troublesome toronto


Troublesome is a design studio and espresso bar in one, where you can sip on a coffee and shop for everyday items that are design-focused. 

Owners Natasha McDiarmid and Sam Johnstone came up with the idea for a coffee and retail shop after seeing a similar concept during their travels in Amsterdam. 

troublesome torontoThey combined their backgrounds in design and e-commerce to create Troublesome, a space where retailers from all over the world can work with them to develop their brand and have a place to sell them in shop. 

troublesome torontoAll the products inside the store are what they refer to as "utilitarian", meaning they're everyday items: razors, mugs, fruit bowls, that are uniquely designed by companies in Canada, the U.S. and Japan. 

troublesome torontoIn the back area of the store, there's a small space McDiarmid and Johnstone run the design studio.

They help brands develop web and graphic designs, as well as overall messaging in how their products are displayed on shelves. 

troublesome torontoTake these mood chews for example ($15.00). Troublesome worked with Pym, a company owned by Robin William's son, to come up with their brand identity.

Inside are adaptogens, little gummies made of herbs that target your bodies hormone levels to help you deal with stress and anxiety. 

Troublesome created the idea for the packaging, saying they wanted it to be approachable but still fit into the wellness world. They included odd shapes on the box to represent emotions that don't always fit into place, and the colours symbolize the citrus flavour of the chews. 

troublesome torontoThis razor from Well Kept, is the perfect example of the products sold at Troublesome. While it may seem like a simple thing you use to shave, it looks much more aesthetic in comparison to the everyday razor you'd find at Shoppers Drug Mart. 

Who wouldn't feel cool using a designer-like, brass razor? While it is on the pricier side ($94.00), it all evens out in the long run, because its long lasting, meaning you'll be saving on buying plastic ones over and over again. 

It's also built to ensure a clean, safe shave, so no more spending extra money on creams to heal cuts and irritation. 

troublesome torontoThe rest of the items sold at Troublesome include a lot of interesting finds especially if you're after a simple birthday gift that won't just sit on a shelf in one's home. 

troublesome torontoItems like one-of-a-kind cards, graphic printed tees, backpacks and stationary sets are just a few gift ideas you can give to someone, knowing they'll be put to good use. 

troublesome torontoThe espresso bar at Troublesome offers the classics, its simple, straight to the point and their beans are from a local brewer.  

troublesome torontoPirates of Coffee is based in Vaughan, but they ethically source their beans directly from coffee producers in places like Costa Rica, Colombia and Brazil, so you know you're getting a quality cup. 

troublesome torontoA regular sized latte with normal milk costs about $4.50, but you can have your choosing of flat-whites, cappuccino, or a tea latte. 

You can also find some interesting cold drinks at Troublesome that you wouldn't normally see at a regular coffee shop. 

troublesome torontoAn alternative caffeine option is the Earth and Star matcha drink made with oat milk ($7.50). The price on this drink makes sense because it includes Lion's Mane Chaga Mushrooms.

Don't worry you won't go on a trip by sipping this one, it's another form of adaptogens, the mushrooms help improve memory and boost concentration. 

troublesome torontoWhen the warmer weather comes, Troublesome hosts cycling rides starting at the shop and riding 25 kilometres, through High Park, all the way to the waterfront in Etobicoke. 

troublesome torontoAfterwards, everyone gets an espresso or Americano once they're back at the shop and completed their ride. Living in the area themselves, the owners say they wanted to get more connected to the neighbourhood and meet other like-minded people through the cycling club. 

troublesome torontoFind Troublesome's storefront less than a minute walk away from Dufferin and College, feel free to enjoy a coffee with a friend on the blue bench that sits outside the shop.

Photos by

Fareen Karim 

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