Fresh Collective Roncesvalles
Fresh Collective on Roncesvalles is the third Fresh Collective outlet in Toronto, and though just a month old, it's already being fully embraced by the neighbourhood .
"It has totally exceeded my expectations," owner Laura-Jean tells me as we chat in the almost-finished shop. They're still waiting on a proper cash, custom jewelry shelves, and outdoor signage. "We've been looking to open here for a while, and the reception has just been wonderful."
Like Fresh Collective in Kensington and on Queen Street , Fresh Collective Roncy specializes in local designers and unique clothing and accessories. And while you can find many of Fresh Collective's brands at all three locations, Fresh Collective Roncy offers a small collection from new local designers, who you won't find at the other two shops.
"In my experience, it can kill someone to expand too quickly," Laura-Jean says. "So we'll start them out here, and see how it goes."
Laura-Jean introduces me to some of the new designers. The first is Apa Design , a Toronto-based jewelry company that makes light, pretty silver jewelry including a 4.7mm link Orbit bracelet displayed in store for $78. Kabuki is another unique-to-Roncy-location Fresh Collective designer, characterized by floral prints, frills, ruffles, and "pieces that are meant to be layered," Laura-Jean says.
It's not just clothing and accessories here, but also items that would suit the perceived Fresh Collective shopper's lifestyle. Those items include Sheebody body butter ($8 or $15), available in several different varieties (the Sweetie Bit was my favourite--totally smells like icing) and all phthalate and alcohol free.
But the new designer who stole my heart (and much of my attention) was Guy Latulippe with his functional line of purses, bags, and totes. While I was very much wowed by his totes, including the vintage fabric ($80) and Wonder Woman-inspired Wonder Tote ($100), it was the Shield Clutch ($145) that had me swooning. Super functional with a zip on one side for easy grab and an opening at the top for the bigger items, the little hand strap on the side made it much more of a piece of clothing than just an accessory.
Fresh Collective Roncesvalles also has many of the designers you'll find at one or both of its other locations, including Candi Factory, Curious Oddities, Michelle Carey, and of course its house line, Fresh Baked Goods.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak