The Big Carrot has been the Danforth’s one-stop destination for ethical and healthy shopping since 1983. Like many health food grocery stores seeking to change the way we shop and eat, the Big Carrot is a worker-owned store. It's also certified to the Canada Organic Standard and prioritizes Organic and Non-GMO Project verified products.
The Big Carrot is located in what’s known as the Carrot Common, which hosts a variety of businesses that also share in the community values of the Big Carrot. There’s a juice bar, the Carrot Kitchen at the front, and the rest of the place is laid out like your typical grocery store.
All of the groceries on the shelves meet The Big Carrot’s Quality Standards. They stock hard to find products for a variety of diets like paleo and macrobiotic, and even have food for babies and pets.
The organic produce department is composed of stock from as many local farmers as possible and tries to highlight seasonal offerings, even in the winter months when that mostly means apples and root vegetables.
A Big Carrot "dispensary" specializes in holistic treatments like traditional Chinese medicine, bee products, flower remedies, and superfoods.
Salt-free, soy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, organic, paleo, or pretty much any other kind of bread is on offer from over thirty bakeries.
The bulk department conveniently offers many ingredients like flours, beans, grains, seeds, and yeasts, and with a purchase over $2 they’ll even credit you 25 cents for bringing your own container.
You can trust that all meat and seafood here is sustainably sourced with animal welfare in mind. They work with SeaChoice and suppliers that use sustainable farming practices.
At one point the Carrot Kitchen was a relatively small operation, but a renovation allows for much more space these days.
That means they can offer a wider variety of made-to-order food.
That also includes a ton of easy-to-identify vegan and vegetarian options.
Tacos ($4) include a punchy slow-roasted chicken with charred salsa, enchilada sauce, cabbage, pickled onion, queso fresco, and cilantro.
There's also a more mild sauteed mushroom with queso fresco, sour cream, pico de gallo, cabbage and cilantro.
The signature vegan Californian sandwich ($12) is on Dimpflmeier rye bread, with in-house nut+seed cheese, avocado, tomato, sprouts, cucumber, carrots, red onions, romaine lettuce.
The 17 stores that make up the Carrot Common total over 10,000 square feet, but even more impressive is what you can’t see on The Big Carrot’s top: a green roof garden.