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Grocery Stores

Essence of Life

Posted by Staff / Posted on January 28, 2008

Essence of LifeEssence of Life in Kensington Market is one of the best health food stores in the city. The prices here are much better than Noah's and the Big Carrot; and the selection is amazing. There's a good selection of bulk products including apple butter, organic peanut butter and tahini.

Discussion

29 Comments

Jen Meglis / April 23, 2008 at 11:00 pm
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This is the best store in toronto. I can always count on this store for the best prices on organic baby food and organic dairy products. It is also fun to shop in with a great bohemian vibe.
Diana Lee / April 23, 2008 at 11:03 pm
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The staff here is amazing-- they are so knowledgable and friendly. It's a staple in the market and the cheapest place to buy organic food. Their deals are always changing!
/ May 10, 2008 at 04:36 pm
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You really need to check expiration dates when shopping there. I bought stuff that was already expired twice and have since learned my lesson.
stuff / May 13, 2008 at 02:07 pm
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it's cheap because they own the building, buy in bulk and buy soon to expire goods.
so yeah, double check before you buy things.
/ May 17, 2008 at 11:20 am
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This is the greatest health food store in the city!! Since moving here from Vancouver, I've discovered that organic food in Toronto tends to be way overpriced. This store allows me to still afford the great food that I love while on a student budget. They also have the best price on Greens+, which is another product that I can't live without.
amber / August 10, 2008 at 11:12 am
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I like the store and shop there - but the expiration dates are hard to find, past due or missing. watch carefully or buyer's remorse. still a great store.
Victoria / October 15, 2008 at 11:59 am
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This store is by far the best health food store I have found in the city. The product selection and the prices cannot be beat. Although I no longer live nearby, I drive in every second weekend to stock up here. And they are constantly getting in new products. The staff is also very informed and helpful. I have never had a problem with expiry dates at this store, but have with the health food store a few doors down from it.
lor / February 9, 2009 at 08:12 pm
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I was just wondering if they sell any of lorna vanderhaeghe products!
Jay / February 26, 2009 at 12:37 am
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probably the best store I have visited with much better pricing than others - store layout not so inviting cos of restricted space. Knowledgable staff and new stuff often coming in. Be careful to look at expiry dates on everything
jiffypop / March 26, 2009 at 11:00 am
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I do really like this store, but I agree with the expiration date comments. They were trying to sell meat at a reduced price that was about 3 days expired. I'm pretty sure that is illegal or close to it??
Liz / July 18, 2009 at 10:58 pm
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Oh, definitely - this store is AMAZING! I love Kensington and whenever Im there I stop by. I admit Im a bit addicted to this place by now :P. I love Homocan natural therapy supplements and also organic foods & such, plus the all-natural Pharmacy products, SUCH a good selection :-D - I could spend $100's :P. Plus, the Staff here is so pleasant and knowledgeable. There is a place near my area, in North York that I can't stand, I've only been twice, it sell's similar stuff but w/ not as good selection and much higher prices for the same stuff they 'do' sell and the Staff at this place in North York are SO rude I won't go back! But at 'Essence of Life' they're always nice and make you feel like you want to go back and welcome and free to shop w/out feeling like some weirdo :P LOL. And the prices are MUCH better, I have to say. I love this place, hope it's always here. Peace :).
Louise / July 25, 2009 at 06:45 pm
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Best prices, always. Chill vibes. Always stocking up on the almond milk from them. I think anywhere there's a bargain you need to be careful about checking expiration dates; however I noticed some other shops where things like dips would be long past overdue (gross) and intentionally went to Essence to find the spinach dip I was craving, due mid-August.
Gabriel / October 23, 2009 at 01:10 pm
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All the accolades and compliments are true. I have been shopping there for years, prices are great and the selection can not be found in other stores in Toronto. I never had a problem with an expiry date. Love the place the knowledge of the people working there. Its a pleasure to be served by stuff that is pleasant and not arrogant and full of themselves as in so many other "health food stores". Cheers to good health!!!!!!!!
mitjak / December 6, 2009 at 07:47 pm
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Hands down my favourite store. I shop for everything here! Prices on many items tend to be far lower than Loblaws, with the $2.50 for Kettle Baked chips vs. $3.69 at Loblaws being my favourite addictive example. As others have pointed out, it is quite possible to purchase expired items however they often bring those down in price even further, with Tofurkey meat priced at under $2 compared to the usual $3.49 as an example with the expiration date a few days away. They also often tend to have bulk discounts on items close to expiry date, which, for instance, allows one to stock up on favourite pricey cereal at a fraction of the original price.

