Urban Acorn Market
Urban Acorn Market is the oasis of food stores for the flexitarian in Toronto. It's located in the middle of the Junction Triangle on Dupont. If you don't know co-owners Marie Fitrion and Daniel Holloway you likely haven't experienced the neighbourhood.
Urban Acorn Market was started as a retail outpost for extra product from the co-owners' two and a half year catering company . The idea sparked from their innate love of food, and also: food being enjoyed, not wasted.
The small but cozy retail shop is consumed by all things edible, including the aroma, which Marie informs me is their maple tarts, displayed in an apothecary showcase Marie thrifted from Williams Design just down the street.
Urban Acorn is a collection of farm to table food products from local vendors in the area, including Wood and Water vegan cheese , Pleasantville vegan ice cream , Nona vegan sauces and Prairie Boy Bread , to name a few.
Looking for recognizable organic, vegan brands like Daiya and Bob's Red Mill oats? They have that here, too. The duo designed the store to include ingredients you need to make your own kitchen function, providing a service that was lacking in the area.
Marie and Daniel consciously curate everything in house, but also respond to feedback from their loyal customers. Their catering company, located just two blocks East of the shop, offers themed vegan monthly pop up dinners, allowing them to experiment with products, tastes and provide them with a space to communicate about food with the community.
While Marie admits that some can come into their store and be overwhelmed by the amount of unfamiliar items, she's happy to help integrate new products into your kitchen. The duo also helps promote the producers of local products Urban Acorn carries, integrating offerings into their supper clubs, and inviting the producer to dine with them.
Communication and community has come up more than once (their tagline is, "food should unite, not divide people"), and it's no surprise that Marie's past life was in the world of advertising and fashion. The combination of Daniel's extensive chef experience and Marie's merchandising skills serves for a complimentary shop experience.
Their vegan hazelnut spread (yes, a guilt-free version of nutella $10/200mL) is one of many products they make through their catering company, along with a pear and coffee caramel spread ($2.25/225 mL), both containing Station Cold Brew Concentrate.
While the shop is vegan and gluten-free focused, it is flexitarian in offering. Their refrigerated bunker (containing multiple vegan cheese brands) also contains products for the omnivore, including meat sausages from Niagara Food Specialties in varying flavours.
Want to chat with Daniel and Marie about food? Urban Acorn has generous hours, and their pop up dinners listed on their website offer a welcoming atmosphere to discuss all things food.
Photos by Hector Vasquez.