Popular brunch spot in Toronto will close down permanently if it can't find new team
Yaya Farm Fresh, the organic brunch spot in Leslieville, has shut down — likely for good, unless the owner can find a business partner.
After nearly five years of serving eggs benny and french toasts (and more recently, acting as a produce market) the 12-table restaurant has left its property at 1186 Queen St. East.
According to owner Christina Panagiotou, the lease was up, and discussions with the landlord had soured.
"With COVID, my landlord wouldn't budge," she says. The restaurant was paying $6,000 a month for the 1,000-square-foot space, and was only able to pay part of it during lock down.
"It's really sad because we were doing really well."
Yaya (which was once featured on the CBC show Workin' Moms) has been locked up since August 1, when the lease ended. Her parents, who she put in charge of the kitchen when Yaya first opened, have retired.
Panagiotou is operating her own business, and doesn't have enough expertise in the kitchen to run Yaya by herself.
But she says that there's a chance she can bring the brand back to life, either here or at another location: all she needs is a new business partner to run kitchen operations.
She's hoping to find one or two people who can keep Yaya's M.O. of locally-soured, dietary-friendly staples, while she stays on as a potential silent partner.
"The spot has life to it and so does the brand," says Panagiotou. "It just requires someone to start a team."
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