Overall, I can't recommend this enough. No, I actually don't recommend it. It's awful. It really is. Don't come shopping here and if you do, for crying out loud, don't tell everyone!! :)
stacie / January 8, 2010 at 12:03 am
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does this store carry 'Carlson's Cod Liver Oil' and if yes, how much? thanks.
Rae_smile / March 8, 2010 at 02:13 pm
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Be careful when buying food, half is organic, half is not. I love Sandy and the whole crew. I've been shopping here for years. Always when shopping for foods read labels and check dates.
Sabrina / March 27, 2010 at 05:48 pm
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They have lots of stuff, & always getting more! Love to shop here, have never had a bad experience. They also sell sprouts at a reasonable price, and many raw food items.

LOWEST SUPPLEMENT PRICES IN THE CITY. Hands down. Most range $10-15, whereas most other stores cost like $40 for one teeny bottle.

Do check the dates on stuff, however, I've bought expired stuff a few times without realizing.
Ethan / May 19, 2010 at 11:14 pm
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This is the greatest health food store in all of GTA. No other health food store will come close to their prices. A wide variety of products and an amazing staff that is extremely helpful. Amen!
Lily / June 26, 2010 at 05:11 pm
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THEY SELL EXPIRED SUPPLEMENTS!!! I will never buy from them again. They refused to acknowledge that their supplements were expired and said that it was my fault for not checking the date first. Why are they selling me expired stuff???!!!??? SHOP ELSEWHERE.
Jerry / February 24, 2011 at 11:20 am
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Don't think of calling this store in advance if you want to inquire about a price for something. I live quite far away, with limited means and call in advance sometimes, especially for items that are hard to find. Spoke to a lady there who flatly refused to tell me the price of an item.???? I indicated that I pre-call sometimes and she didn't care saying that they only have two left and that the distributor has been slow in delivering this item. This definitely had the intonation that I should be happy to get it anyways since the item is hard to find. What is the big secret? Why so secretive. Will go to Tutti Frutti instead since they were very happy to quote the price and are holding 4 items for me.
ucha / March 22, 2011 at 02:43 pm
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Well I never had any problem in returning products to this store!

I buy from them about 8 years, or even more.

I am sure you mistake this store with different store because I was never refuse to return an item back to the stor. Expired? Never bought one item that was expired.

EXCUSE ME!
michael / September 10, 2011 at 09:59 am
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Would you know were i can get a chocolate cake which is sugar free. That some one who is diabetic can eat
AFern replying to a comment from michael / October 4, 2011 at 07:37 am
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Gerhardt's on Bellamy and Ellesmere sells sugar-free 6" or 8" chocolate mousse cake for around $20. Google their name.
frank / December 3, 2011 at 09:25 am
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get a life you dirty hipsters. this place looks like hell on earth.
Anonymous / April 15, 2012 at 01:08 am
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Hmm... Pretty sure buying soon-to-be expired foods and products isn't the healthier thing you can do or put in your body.
Diane / December 13, 2012 at 03:30 pm
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Hi i am looking for breads from food for life. They have wheat and gluten free breads. They have a few kinds can you tell me which one you have thank you diane
Pat / January 25, 2013 at 04:53 pm
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Do they sell brahmi powder or capsules?
Anon / December 11, 2013 at 04:02 pm
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Excellent store and good customer service. But I find everything to be a bit pricier than their competition down the street (Tutti Frutti and The Green Post).
Visda / April 20, 2014 at 10:46 am
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I was there yesterday looking for organic fruit and vegetable. Their selection of fruit and vegetable is --very-- limited. Most of the store is allocated to dry organic goods, rice, seeds, and spices.

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