By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator
If you asked me what I like best about my job, it would probably be a tie between working with so many amazing people dedicated to a cause I’m passionate about, and being the first to know about every bit of vegetarian-related news. Last week I was giddy to find out that there are two new vegan storefronts opening in Toronto.
One of them is a commercial kitchen space from local chef Doug McNish at Marlee and Glencairn, that will sell ready-made meals for pick up, as well as eventually serving occasional sit down brunch and dinners.
The second is a long-anticipated storefront for aPieCalypse Now!, a bakery that’s been selling goods at farmers’ markets and the Vegetarian Food Festival for a few years, but now has a little shop that’s opened at Bloor and Bathurst.
I sound a bit like a broken record from when I squealed about the opening of Through Being Cool, another vegan bakery, a couple of months ago, but hearing this news made me reflect on just how amazing the vegan options are in this city. It now stands that no matter where you live, there is a vegan bakery somewhere relatively nearby. We’ve now got vegan bakeries in the east end, west end and the centre of town. That is pretty amazing, but also makes for some hard decisions with so many options to choose from!
So, I thought I would help you out by describing them and explaining what makes each one unique.
In alphabetical order because it’s impossible to pick a favourite:
aPieCalypse Now! aPieCalypse is probably most famous for their homemade marshmallows that come in a variety of flavours including peanut butter and mint (as in two separate flavours, not mixed together!), as well as their colourful dunkaroo cookie sandwiches and delicious fruit pies. They also offer some super special savoury items like veggie piggies in a blanket.
Bunner’s Bake Shop: Bunner’s started it all, as Toronto’s first all-vegan storefront bakery. Located on Dundas Street in the Junction, Bunner’s is special being not only entirely vegan but also entirely gluten-free, so it’s the perfect place to go if you or a friend is celiac. They are also handy for always having special holiday items to order for Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. so you don’t have to eat only sides of veggies at your next holiday family dinner.
Through Being Cool: One word defines this new spot at Bloor and Lansdowne: donuts. This is the definitely the place to go if you’re looking for a classic, deep-friend donut with rainbow sprinkles or filled with boston cream (or a number of other classic flavours). But don’t stop there: you can also get pizza buns, veggie bacon grease (yup!), and they also sell frozen savoury meals to go including enchiladas made by Hot Beans.
Tori’s Bake Shop: Located on Queen Street East in the Beaches, Tori’s is Toronto’s only all-vegan, sit-down coffee shop. It’s the place to go if you want to eat your (amazing) croissant or butter tart alongside a soy latte or hot tea. They also sell their own homemade coconut “bacon”, and sandwiches too. Rumour has it they’re in the process of securing a liquor license and will soon transform into a bar in the evenings. As I said, I’m usually the first to hear about these developments so I’ll keep you posted!
P.S There’s storefront bakery options for you suburban folk too! Check out Kelly’s Bake Shoppe in Burlington (winner of the first Toronto Veg Awards!) in Burlington and Rashmi’s Bakery in Brampton. Find details and locations of all these businesses at http://veg.ca/directory.