Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home is open for pickup. Masks are mandatory. There are floor markers and hand sanitizer at the entrance.
Home Sweet Home is where you can find beautiful loaves of sourdough, pide and simit – a ring-shaped Turkish bread roll similar to a bagel – all baked in the back of a grocery store.
Just follow the wafting smells of fresh bread once you step inside this Turkish grocer on Keele St. to discover the hidden bakery that bakes up hundreds of loaves and bagels fresh every morning.
The counter is refilled throughout the day with platters of bread coming right from the oven and poured out the takeout-style window above every few hours to keep up with demand.
People lineup along the grocery aisles to get their hands on the pide, one of their top sellers all year round.
Mustafa Zumrutpinar owns the grocery store that comes stocked with halal meats, desserts, treats and Turkish coffee and teas while Rabia Sun, the owner of Home Sweet Home, runs the show in the tiny kitchen at the back of the store.
Sun uses her fingers to create patterns into the dough once it has been rolled and floured for the pastries. Each is meant to look like something, Sun creates one to look like baklava, another a daisy, and the third I'm told, which comes with horizontal lines through the dough, is meant to represent the Turkish city of Gaziantep.
Another baker, who's been making bread for a good 30 years, assists Sun with gently pulling and throwing the patterned pieces of dough up into the air to thin it out before putting them in the oven.
The flower bread comes out fluffy and golden and is easy to spot on the shelf (hint: it's the one that looks like a flower).
Other savoury pastries on the counter are filled with mozzarella cheese for a bit of creaminess in every bite.
About 100 or so simit are also made each day. Although they're often referred to as Turkish bagels, it looks a bit more like a circular twisted bread if we're going to get technical. It comes encrusted with sesame seeds and is often paired with a cup of tea in the morning.
They also make one other type besides the sesame-covered option which comes with black olives throughout.
People can also call ahead to order a pide topped with egg, cheese and Persian sausage that comes in the shape of a canoe.
Or call and ask for lahmacun with ground beef (halal), a mix of peppers and crushed tomatoes.
This also comes on the flattened-out pide dough. It's the perfect pizza option for those who can do without the cheese.
After just five minutes in the oven, this one comes folded in half with the nicely spiced minced meat and veggie between two sides of the crunchy flatbread.
Hidden away in the North York grocery store, Istanbul Fine Foods is a hidden gem. Make sure to take a stroll through the store after you fill up on bread to find a tea to pair it with and to discover some other hard-to-find Turkish groceries.
Home Sweet Home, also known as Istanbul Fine Foods, changed its name from Trillium Bakery in 2021 and Rabia Sun is no longer associated with the grocery store.