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Mike Cohen visits young chefs Karina and Bruno at Forketta Épicerie Gourmet in Rosemount

    Karina Awadalla and Bruno Dodaro are a very nice young couple who recently decided to go into business together, opening Forketta Épicerie Gourmet at 3589 Beaubien  Street East in Rosemount.

    This is a small storefront located directly across from College Rosemount and just a few doors down from Rosemount High School/Rosemount Technology Centre. There is a small counter with stools, allowing you to eat inside or you can take out. Options for catering and a personal chef are already gaining attention in the neighbourhood. They also sell artisanal products which make for great personalized gifts.

    A Love For The Kitchen

    Karina and Bruno.

    Karina was born and raised in Laval while Bruno has been there as well since the age of nine.  Dating as far back to her days as a student at St. Paul Elementary School and Laurier Senior High School she had a passion for cooking.  Eventually, she enrolled in the St. Pius X Culinary Institute in Ahuntsic and worked part-time at St. Martin Bakery in Laval.

    “The initial dream began freshly at St. Pius X back in 2011, bursary in hand and ready to learn.. and cook,” Karina says, “Only after working in pastry and cake decorating and on the line in restaurants did I finally understand the difference between a passion and a hobby. Cooking is my life.”

    Bouncing Back From Adversity

    In October of 2014, Karina stumbled upon an opportunity to open up shop, on the condition of having a business partner who would overlook all else besides the food. That turned out to be a venture in Laval called Butcher’s Bite. “I thought this was perfect,” she said. “My dreams were coming true at the age of  21! After so much work, hardships and hustle the doors opened in March 2015. What a feeling of accomplishment! Down the line, there were even more challenging moments that tested me as a young woman, a professional chef and as a business owner. Luckily, by my side, since 2013 was Bruno. Eventually, the partnership began to crumble and this new business was no longer working out. I had to make a challenging and heart-wrenching decision. I put my health first and decided I could no longer continue in the environment with this partner, who had become my worst nightmare. I was so discouraged by my experience and I didn’t want these emotions to alter my feelings towards the culinary arts. I was back at square one with no motivation.”

    A New Beginning at Forketta

    Bruno was working in the family business, the appropriately named Bruno Driving School and had his mind set on taking courses in music management at Trebas.  But he also loved to cook and did not want to see Karina give up on her dream so the next chapter began.  Forketta was originally launched in April of 2016 as a home-based company creating beautiful catered dishes for events.  “As the months progressed, business started to grow and the clientele I worked so hard to build proved their loyalty,” she smiles. “I knew in these moments that when the time was right, I wanted to have another go at being an entrepreneur. Only later did I see my failure as the best learning experience of my life. My experience yet difficult was cut short and I had an itch for more. I knew that in my next endeavour, I needed a partner who would allow my passion to shine and put no boundaries on my creativity. That was Bruno!”

     Karina boasts that Bruno  brings his marketing and  business knowledge, administrative skills and an exquisite talent for  customer service. They found the location in Rosemount in the summer of 2018 and have not looked back since.  

    My Lunch Experience

    I dropped by Forketta Épicerie Gourmet for lunch recently and was impressed to see the many clients coming in and out of the door. They have a creative menu of sandwiches, salads and desserts.

    They offer a variety of sandwiches, fresh salads of the day, ready-to-eat meals and a selection of homemade pastries.  You can complete your combo sandwich with a choice of chip or muffin and drink or a  daily salad and roasted potato and drink.

    Each of the sandwiches is named after different Montreal area neighbourhoods.  I had the Westmount, which contains braised beef, caramelized onions, mushrooms, swiss cheese,
    sweet jalapeno and mayo garlic confit. I added a side dish of quinoa. Served on a nice soft baguette, the sandwich was absolutely delicious. Ditto for the quinoa, which came with some veggies. For dessert I had a decadent oreo crumble bar with pecan, coconut, butterscotch and chocolate chip all blended in.   “We just made the recipe up,” volunteered Bruno, as I signaled a big thumbs up.

    The other sandwiches are: the Villeray (egg salad, chives and mayo with the option to also add Swiss cheese or ham and tomato on Portuguese bread ); Le Plateau (ham, Swiss cheese, tomatoes  and Tarragon Mayo);  Little Italy  (eggplant, homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmigiana):  Le Rosemont  ( pulled pork , cabbage house, BBQ home sauce);  and  The Latin Quarter ( pulled pork, ham,  Swiss cheese  and pickles).

    At Forketta, the style of cooking incorporates many different flavors from classic French, Italian, Middle Eastern and modern cuisine.  Karina and Bruno aim to use locally grown Quebec products and meats and they like to create menus that showcase the best seasonal harvests.  They also use locally grown produce and meats.

    Forketta Épicerie Gourmet is located at 3589 Beaubien Street West. Opening hours from 10 am to 6 pm weekdays and 11 am to 5 pm Saturdays. For more information log on to, email  or call 514.727.6885.

    Mike Cohen

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