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Grocery Stores

Junction Fromagerie

Posted by Staff / Posted on December 7, 2010

Junction FromagerieThe Junction Fromagerie is a new addition to the Junction providing quality Canadian artisinal cheese. It's owned by the same people who churn out some of Toronto's best chocolate down the street at Delight.

As the only dedicated cheese shop on this stretch of Dundas West, the Junction Fromagerie was a long time coming. During my recent visit the place was packed and everyone was buying something - except for one lady who couldn't deal with the slow moving line. But don't expect the energy or experience of Global Cheese here. I found it a relatively joyless experience with everyone silently waiting for their turn at the counter.

Junction FromagerieIt was pretty much an all business affair as the lady behind the counter wasn't chatty or talking to anyone, just taking each order, slicing it up, weighing, it, then ringing it through with seemingly as few words as possible.

There isn't much to the place, really. There's an antique hutch on one side of the store with a variety of homemade crostinis and crackers on display, plus a shelf on the other side with a few rolls and breads. The crackers and crostinis all looked tasty so I picked up a bag for a dinner party I was throwing later in the week.

Junction FromagerieJunction FromagerieThe selection of cheese is quite impressive and I really appreciated how clearly each item was priced and labeled per 100 grams, along with a detailed description of the type and flavour of the cheese. Since the line wasn't moving that quickly, I had some time to read the labels carefully and I decided on three different selections.

My first choice, the "Thunder Oak" Gouda at $4.27/100g was soft, creamy and quite sweet. I've experienced bitter goudas in the past, but this cheese was a good fit for my crostini, or a sandwich.

Junction FromagerieI also selected the "Bothwell" smoked cheddar at $4.34/100g. This 2-year, heat-treated cow's milk cheddar is naturally smoked with maple and was terrifically fragrant with a nice sharp bite and melted nicely in my mouth.

Junction FromagerieMy last selection was the "Chevre Noir" a black waxed-wrapped goat's milk cheddar at $6.49/100g. This one had quite a complex taste and it likely might not be for everyone's palette, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had a bit of a crumble to it and a slight candied aftertaste.

Overall, the Junction Fromagerie delivered in the area that really mattered - the cheese. All three of my selections (plus the crostini) were delicious and a hit at my dinner party.

Junction FromagerieWriting by James Buttivant. Photos by Dennis Marciniak.

Discussion

28 Comments

Eric / December 8, 2010 at 09:14 am
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Went into this place when it first opened up and the one girl behind the counter completely ignored us and talked on the phone for a good 5 minutes before getting off and finally acknowledging us. Sounds like you had a similar experience. My suggestion would be to go to the place down in Ronce for your cheese, better selection and staff that actually seem to realize that the customers are kind of important...


Pooja / December 8, 2010 at 11:42 am
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The cheese from here sounds great! I really appreciate how you highlighted this unique store. It's also helpful that you named some delicious types to try--as being in a cheese store for the first time could be quite overwhelming.
Geoff / December 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm
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I love how Toronto people get on here and bitch about how horrible their experiences were. The biggest problem here is that they never do it in the moment, they never complain about the bad service they received when they received it. They go home and simmer over it for hours or days, then they muster up zero courage, go online and rant anonymously on blogto.
Eric you had a bad experience here, others have had great experiences. When you write in and complain without saying anything nice at all you do in fact do a disservice to this store and the Junction neighbourhood. . If that's your intent, to keep people from coming here to experience this place then you are a total jerk. If you live in or near the JUnction you should be raving about how amazing it is to even have a Gourmet Cheese shop here. I'm not saying you shouldn't mention that the service could have been better, but you certainly don't have to make it the only subject in your comment.
The Junction needs more places like this, and I would encourage everyone to go here. I live in the Junction I am so happy that we have a cheese shop. I can't wait to see what opens next in the neighborhood.
Eric replying to a comment from Geoff / December 8, 2010 at 01:03 pm
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I've lived in this area for 6 years now and I'm a huge supporter of the community and the new businesses within it. I check out every new store, eat at every new restaurant and drink at every new bar. I love my area and I support independent businesses as much as I can.

I received subpar service at this store and I voiced my dissatisfaction at the time to the lone employee of the store (who likely just muttered something under her breath after I left). I'm also voicing it here in hopes that the owners read my comment and take it to heart, hopefully improving the one thing that they need to to make this a great store.

