Lunch - Tim

Lunch - Tim


Owner: Tim Van Dyke
Neighbourhood: click here for all 8 locations

Photography  @rothbauerphoto

Photography @rothbauerphoto

Tell us a little about yourself?

Ottawa is my hometown, I was born here and my family and most of the people I love live here. I care about this city and I’m happy my three kids are growing up here. I started LUNCH a little over ten years ago and I think it’s my small contribution to helping Ottawa grow. Locally owned small businesses are important!

What was the inspiration for Lunch?

Good food! I’m not a chef but I love good service and good food. I’ve worked in the food industry for a long time and I thought the simple concept of a fresh, healthy sandwich, all packaged and ready to go was perfect.


We know that you have 8 locations and you cater as well. But tell us about your vending.

The LUNCH Vending Machines are our way of getting our food out across the City. Especially in places where people don’t have easy access to healthy food. I’d love to see them in hospitals and universities. Our machine at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is a perfect example!

What makes Lunch different from other catering options?

We take pride in our excellent service. Obviously good food is key, but we also know that understanding our client’s needs is essential. We put emphasis on ‘right sizing’ our catering service to keep our clients happy.


When you aren't busy preparing food and serving your clients, let’s say you have a day off, what do you do for fun?

I love alpine skiing with my kids! And then sitting down and having a nice meal with them. They’re almost old enough that my wife, Amy, and I can start taking them to the ALL the restaurants we enjoy.

How has Ottawa been as a city for launching Lunch?

Well I wouldn’t have done it anywhere else. It has a uniquely small-town feel and this lends to a tight-knit community. It is the support of our friends and family that have allowed LUNCH to grow and thrive. It might be the same in other cities but this one is mine.

How many people does Lunch employ?

25 and growing.


What is the largest event Lunch has ever catered?

We ended up feeding the security detail for Obama’s visit in 2016 out of our Sussex location. By the nature of the secrecy of event, venue details came through to us last minute. We fed 3 meals a day for 3 days for 500 people. Not the biggest number of people for a single event but because it went around the clock it was a challenge! Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of sleep happening on our team.

What has been the biggest challenge you've experienced as a business owner?

Work life balance. It’s tough not to bring it all home with you. I have a love/hate relationship with my phone.

What other Ottawa businesses does Lunch partner with? (as a supplier or otherwise)

Some of our favorites:
Rideau Bakery: does all of our bread daily.
Seed to Sausage
Lapointe Fish
And we work with a group of kids through Growing Futures. They named their company Think Green!


If I were to try one of your grab and go sandwiches and salads what should I try first?

That’s a tough question, I think they’re all amazing! The tuna sandwich with wasabi mayo and pickled ginger is still one of my go-to’s. It has been on our menu from the beginning and has die-hard fans. I love our shrimp salad roll as well (mainly for the hoisin sauce). If your hosting an event, our pulled chicken tacos are ridiculously good. Oh, and our soups, I love our soups. I could go on…

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