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Grocery Stores

Mexi-Can Market

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on May 1, 2011

mexican market TorontoMexi-Can Market parades its mantra in its name. "We don't want to be a Latino market, serving just Latino customers," the owner tells me. "We want to have these products for people who know them, but also introduce them to other Canadians. We're part Mexican, part Canadian. So Mexi-Can."

mexican market TorontoMexi-Can Market opened on College a couple blocks east of Lansdowne about three weeks ago. A family business, son Pavel Valdez leads me around the little store, explaining what led the family to open up shop.

mexican market Toronto"We saw a lot of Latino people in the area, but nowhere to buy truly authentic products," he says. "And the grocery store--all they have is Old El Paso, an American company!"

"So we thought, 'No, we need to bring things straight from Mexico.'"

mexican market TorontoAnd Mexi-Can Market has done just that, bringing everything from bags of Takis tortilla chips ($1.49), to Jarritos soft drinks ($1.50) and lots of sauces, canned beans, spices, soups, candy and more. Even the bottles of Coke are brought in from Mexico.

"It sounds funny," Valdez says, "but the Coke tastes different when it's from there. It's better."

Another interesting item: Chicharron, $2.49 a bag. "It's fried pork belly, like pork rinds," Valdez says. "But trust me; it's really, really good.

When the weather warms up a little, Valdez plans to host a neighbourhood barbeque every Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. "We'll have ribs, potatoes, everything Latino style. Just a way to involve the community."

churros TorontoMexi-Can Market has also become somewhat of a community video store, offering the most popular Latino movies to rent or buy. But the big draw, I can only assume, will be its freshly made churros ($1.50), sourced from Pancho's Bakery in Kensington (the owner of which is a good friend of the Valdez family) and fried fresh on the spot.

fresh churrosOf course, I couldn't resist, and opted to have mine filled with caramel on Valdez's suggestion. It was wonderful--crunchy, fresh and delicious, rolled in sugar and simply oozing with caramel. Not for the wavering caramel-enthusiast, that's for sure, but definitely an indulgent treat. That's one way to get me to throw "Mexican Market" into my grocery shopping schedule.

mexican market TorontoPhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

18 Comments

Sea Man / May 2, 2011 at 10:06 am
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Could "Squirt" be anymore erotic!?!?!?
the lemur / May 2, 2011 at 10:15 am
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Mexican Coke is well known for still being made with cane sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup.
Judylicious / May 2, 2011 at 10:45 am
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<i>Could "Squirt" be anymore erotic!?!?!?</i>

Come here. I'd like to show you something.
Nerves / May 2, 2011 at 10:46 am
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So often, ethnic grocers are cramped, dirty and intimidating. This looks clean, organized and inviting. Definitely will pop in next time I'm in the neighborhood.
Rena / May 2, 2011 at 01:31 pm
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Jarritos! They had a shipment of them in at Honest Ed's, but it's usually pretty slim pickings there. My roommates and I got addicted to them at Tacos El Asador on Bloor st, so we'll definitely be checking this place out! Guava is the best flavour...
Rena / May 2, 2011 at 01:32 pm
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Jarritos! They had a shipment of them in at Honest Ed's, but it's usually pretty slim pickings there. My roommates and I got addicted to them at Tacos El Asador on Bloor st, so we'll definitely be checking this place out! Guava is the best flavour...

handfed replying to a comment from the lemur / May 2, 2011 at 03:28 pm
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re: mexican coke -- don't worry, benefits of the real cane sugar are offset by yummy lead and cadmium. Drink up, tools!
Sosa / May 2, 2011 at 04:14 pm
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"benefits of the real cane sugar" Ok....
Hovatron replying to a comment from handfed / May 2, 2011 at 06:58 pm
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Show me one report that suggests cadmium or lead was inside the actual bottles. Unless you go around licking paint of the bottle, (which I would not be surprised if you did on a regular basis) you should be fine.
Stop fear mongering and get off the internet.
ditto / May 7, 2011 at 11:37 am
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"i heard glenn beck say it on fox news so its true" -handfed
pangus / July 19, 2011 at 08:44 pm
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Better still ..they have bags of mesquite charcoal for sale.
fabis y migue / September 14, 2011 at 09:50 pm
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hol@ se ven ricos los churros, continuen teniendo exito , s@ludos
Charly / September 30, 2011 at 08:28 pm
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That is not a CHURRO! it's a peperonni!
Jaqueline / January 17, 2012 at 05:04 pm
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Hi, I would like to know if you sell corn by cooking 'Mexican pozole', thanks
Green / March 23, 2012 at 09:23 pm
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Big fan of their homemade burritos which are made by their grandma who is hiding at the back of the store!
George / July 17, 2012 at 01:38 pm
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Incredible burritos! Homemade, simple and fresh! 4.99.... Are you kidding me??? Where has this place been all my life!
Jess / December 5, 2012 at 08:17 am
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Do they have hot cheetos?
Dorothy / July 10, 2014 at 02:14 pm
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I'm searching for pesoli corn .. An jalapeño with no vinegar added... Please!!!

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