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Toast wars: Treat maker cries foul after ejection from Richmond Night Market – BC

A Metro Vancouver treat vendor is crying foul after it was rejected from a popular night market and apparently replaced with a similar business.

Tochi Desserts makes mochi French toast, a delicacy that combines Hong Kong-style French Toast stuffed with mochi, a chewy Japanese dessert made from rice flour.

Co-owner Picard Yiu claims the company was the first to bring the treat to B.C., and drew crowds during two successful seasons at the Richmond Night Market.

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“It’s a really popular spot for Asian foods, Asian demographics,” he said.

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“We were really successful, we drove a lot of attention and traffic, we went viral online and in Greater Vancouver as well.”

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But when the business applied for its space for the 2024 season, Yiu said it was rejected without any explanation.

That’s forced them to change gears and start selling the treats at events around the region.

“We were entirely based at the Richmond Night Market at the time. We kind of scraped together the money we had made, we invested it all back into our lovely food truck,” he said.

“It was definitely a big change for us and we had to put a lot of money into the truck … Huge, huge disruption.”

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More troubling to the young entrepreneurs, another business — also selling mochi French toast — appears to have taken their place.

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“They were given a prime location … and the product and branding have an undeniable resemblance to ours,” he said.

The Richmond Night Market told Global News it didn’t renew Tochi’s application because the business didn’t follow its rules and directions.

As for the new mochi French toast stand, the market said it leaves decisions about what to sell up to its vendors.

Yiu said the situation has been a learning experience, and that he and his partner are now focused on their future under a new business model.

But the rejection has left the sweet makers with a bitter taste in their mouths.

“I think after our successful two years, as well as the traffic and attention we drove to the Richmond night market … they saw that, hey, this is a great original idea and it would be really great if they did it themselves.”

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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