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Best of Toronto

The Best New Specialty Stores in Toronto, 2008

Posted by Tim / February 1, 2009

Best Specialty Stores TorontoI couldn't really figure out why so many cheese stores have opened in Toronto in the past couple of years, but after a quick Google search for "Cheese Consumption Canada" I think I found my answer. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians wolfed down a record amount of cheese in 2007, specifically, 10.1 kg per person.

Now, I'm not sure if demand led to more cheese stores, or the proliferation of cheese stores has resulted in increased consumption, but either way we have three cheese destinations on our list of the best new specialty stores to have opened in 2008.

They're joined by at least three health food stores (four if you count The Beet) which I guess means that in order to get away with the increased fat intake from a wedge of brie we're all eating more amaranth cereal, soy milk and organic produce.

Here's a look at the complete list:

The Sweet Potato

The Sweet Potato

The Sweet Potato is like a smaller, cheaper, less refined version of The Big Carrot. On the shelves are all the prerequisite natural, organic and health food must-haves like rice pasta, tofu and organic produce; but the real star here is the small cafe that whips up fresh juices, sandwiches and yummy baked treats. More »

The Beet

The Beet

The Beet has a bit of a confusing entrance (it's partly obscured by a TD Canada Trust) but once inside it's a Dundas West oasis. Like Pantry and The Sweet Potato, this place is a hybrid between a store and a cafe. Juices, smoothies and coffee/tea options are made fresh to order. There's also a limited selection of freshly baked goods, organic produce and grocery items. More »

David's Tea

David's Tea

Formerly an online retailer and supplier of teas to many Toronto restaurants, David's Tea has now opened a retail location on Queen West where Fresh used to be before it moved to Spadina. Inside, there are more than 115 different varieties of tea which can be bought to take home, or sampled and enjoyed in the store/cafe itself. More »

A Taste of Quebec

A Taste of Quebec

A Taste of Quebec shows its love for La Belle Province by stocking artisan cheeses, terrines, pates and other products from our neighbour to the right. Inside there's lots to choose from including a raw milk cheese wrapped in spruce bark, but poutine lovers need to make a pilgrimage here expressly for the curds. More »

Nancy's Cheese

Nancy's Cheese

Once just a counter inside Harbord Bakery, Nancy's Cheese has blossomed into a full size cheese shop on Dupont. Aside from the selection here, the big draw is all the information owner Nancy Peppler provides about the cheese including what to drink with each of them. More »

Multiple Organics

Multiple Organics

Found in Brockton Village, Multiple Organics brings to the neighbourhood its first health food store where shelves are stocked with local produce (where possible), canned goods, pasta and sauces, baby food, eco-friendly products, frozen foods, milk and cheese. More »

Discussion

13 Comments

Rob / February 1, 2009 at 02:23 pm
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One spot you missed is Petite Thuet on Yonge just across the street from the Summerhill LCBO. All homemade french pastires, bread, jams & Charcoutrie.
jack / February 1, 2009 at 05:14 pm
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why does organic food always cost so much more? do only rich people deserve to eat healthy food?
pookie / February 1, 2009 at 07:48 pm
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How do we vote on these things?
Joshua / February 1, 2009 at 09:43 pm
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It's funny, The Sweet Potato just did a bit of "renovation" and minimized the cafe portion to maximize the grocery part. It's definitely more grocery store and The Beet is more cafe.
TIm replying to a comment from pookie / February 2, 2009 at 12:38 am
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You can vote on the latest poll here:

http://blogto.com/announcements/2009/01/voting_now_open_best_of_toronto/
Gloria / February 2, 2009 at 10:08 am
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@Jack: Yes, that's exactly why. Nothing to do with smaller farms or higher production costs.
Paul / February 2, 2009 at 11:56 am
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@jack: don't worry, there's no evidence that organic food is actually healthier than the conventional stuff. It might taste better, and might be better for the environment, but the nutritional profile is pretty much the same.
NT replying to a comment from Paul / February 17, 2009 at 06:06 pm
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wrong. perhaps you should do something reading. Paul
BigTimeEditor / February 18, 2009 at 10:28 am
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All stores are pretty much a specialty store in something. I think you mean specialty GROCERY stores.
Joe replying to a comment from NT / February 18, 2009 at 01:16 pm
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Pehaps you shouldn't believe everything you read, or check who's behind what propaganda you're reading. Joe.
AG replying to a comment from Joe / March 23, 2009 at 01:34 pm
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I agree...there's been research done on POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) and show that soils are inundated with pesticides - despite the fact that some pesticides have been banned over 20 years (e.g. DDT)

I also remember discussing with a farmer friend of mine regarding wheat and grains. He had a neighbour who was certified organic...this neighbour would be caught spraying pesticides in the middle of the night...
RBeezy / May 21, 2009 at 10:49 am
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$2.50 ea for an onion? I'm better off just growing it myself.
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm
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why does organic food always cost so much more? do only rich people deserve to eat healthy food?

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