Dean Suruj Ramdath was born and raised from humble beginnings on the tiny island of Trinidad & Tobago. He immigrated to Toronto Canada in July of 1975 at 19 years old, looking for the opportunity to better his life and live the true Canadian dream. In his early years he met his wife, Gail, and tried his hand at his first venture to export toys and goods to Trinidad with a local partner. Even though this venture failed, he had his first daughter (Katrina) and then decided to start another joint venture called Superior Donut Shop which was located in Roncesvalles, Toronto. The cafe had demanding hours as it was operating 24/7. He took on most of the responsibilities where he self taught himself the art of baking donuts, running a coffee shop, and dealing with disposable suppliers. In this time, he had his second daughter, Cassandra, but between the challenges of running the whole cafe as the sole operating partner and raising a young family, this joint venture was not successful and led to the shop closing. He was hired by a large food service distributor and became a territory sales representative in Toronto. His experience at running a cafe led him to successfully build key packaging industry knowledge as well as experience in supplying the food & beverage industry for well over a decade. By the mid 90's he started to notice that many local family-run, ethnic restaurants were unable to meet the large order requirements set out by manufacturers and food service distributors. He saw this gap in the supply chain of disposables to small businesses and came up with the idea to start his own company to meet these demands and not be bound by defined sales territories.
On October 21st, 1997, Dean officially started his business, Core Sales Inc. His goal was to supply small businesses with a wide range of traditional disposable, janitorial & sanitation products. In true start-up fashion, with his teen daughter Katrina, he outfitted his 1200sq foot townhouse basement with plywood floors to start stocking inventory. With no basement entrance, lugging boxes up and down two flights of stairs became a family supply chain activity to get the orders out the door! He used the family's mini-van (much to the dismay of his wife and kids), but never once faltered on his vision of being an independent business owner and packaging entrepreneur.
In the year 2000, Dean learned how to use "google" on the internet and discovered it was possible to manufacture disposable drinking cups from corn (PLA). He thought this was a great sustainable alternative to traditional plastic cups which are made from petroleum oil. At the time, Toronto was exporting over 130+ trucks daily of garbage to Michigan, because we did not have capacity to deal with our own trash. (New York Times Article). He wanted to disrupt the traditional disposable packaging industry by manufacturing and supplying a CORE group of compostable products throughout North America. Throughout the early 2000's Dean built an expanded product line and delisted all non-biodegradable products. At first he struggled to convince buyers to purchase compostable disposables, but he quickly out grew the home basement warehouse by partnering up with manufacturing and worked hard to expand his distributor network across North America. With Katrina working with him part-time during school breaks, and full time after graduation, they were able to build products with the brand Bio-Sposables. His ability to travel to manufacturing sites and develop product designs, as been described by many as foreseeing the future of packaging years ahead of anyone else..
From a young immigrant to Canadian entrepreneur, Core Sales Inc. was Dean's third and most successful business venture. His vision was to provide biodegradable disposable products only, and build a family run company until his untimely death in 2012 at 56 years old. With the entrepreneurial spirit of her dad around her, Katrina stepped into the leadership role immediately and was able to build on and push his vision forward of manufacturing and distributing plant-based compostable cups and disposables throughout North America.
Dean was born in Trinidad and as a young child suffered from rheumatic fever with lasting effects which prevented him from pursuing higher education. After immigrating to Canada he still could not attain a higher education. This led him to emphasize the importance of post secondary education to his daughters. At his untimely death in 2012, Katrina & Cassandra decided it would be best to honour his memory by setting up a scholarship fund with Seneca College's Sustainable Business Management post graduate program (formally called the Green Business Management). The award is given upon successful completion of the program to an international student, to encourage post secondary education to immigrants in Canada.
The company Core Sales Inc. was officially born and registered! It started in a 1200sq ft home basement in Mississauga, to using the family mini-van to start its first deliveries
Dean discovers cups made from PLA (corn) as a sustainable alternative to plastic & Styrofoam. He was one of the first to introduce Canada to biodegradable cups in 2001
There was little interest for compostable products throughout the early 2000's. However, in April 2007 we showcased our product line at The Green Living Show in Toronto. Consumers & Businesses started to inquire about our products
The sudden passing of Dean leads Katrina to takes over leadership of the company. We move into a larger warehousing facility, continue to expand our compostable products lines, as well as strengthen and build a network of distributors across Canada
In our 25th year of business, we intend to strengthen not only our commitment to compostable products, but expand our distributor network across North America. We look towards the future's next generation and support eco-friendly businesses, female leadership & entrepreneurship for the next 25+ years!