lucky penny toronto

Toronto cafe that's a cornerstone of its community is permanently closing

A cafe that supported a Toronto community by feeding hungry people meals and giving kids jobs will soon be permanently closing.

The Lucky Penny is located just a stone's throw from Trinity Bellwoods, and after years of being an integral part of the vibrant surrounding neighbourhood, has announced they're shutting down.

The shop sells coffee, baked goods and pantry staples, and has been around for eight years. 

"What was once a derelict corner became a special and safe place in our neighbourhood," reads a closing announcement owner Debbie Rix posted to social media.

Rix remarks that over those eight years she employed 93 people, giving many of them their first job and watching them grow up, including her own two children. She also supported many in need.

"Along with Dowling House in Parkdale, House of Compassion on Shaw, and the Encampment Support Network, we made sure that all of our leftover bread and pastries did not go to waste," wrote Rix.

"We gave ongoing support to several individuals in need, often providing their only meal of the day. I will miss the generosity of our customers in helping to support them and will continue to look out for those who need support."

Lucky Penny was able to stay open even after months of lockdowns, initially closing their kitchen to sell staples like yeast and flour.

"We hung in there, but, this past summer, usually my busiest time of the year, just didn't see the rebound in sales that I expected. The time felt right for someone else to come in," Rix tells blogTO.

"I own the building and live around the corner, so I wanted to make sure I found the right tenant to take over that space, someone who I thought would be a good fit in our community. I think I found him."

Leighton Walters will be opening the second location of his cafe Found Coffee in the space at the end of January. 

Prior to that, Lucky Penny will be closing its kitchen on Dec. 23, and then will be closing for the holidays. Then they'll have a closing sale of groceries, equipment and supplies from Dec. 27 to 31.

"I am working with Leighton to make the transition as quick as possible. He will be keeping on many of The Lucky Penny staff and we want to minimize the time the doors are closed," says Rix.

"I don't have any definite plans, I am going to see what comes my way."

Lead photo by

The Lucky Penny

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