Toronto Specialty Food Shops

Organic Baby Food & More at Well.ca

Recently my eco-savvy-shopper sis-in-law Amanda told me about Well.ca. Based in Guelph, this online store sells an amazing selection of green and natural products at reasonable prices and will ship them right to your door. I was excited to see they carry the brand of Nature's Harmony melatonin we use, as well as some excellent organic toddler foods. They have weekly sales and one different item specially discounted every day. Check it out, it's an excellent site with top quality stuff, and best of all it's Canadian. Rosie :)

Well.ca - Canada's online drugstore

Carrot Common On The Danforth

When I need any kind of natural medicine, I like to buy it from The Big Carrot Wholistic Dispensary on the Danforth. This is basically a pharmacy just for natural health care products. What sets it apart for me is the fact it is staffed with naturopathic doctors, homeopaths and nutritionists. They can answer questions about any of the products on the shelves and advise you how to use them properly.

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The Big Carrot Wholistic Dispensary is part of The Big Carrot Natural Food Market, which was doing organically grown groceries long before Whole Foods was around and organic bananas and gluten-free breads were on the shelves at Loblaws. The Big Carrot opened in 1983.

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Both these stores, along with The Big Carrot Organic Juice Bar, make up what is known as Carrot Common. I feel healthy when I am in Carrot Common. When I shop in Carrot Common, I use agave syrup in my coffee instead of white sugar. It just feels right.

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The Big Carrot Wholistic Dispensary, Natural Food Market and Organic Juice Bar are located in Carrot Common at 348 Danforth Avenue. Rosie :)

Dubbel Zout Licorice... At Bulk Barn!

I have always wanted to try Dubbel Zout, which is double-salted Dutch black licorice. Some have said no, no I don't, because it is the most disgusting candy ever made. I thought I would like super-salty licorice because I love sweet and savoury tastes together. I also thought I would have to wait until my next European adventure to try this candy, which is made in the Netherlands and a very popular treat in northern Europe. Turns out I didn't have to journey to a Nordic country, I just had to go to Bulk Barn. Those little black pellets of crazy-taste were here all along, just innocently tucked in with all the other proper licorice.

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While doing what has now become a regular licorice stock-up (two Bulk Barns have recently opened near me) I decided to also pick up a few DZs. I wish I could say that my sophisticated palate enjoyed this very strong unusual flavour. Nope. They were as disgusting as everyone said they were. Just look at them in their Bulk Barn bin... they look crazy! Who buys these!? The same people who buy Marmite, surely, and Brio.

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I'll stick to my marvelous allsorts, nice and sweet, the way licorice should be. Rosie :)

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The Cheese Boutique in Etobicoke

There are plenty of places to buy cheese in Toronto, but the Cheese Boutique in Etobicoke is one of the absolute best. The quality and selection of cheese is just outstanding. All cheese lovers, actually no- all food lovers in general really must make a trip here at least once. It's amazing.

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I love a place where prosciutto is swinging from the ceiling and truffles are flown in weekly.

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I also love how the Cheese Boutique has been family owned and operated since 1970. You can really feel the genuine love for food in this place. There is a cheese VAULT. No wonder it's a such a favourite with local chefs. There is a spectacular selection of meat, olives, foie gras, jams, spreads, olive oils, and dozens of other delicacies.

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The Cheese Boutique is located at 45 Ripley Avenue in Etobicoke, off South Kingsway. Don't be deterred by the somewhat bleak industrial strip that is Ripley Avenue... cheese heaven awaits. I guarantee you will be able to spot the store, but just in case, here's a landmark for you to keep an eye out for. A giant yellow Cheese Boutique moose surrounded by dozens of Canadian flags. Like I said, you can't miss it. Rosie :)

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