The Lakeview Storehouse is a grocery store and take-out spot that feels like an old-school pantry. Old wooden crates propped on their sides house an eclectic mix of sauces, jams, sides and other dry goods, along with the odd vintage box of Corn Flakes or Ritz crackers, thrown in for a little extra nostalgia. And old blue grocery cart invites you to pick up a can of pop (2/$1.00) and wooden framed chalkboards list the produce (much of which is local) and refrigerated goods of the day.
Opened by the owners of the Lakeview Restaurant and right next door by no coincidence, the Lakeview Storehouse doubles as a prep kitchen for the restaurant and take-out counter, as well as a place for neighbours to pick up their milk and eggs.
But the buzz about Lakeview Storehouse is certainly not limited to its milk and eggs. Rather, the shop has quickly become known as a place to find the odd edible novelty. So, I walked in the space on Dundas and Ossington on a mission: I was looking for the Baconnaise. I strode right past the Ontario peaches, broccoli bunches, and bulk bins of nuts, seeds, and spices, in search of the famed bacon-flavoured spread. But alas, all I found was an empty space on a shelf with a futile $5.75 label.
"Sorry," Connor, a Lakeview staffer, says when he sees the woeful look in my eyes. "Surprisingly, we sold out of that pretty fast."
Luckily, aside from the Baconnaise (which, I learn is actually both vegetarian and Kosher) the Lakeview Storehouse has other bacon-flavoured products including bacon salt and bacon-flavoured popcorn. But the fun doesn't stop there. I roam around the little shop and come across interesting finds including Lego candy (and immediately my jaw starts to hurt), something called Road Kill Grill Seasoning ($4.25), which, it's alleged, "makes all critters taste great," hot mustard in a mini beer mug ($5.25), and spam ($2.75) because, why not?
But some other items are less unusual than unlikely to be found in a major grocery store. I'm thinking of stock such as the Honey and Queen clover honey ($6.75) Covered Bridge chips ($1.25) in flavours such as cinnamon and brown sugar, and Zatoun soaps ($12) and extra virgin olive oils ($16), the proceeds of which are donated to Palestinian children and farmers.
The back counter is Lakeview's takeout spot, offering its signature Cornflake Chicken ($10), Lakeview Burger ($13), and Pulled Pork Poutine ($10) until 4 a.m.