Organic Garage Liberty Village
Organic Garage is essentially a less expensive, Ontario-based version of a Whole Foods, similar to Farm Boy, dedicated to making healthy food affordable.
Staples like produce, dairy and dry goods are all free of harmful ingredients compiled on the shop’s “Dump It List.” This fourth-ever location also features a roster of “hand-picked partners” serving up ready-made and made-to-order items like sushi and soft serve kefir.
The 13,000-square-foot space resides in a 100-year-old building, historical elements like exposed brick accented by pops of graffiti-inspired imagery. Infographics, inspiring quotes and hashtags abound.
All produce here is 100 per cent certified-organic, and Organic Garage wants to help you get 10 to 25 per cent off your basket week-to-week, compared to the average big box grocery store.
There are of course your usual English cucumbers ($2.97 each) and sweet peppers ($3.97/lb) as well as more unusual produce like cat grass ($2.97).
Assemble your own healthy alternative to a sundae at the deKefir stand, where they have frozen probiotic yogurt freshly made in Toronto you can top with things like homemade sesame and molasses roasted walnuts or puffed quinoa crunch with pumpkin seeds, almond and date. It's sold by weight for $2.27/100 grams.
CaliRolls makes sushi in store around the clock, all day long, using all Ocean Wise-certified sustainable seafood and all-natural ingredients.
There’s a Thrive in here too, an outpost of a healthy restaurant based in Waterloo. They mainly deal in smoothies ($9.97) here, which are intended to work with how you want to feel, achieving this by adding supplements.
Similar to a Trader Joe’s, there’s a big emphasis on sampling with representatives of products often set up at demo stands on weekends. Bio Raw makes certified organic, high-protein, high-fibre, low-calorie meals in corn packaging.
A salad bar has up to 20 different options at a time named after Toronto neighbourhoods, like a Front Street red skin potato salad, Bloor pasta salad or an Eglinton chickpea and flax.
A bulk section has all-natural versions of your favourite snacks and candies, like “jolly” beans ($14.97/lb). There’s also a nut butter mill as part of the bulk section, and you’re encouraged to bring your own container, weighing it at cash before filling.
There’s a self-serve teaBOT where you can create your own custom tea blend and pay with debit.
In addition to this, an 11-tap draft station pour various Station cold brews, including an organic coconut and mocha variety as well as Tonica kombucha.
Touch screens throughout the store have recipes, and you can check out their full “Dump It List.”
Organic Garage President Matt Lurie comes from a long line of grocers.