Homegrown Business: Azrah Manji-Savin and Adrian Savin, co-founders of Syzl

Syzl provides access to certified kitchen spaces for chefs or cooks to book and use at their own convenience! We spoke with Azrah Manji-Savin, co-founder & CEO and Adrian Savin, co-founder and COO to learn more about how their business works, the problem they are trying to solve, where we can find them, and more!


What is your business called and what does it do?

Syzl is a two-sided marketplace where food entrepreneurs, cooks (makers) and chefs can flexibly book affordable, professional kitchen space on a short-term basis, hassle-free on our platform.

What made you want to do this work?

We believe that food is the heart of any community and plays a role in building bridges and fostering diversity between individuals. When we saw the lack of affordable, flexible and professional (meaning licensed) kitchen space, we realized this was a major barrier for food entrepreneurs, preventing them from building their business. We wanted to solve this challenge while simultaneously supporting the kitchen and restaurant industry.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Food entrepreneurs, food makers and chefs as well as kitchen and restaurant owners. In working with the industry, we also help remove barriers for underrepresented groups within the food industry including women, new Canadians, and people who identify as BIPOC.

How does your business make money? how does it work?

A host kitchen will list its space on our platform and identify which equipment, area and special features are available and when.

Meanwhile, the guest will make their reservation: they will set up an account and book a time and location that works best for them. Syzl receives a service fee from each booking made on the platform.

Where in Toronto can we find your profession?

Any bar, restaurant or commercial kitchen (did you know, many religious sites have commercial and licensed kitchen spaces?!) across the GTA can list their space on Syzl and our inventory is constantly growing — so visiting us online at syzl.io is a great place to start.


What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?

When comparing services, likely “what is the difference between using a shared kitchen and getting your own kitchen space?”

And to answer: A shared kitchen reduces the upfront cost for entrepreneurs who are just getting started in the food and beverage industry, or for those who would need space to use to accommodate their food prep. A fully owned kitchen can be cost-prohibitive to many and reduces the ability of a food maker wanting to take advantage of a licensed space.

What is the best part about what you do? The worst part?

What brings us joy is when we speak to our platform users and learn directly from them what their business entails so we can help them grow and succeed. There really isn’t a ‘worst part’ – we’ve embraced everything from the challenges experienced in starting up, to scaling across the city and country. Ultimately we’re helping the community we love.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

What do you call two chefs working together in the same kitchen?
Taste Buds.

What are your social media channels?

Follow us on Instagram.

Pay it forward: What is another Toronto business that you love?

We love StartWell at King and Bathurst. Owner Qasim Virjee is very supportive of small business owners and has a fantastic co-working space coupled with a production studio in-house, as well as an intimate podcast about entrepreneurs and their journeys. If anyone is in need of a versatile co-working space in the downtown core, StartWell has our vote!