Uptown Brie, as its name suggests, is a quaint little cheese shop in the Yonge and Eglinton area. Its teal door frame and old-timey hanging sign beckon customers inside.
The small store boasts a collection of cheeses as well as a small selection of groceries - basically, it's the type of place you should visit if you're looking to throw a kickass dinner party or a casual wine and cheese night.
Owner Serina Pararajasingam used to live in the neighbourhood, but she wasn't always in the food industry. In fact, she studied criminology and used to work as a corrections officer in Saskatchewan. A car accident, however, led her to this newfound career path.
"I started with criminology, nothing to do with food, and it was literally an accident that made me come in this direction," she says.
Pararajasingam, who grew up watching her grandmother cook, tries to incorporate her Sri Lankan background into her in-store selections and catering service.
A chef, who used to work at the Big Carrot , cooks up fresh meals in the downstairs kitchen and these include a curry chicken sandwiches, pieces of roasted chicken and a selection of salads.
While brie - especially brie de Meaux - is always on the menu, Pararajasingam takes feedback from her customers to switch up her in-store offerings. She stocks both imported and local products.
Sandwiches ($7.99 or $8.99 with a salad) are popular at lunch time and all of them come on bread from Rahier . Options include ham and cheese as well as roast beef, but Pararajasingam notes that the one with turkey, brie and granny smith apples is most popular. And this simple sandwich is delicious and filling.
There's also a vegetarian option and it comes stuffed with roasted vegetables and arugula.
Pararajasingam fills her small grocery section is filled with party and cheese plate essentials, such as Carr's water crackers, Fine English crackers, olive oil, preserves, jellies, olives, and an assortment of teas.
She also offers Wisey's Pies ($6.99 each) to those who are looking for something warm and comforting, or who simply want something to snack on as they wait to devour their cheese.
Photos by Jesse Milns.