionals, chefs, specialty retailers and consumers across Canada. The aim was to become Canada’s premier supplier of fine foods with exceptional customer service and unyielding standards of quality food products.
After launching in Toronto in 1983, Qualifirst rapidly won acclaim from chefs, restaurants and retailers as a trusted supplier of quality ingredients and food products from all over the world. As satisfaction and awareness spread, so did Qualifirst.
Today, Qualifirst services more than 1,500 restaurants, 1,000 retailers and hundreds of specialty shops from coast-to-coast with state-of-the-art distribution centers in Vancouver and Toronto.
The Qualifirst product line has also grown and now features more than 3,000 gourmet ingredients of exceptional quality, including hundreds of rare food items not normally carried in grocery stores. The Qualifirst selection of authentically-sourced products and gourmet gift-giving items for the home chef is unmatched. And so is our continuing commitment to quality and passion for food. Read more...
Founded by Michel and Nicole Farges as a small, family-run business in 1957, Far-Met Importers quickly became fine food pioneers in Vancouver and Western Canada. With a focus on Quality, Far-Met began sourcing only the very best exotic products from all over the world, making many of them accessible to the region for the first time. Foie Gras from Rougie, Burgundy Escargots from UGMA, Wine Vinegars from France, Flageolets from Belgium, Sardines from Portugal…the list was endless.
As the first to import the best the world had to offer, Far-Met established a reputation for exceptional quality and knowledge. By adhering to their commitment to quality and sharing their passion for food, Far-Met experienced considerable growth over the ensuing decades. With their expansion into fine cheese, Far-Met experienced another wave of expansion and soon became one of the largest distributors of fine cheese in Western Canada.
Today, as part of the Qualifirst Group, led by second-generation pioneer Yves Farges, Far-Met Importers is proud to maintain its family-run roots while continuing to share their passion for food and commitment to quality.
As part of the Qualifirst Group, the Epicureal brand is becoming recognized as a qualitative standard among true foodies and food industry professionals. When you see Epicureal products, you can trust that these products are backed with our commitment to quality and passion for food. They share the same qualities that have helped Qualifirst become entrenched as a trusted name with Canada’s best chefs and fine food establishments since 1957.