cheese boutique toronto

Iconic Toronto cheese shop is opening a gelateria

An iconic cheese shop in Toronto will soon be opening their very own gelateria, cafe and bakery.

Cheese Boutique at 45 Ripley Ave. has been around for 51 years and is expanding soon with CB Bottega, to be located a few doors down at 29 Ripley Ave. In addition to coffee, baked goods and gelato, the shop will also sell cookware.

The space used to serve as CB's gift shop, but while the owner says that side of the business was a big hit pre-COVID, the store was not considered essential and had to close, and has been closed for months. In order to keep the business rolling, they had to pivot like so many others.

What second-generation owner Afrim Pristine describes as a "Mediterranean-style" concept incorporates the coffee bar, gelato bar and bakery that were once located at the original Cheese Boutique location into the 2,000-square-foot giftware store. The shop won't have indoor dining but will feature a front patio built from pine.

Their own traditional Italian gelato will be available, as well as their own custom coffee blend provided by local roaster Barocco and Italian coffee brands Saquella and Cafe Vergnano brewed by trained baristas. You'll also be able to get milkshakes, hot chocolate and baked goods.

"By opening up this concept we've created much more room at the main shop which these days is important for the customers and staff," Pristine tells blogTO. 

"With COVID we've really had to adjust and quickly evolve the business to be profitable and also responsible."

CB Bottega should be opening in early May.

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