I won't rave about a shopping experience that wasn't amazing, as you suggest to "support" my community. I'm not going to support a "Yorkville attitude" in our community. I hope my comment drives change and I will try the store again and support it if I see a shift in attitude.

I think the truly special thing we have in the junction is that "small town" feel. If we support businesses that counteract that we'll be just another "hip" pocket in the city with snooty stores and snooty customers.



Johanna / December 8, 2010 at 01:14 pm
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I very much enjoyed the cheese I bought here and am delighted that the Junction has such a store. However, I shared the same experience as Eric, while purchasing said delicious cheese. The young girl that “served” me was gossiping on the phone to a friend about her night out and didn't exchange pleasantries or offer any service at all. In fact she seemed annoyed that I was there attempting to purchase products from her store! It really is unfortunate that customer service doesn't seem to be a priority here. A single bad experience can sour one’s entire outlook and cause them to shop elsewhere, perhaps even demonstrating disloyalty to their beloved Junction Community. The truth is most of us don’t even do that. We have grown to expect and accept mediocrity in our daily exchanges. I do very much agree that more people need to speak up and complain when service is bad and not simply complain after the fact. That being said, I don't feel that commenting negatively on an online review is synonymous with deliberate sabotage, nor does it make someone a jerk. The entire purpose of the comment feature is to welcome discourse and invite people to share their perspectives.
Geoff / December 8, 2010 at 02:28 pm
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What I'm saying Eric, is that you're not helping anyone by putting your negative comments here. Go to the shop, talk to the owners. Doing it on here is spiteful, mean & damaging.
I get the feeling it's not your style to speak to the owner, you feel much more important doing this instead. Sad really.
eric replying to a comment from Geoff / December 8, 2010 at 03:35 pm
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Did you read your original comment Geoff, you said a lot more than that so I responded in turn to your points and defeated them one by one.

So now I shall do so again, am I to go to the store that when said rude employee is working and demand to speak to the owners? Will I get them on the phone? Will they come down to speak to me? Seems like a lot of effort.

How about instead of spending all my time trying to please you and tell them face to face I post a comment relaying my experience on a very popular Toronto website which is reviewing the store in question? If the owner(s) of this company share the same business prowess as many of the other business owners in the community they are likely to be reading and following reviews and comments on their store in every sort of media (including online) Therefor if they are worthy business owners they will have already read my comment and the comments of others (including the review author) and will make the necessary changes.

Oh and Geoff if you are the owner of the store (because really who else would get so upset about my comment?) the solution is simple, tell your employees to be nice to customers. I know it is an outlandish and radical approach to business but it just might fly.

JR replying to a comment from Geoff / December 8, 2010 at 03:56 pm
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Nope, not how it works. Good customer service should be a given. This store exists to make the owners money, so they should ensure that it provides customers with an atmosphere in which they want to spend their money. I don't see why someone should go out of their way to inform business-owners that they aren't doing an adequate job of supervising staff.
Johanna / December 8, 2010 at 04:18 pm
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Interesting observation Eric... I will add that the owner of the shop is "Jeff". Could be cleverly disguised as Geoff so as not to appear too eager to read reviews. Hmmmmm
I think it's also important to point out that this is a review - not an advertisement. A review is informational and intended to highlight the ups and downs of its subject. As a new business, any feedback should be welcomed as a means of overcoming growing pains and establishing a regular clientele; Especially in such a close knit community. I don't think there is anything wrong with anyone expressing their opinions and communicating the details of their experiences whether they are positive or negative. No one has slashed or said anything devastating so it really does seem like Geoff is taking this personally. Actually, the only slashing that has occurred on this sight has been that of Eric's character - a judgment based upon several lines of type and an opinion and NOT a first hand personal experience. WOW!
Geoff / December 8, 2010 at 05:39 pm
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I am not the owner. I'm someone who cares about the Junction and I know how bloody hard it is to open and run a store. I also know how easy it is for you to sit back and judge.
This was one staff member, they're most likely not even working there anymore.
you continue your banter on here when you really should take it up with the owner, but you won't do that now will you Eric? such a shame.
matts replying to a comment from Geoff / December 9, 2010 at 12:17 am
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Hey, Geoff, chill. It's hard to open a store or a restaurant and a majority will fail within the first year. Shitty customer service will be the among the main causes.

