Contributed by Katia Caporiccio
It's not a sandwich shop, or an actual deli for that matter. Sunshine Deli, in the heart of Dundas West , is a quaint, colourful vintage clothing shop. Though small, it's home to a wide variety of unique vintage pieces, from scrumptious boots and skirts to mouth-watering purses and cocktail dresses.
Upon entering the store, I instantly notice all the colours. To my right, just in front of the large shop window, is a shelf lined with shoes. Red, yellow, blue. Pumps, flats, slingbacks.
Along the wall is a rack filled with casual dresses. Those same bright colours make several appearances. There are even polka dots in here. Very cute.
That's the thing with Sunshine Deli. Everything in it is cute, fun and unique. The shop has a happy, cheery vibe to it, just as the name implies. Shop owner Mary Milne has a great story about how the Sunshine Deli got its name.
Sitting in the back corner of the shop on orange sofas beside an old Sony turntable, Milne says she bought the place about four years ago. At the time it was a pet grooming shop. After huge renovations, her boyfriend tried to help her come up with a name. He was unsuccessful, for a time.
"The names he came up with were absolutely horrible," she laughs. But then, he unintentionally blurted out a name that seemed to have the perfect ring.
"'We can't call it the Sunshine Deli now, can we?'" says Milne. "He was being sarcastic, but the name just stuck."
Located at 895 Dundas St. West, between Claremont St. and Bellwoods Ave., the vintage boutique is a little ray of sunshine for shoppers on the hunt for original, distinctive finds. Directly across from that rack of colourful dresses is my favourite part of the store: a vertical shelving column holding an assortment of vintage purses, such as an appetizing eel-skin-like teal clutch ($15), a luscious navy blue leather shoulder bag ($15), and plenty of other delectable handbags.
Scouring the racks at Sunshine Deli, I'm pretty shocked to see such beautiful pieces, all of which are in impeccable condition. I probably wouldn't have known they were used, hadn't Milne told me. I ask her how she goes about choosing pieces to put in her store. Wearing a black, knee-length, spaghetti-strap cotton dress, she tells me she looks for things that stand out, and she goes for variety.
Milne says the pieces reflect her own tastes, "...but I probably wouldn't wear everything in here." She tries to cater to a lot of different styles. "It's about interesting, fun, quality pieces from the 50s to the 80s."
I like to think of Sunshine Deli as a vintage banquet, full of succulent, tempting treats. I think I need a bib.
Sunshine Deli is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.