Wonton Crunch

Presented by: BDC

​A tasty snack feeds this family’s success

A love of wontons changed Prim Singh’s life.

After moving his family from Trinidad and Tobago to Canada nearly two decades ago, the married father of two took a job in a chocolate factory. It paid the bills, but he knew he could build a better life.

Having successfully operated restaurants in his home country, Singh launched Wonton Crunch and began making wontons with his kids by his side. Together they spent evenings and weekends at their home in Smith Falls, Ontario, filling and folding the small dumplings to sell to local stores and restaurants.

The process, however, was painstaking, some days taking up to 10 hours to make enough wontons to meet demand. To ease the work, Singh spent years developing a wonton-making machine. Affectionately named after his wife, Grace’s Goose makes 15 wontons per minute, compared to four when folded by hand.

Sharing a delicious snack

“In the Caribbean, wontons are a very popular snack,” Singh says. “We were ready to share our family’s favourite snack with the world.”

The family made an appearance on Dragons’ Den during the show’s ninth season. With competing offers, they secured a deal with Jim Treliving, who invested $70,000 for 20% of the company.

Today, Wonton Crunch produces wontons with flavours like butter chicken, jalapeno cream cheese and coriander pork. Its clients include food distributor Sysco Canada, Algonquin College and St. Lawrence College, as well as restaurants, bars, and golf clubs.

The company has also branched out beyond Ontario. Getting to that point, however, was more complicated than the family initially anticipated.

Expansion brings challenges

“It was great being on Dragons’ Den, because after the episode aired, our company exploded overnight,” says Singh’s daughter, Farrah. “We got calls and requests to try our wontons, and we were really excited to start shipping them in large quantities. But we realized we needed to get a certification to ship our product out of the province.”

That certification is known as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system, which is an internationally recognized food safety system that results in consistent quality control at all critical points in the production chain.

Besides enabling producers to meet the highest standard for safety and hygiene, the certification helps companies gain customer confidence, develop new export opportunities, and sharpen their competitive edge.

Wonton Crunch needed help developing and implementing this crucial certification. Having turned to the Business Development Bank Canada (BDC) for working capital loans, the family enlisted BDC’s help to both finance its certification process and provide advice through its HACCP consulting services.

BDC steps in to help

“Once we realized we needed this certification moving forward, we realized we couldn’t do it alone,” says Singh’s son, Dean. “That’s where BDC came in. We realized they would help us not only with funding but would also help us get in contact with the right people for the job.

“BDC has been really instrumental in helping us get everything we need to push forward.”

The family is well on its way to introducing its products to people throughout Canada and beyond.

“Watching Wonton Crunch grow at the speed it’s growing to me is a dream come true,” Prim Singh says. “Without the help from BDC and the advice from BDC, we would never have gotten where we are right now.”

This is paid content provided by or produced on behalf of BDC.

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