The store owners need to get their staff in better form and fast, otherwise the store will be gone in 6 months. And while they're at improving customer service, let's hope for another fridge with more cheese. :)
Geoff replying to a comment from matts / December 9, 2010 at 08:23 am
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Hey Matts, yes I agree. But I never said to anyone on here that they should tolerate bad service. They absolutely should complain, just not on here. I said to complain where it's going to make a constructive difference. Complaining on a review site "in hopes that the owner will read" is absurd. It's also lazy and damaging.
Don't hope for more cheese either, ask them for more cheese!
thx
Eric / December 9, 2010 at 08:51 am
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Ah Geoff, it has become so painfully obvious that you are "somehow" attached to this store. Your rebuttal to my post was that that employee "likely" was not working there anymore? Quite the speculation Geoff.

So you know, I owned a small business for quite some time and I too faced the negative criticism from time to time on the internet, and believe me it was much nastier than my original constructive comment. As a business owner who understood the current business world and how important your online reputation was to your real world success I constantly tracked what people were saying about business online. But you know what I did? Instead of forming a fake alias and weakly trying to defend my business while claiming no stake in it I instead contacted though who complained about my company and sought to resolve their grievance with my business as best I could. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. When it did work though I gained very customers who were even more loyal to me because of how far I had gone to make them happy.

It is called good business Geoff. If you are the business owner in this case or are somehow very closely tied to it let me make a suggestion:

When someone gives you constructive non-slanderous criticism of your business instead of jumping on them and telling them they are a "jerk" or that they didn't try hard enough to convey their displeasure with their shopping experience directly to the owners seek to resolve the situation. If you had merely said to me, "Hey really sorry you had a bad experience, I'm taking steps to resolve that and I'd really appreciate if you gave us another shot," I'd be back in the store this weekend.

Instead you and your comments have convinced me this place isn't worth another shot. I'll continue to get my cheeses from the Thin Blue Line in Roncesvalles and further to that I'll tell all of my friends and family to do the same.


Geoff replying to a comment from Eric / December 9, 2010 at 09:43 am
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Firstly, I never said you were a jerk. I said if it was your intention to keep people from experiencing this place for themselves by leaving your negative comments here, then yes, you are a jerk. That decision is up to you. You saw the word "jerk" and took it way too personally. Although as you continue on to misread and misunderstand my many points about why it is neither proactive or constructive to leave negative comments here and then also assume that I am the owner, I wouldn't say you are a jerk at all, but I would say you're not so bright and you have way too much free time on your hands. this will be my last post.
Eric / December 9, 2010 at 10:05 am
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I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that being your last post.It perfectly leaves your legacy of having no leg to stand on in tact and to think I was hopeful you would actual make a valid argument at some point. Sigh. I am sad though that you can never illustrate for me your "many points" I was anxious to hear them. Really Geoff if you look over my posts and look over yours you're the very last person who should be accusing anyone of not being bright, or having too much time on their hands. Johanna, JR, and Matt all seem to be thinking the same thing, coincidence? Me thinks not.

Good luck with the business though, I'm sure with your attitude it will flourish.
Geoff replying to a comment from Eric / December 9, 2010 at 10:14 am
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ok Eric, you win, I'm the dummy here.
Please stop talking to me like this is my store, it's not.
Johanna replying to a comment from Geoff / December 9, 2010 at 10:33 am
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Are you kidding? No one has misread or misunderstood your ONE point that BlogTO is an inappropriate place to complain. In fact, four different people have all refuted this point you continue to reiterate without reason or explanation. You have no grounds whatsoever to call people names or question intelligence. How can you say that someone has way too much time on their hands when that person has expressed an opinion and defended it against your repeated attacks on his character and point of view? You haven’t even shared your own experiences with the store or said anything of any value or merit. You are a hypocrite and a bully.
Geoff replying to a comment from Johanna / December 9, 2010 at 10:44 am
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without reason or explanation? re-read my posts Johanna, I gave reasons.
What are you friends with Eric? Don't get so upset.
Johanna replying to a comment from Geoff / December 9, 2010 at 11:18 am
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Ok so why exactly is commenting on a review such a travesty? The purpose of Blog TO is to encourage people to share their opinions. If it were wrong to agree or disagree with a review on blog TO then a comment section would not exist. I'm not upset - just calling a spade a spade. Also curious as to why you targeted one person and not the other three who said essentially the same thing.
mrspotato replying to a comment from Geoff / December 9, 2010 at 04:21 pm
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OBVIOUSLY connected the joint.
Geez. Why even deny it at this point!

LOL!
Freakin' potato head.
Geoff replying to a comment from mrspotato / December 10, 2010 at 11:29 pm
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oh my lord, wtf? This is not my shop for christ's sake. My name is Geoff not Jeff. are you all dense? I didn't go and accuse Eric of owning the cheese shop down in Ronces, and that's far less of a leap of logic than this people. stop being ridiculous. un-fucking-believable!
Krissy replying to a comment from Geoff / December 11, 2010 at 06:05 pm
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Geoff,

You are CLEARLY an angry Cheese store owner.
Do you specialize in Old Nippy?
Jeff / December 11, 2010 at 07:41 pm
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Hello,

My name is Jeff Brown and I am the co-owner of Delight and the Junction Fromagerie. We are very proud to serve some of what we think is the very best Canadian artisinal cheese in our new shop in the Junction. Of course we are very disappointed to hear that some people have received poor service at our shop and we will do everything within our power to correct it.
We greatly appreciate your business and your feed back.

Should you have any other specific concerns please contact us at info@junctionfromagerie.com.

Sincerely,

Jeff Brown
Jeff / December 11, 2010 at 07:42 pm
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Hello,

My name is Jeff Brown and I am the co-owner of Delight and the Junction Fromagerie. We are very proud to serve some of what we think is the very best Canadian artisinal cheese in our new shop in the Junction. Of course we are very disappointed to hear that some people have received poor service at our shop and we will do everything within our power to correct it.
We greatly appreciate your business and your feed back.

Should you have any other specific concerns please contact us at info@junctionfromagerie.com.

Sincerely,

Jeff Brown
Jeff / December 11, 2010 at 07:45 pm
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Hello,

My name is Jeff Brown and I am the co-owner of Delight and the Junction Fromagerie. We are very proud to serve some of what we think is the very best Canadian artisinal cheese in our new shop in the Junction. Of course we are very disappointed to hear that some people have received poor service at our shop and we will do everything within our power to correct it.
We greatly appreciate your business and your feed back.

Should you have any other specific concerns please contact us at info@junctionfromagerie.com.

Sincerely,

Jeff Brown
Holly G / December 17, 2010 at 09:47 pm
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I've tried a variety of cheeses from here, and have enjoyed them all so far. The maple cheddar is splendid, and the ricotta was smooth, creamy, and slightly sweet..infinitely better than any ricotta I've tried before.

They also have fresh churned butter, local honeys (some infused in-house!)and drool-worthy artisan breads.

Also: it's important to note that all of the cheeses are Canadian. SUPPORT LOCAL FARMERS!

Yum!
Karis / December 21, 2010 at 02:19 am
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Oh man, I love how involved you're all getting. I skimmed down quickly, and it's very VERY involved. Same thing happened around Leslieville Cheesemarket East last year on the Leslieviller.

Anyway, none of this is important, I'm happy to know more about the shop, and not to take 'sides,' but I can take the article for what it is - this store is all about location! Right? The Junction, that's a great place, perfect demographic to tap into.

Maybe the young lady behind the counter was tired, or has many snooty turophiles to contend with, who knows. Sometimes it's a tough day.
Erica / August 19, 2011 at 03:28 pm
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Hah!
I've just come across this post now since I recently moved closer to the Junction and now frequent the 'strip' more often.
I agree wholeheartedly with Karis - I'm just glad to know that this store exists so close to me! The Junction is a great 'hood and I too like to support local businesses as much as possible.
While some of the comments are helpful many are just useless and I find it both hilarious and sad that some people get so fired up and personal with their opinions. I think everyone agrees that poor customer service is a huge turn off and I trust that the owner has now rectified the situation.

In any case, I'll let you know after my first visit! I'm specifically looking for goat cheese cheddar...

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