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Downtown Grocery Store List (current + proposed)

Northern Light

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PinkLucy

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Northern Light

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St Clair Market was always one of their nicer stores. A bit less special in recent years, but used to carry things you couldn't find in any other Loblaws. No surprise their moving it to the MLG look which is the standard look for all of their 'City Market' stores across the country.

Annoyingly, to me, as an east ender, they have flip/flopped a dozen times on actually renovating Victoria Park Market like this.

To be clear, I don't really care whether my local stores gets the Halloween motif, LOL.

It's the product selection that comes with it that I'm after.
 

PinkLucy

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Farm Boy at Lake Shore and Leslie opens soon. Can’t remember the exact date!
 

interchange42

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McEwan at Bloor/Yonge is now open!
I checked out McEwan yesterday evening. Modern, slightly minimalist look, no mid-store shelving higher than around 4 feet, and smaller than I was expecting, so a limited selection of products. Heavy on the prepared foods. Mini-Fabbrica plus café selections so you can eat in if you want. Looked like a good butcher shop, but I'd say it remains to be seen whether the store has enough in each category to pull people downstairs there on a regular enough basis.

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Northern Light

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Cross post from the One Bloor thread of my first visit to the latest outpost of the McEwan empire.

****

So, I finally had a chance to check out this iteration of McEwan.

(I'm familiar w/the Don Mills and TD branches of the grocery biz) .

Observations:

The wall at the bottom of the escalator does not appeal to me aesthetically at all. It looks like a 1980's interpretation of a bleak future.

I don't want to know what Mark paid someone for that............but I digress.

Most of the offering is similar to what one would have seen in Other McEwan outposts albeit with it with a somewhat tighter selection.

While there was some very good product on offer...........on balance I wasn't overly impressed.

The produce quality was uneven, at best. Harvest Wagon would throw half of it out. ( strawberries that were 25% white!) ...don't get me wrong, they shouldn't actually be thrown out, but they are not of the
quality one would be expect for the price point and position of the store.

Meat was high quality and mostly reasonable for the price.

Though, if I recall correctly, the Wagyu was at $176 per kg for the strip steak.

That's not out of a line for what it is............but its a steep ask.......and .....I could do better for what was on offer.

Many items, albeit high-end items, were fairly valued for what they were..........Neal Brothers Chips were under $3 a bag (142grams) ...there were some excellent pastries from Cheese Boutique that were $1.50 a pop and
that's quite reasonable. I got the Dulce de Leche one, and haven't the the slightest complaint.

On the downside, Nature Clean Dish soap, priced at $3.99 at Metro, week in, week out, was over $10 for the identical product. Now, I'm not going to McEwan to buy dish soap, but that mark-up is so far from justifiable as to be bizarre.

Also tried a couple of the Samosas...........only $1.20 each; but a bit on the dry side, under seasoned, and the Tandoori ones had next to no heat. (always a problem w/Mark's stuff).

The pizza slices, branded as Fabbrica for $6 a piece are the rare case of something seeming highly priced, but worth every penny. I've had them before..... best bloody pizza crust going!

In summation, with much to recommend it, there is lots of fine tuning required.

Some price adjustments (lowering) needed.

Some need to improve quality/authenticity on prepared food product.

Some need to refine selection.....will someone please make a habit of selling venison chops already! I know of only 3 places in Toronto where I can get them, and that's ridiculous.

Produce management needs to either be fussier or lower the price.

Also why would any reputable high-end place carry Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream.................Belly is much better.

This place is no threat to BSM at all, in anyway whatsoever.

In point of fact, BSM has a better selection of Olive oils, vinegars and mustards.
 

LNahid2000

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Stopped at McEwans on Thursday and was not impressed. The selection was lacking compared to their Shops at Don Mills branch. I went specifically to buy Emerald Grasslands grass fed organic butter, which I usually buy at their main store, and they didn't have it or even half of the butters that their main store has. I don't mind paying more for quality, but won't bother shopping there if they don't improve their selection.
 

Northern Light

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My review of Coppa's ..........

Executive Summary: Don't bother.

Details: So I decided to check out Coppa's today. As a dedicated foodie, I'm always interested in new/different/upmarket food vendors where I might see something new and interesting and/or find a more convenient place to buy
a favourite gourmet item.

This will not be that store.

So....upon arrival....I walk into their bakery counter where assorted pastries are available...........including cinnamon buns in a style similar to that of Danish Pastry House though no custard in the middle.

Priced at only $1.99 this could have been a good value.........upon getting it home I found the outside layer to be so dry as to be inedible. The interior suggests this was probably half decent when fresh........there is zero chance it was baked today.

Serious negative points.

Moving on.....I gave cursory examination to other pastries and some breads and buns across the way.................some looked quite nice...............the vast majority however were labeled only 'assorted buns' or
'danishes' with no description as to their filling; and a 'dutchie' was mislabeled 'doughnut'...................

This lack of proper labeling was prevalent throughout the store.

I moved on to desserts/cookies area which also had a couple of their cookies out for tasting.........

Nothing was labelled........nothing............you didn't even get to know what you were tasting unless you asked............

I observed several people who were clearly management/ownership standing around doing nothing useful.......and found myself somewhat stunned that so much labeling was missing and apparently no one seemed to view this as a problem.

The produce section was mostly unremarkable................no local salad packs (which are available year-round from companies like Cookstown, Aqua Greens, and Kind Organics), no sunflower kitchen hummus just the usual hohum brands from every other store.

I'll give them partial points for carrying Sweet Potato and Kohlrabi cut in a manner to be used as 'pasta' but that was about the only exceptional thing. Pedestrian selection of mushrooms, Loblaws does better.

On to meats.......a few things you don't see everywhere............Lamb Spiedini as example...........but mostly ordinary quality/price. They did have an exceptional deal on Pork Tenderloin ($6.59/kg).......only the price wasn't marked....(see that labeling issue)

Cheese and Deli were both very ordinary.

For a higher-end store, many products I might have expected to see (ie Kozlik's mustards) were not present; though they do carry Belly Ice Cream.

They had pizza on sample..........but not only was it not labelled nor clear what the toppings were........when I asked the clerk what it was.......he didn't know either................(eye roll)

On my way out of the store, I was offered a sample of a .......I guess we'll say pastry.......it was pastry dough but with a pizza-like topping. This was billed by the server as something you might get in a high-end Italian restaurant. (not one I've ever been to would be caught dead serving this)

Here's the thing........the dough was good......but the topping was unseasoned passata with crappy powdered parm. Bleh!

I seriously don't understand how this made it to opening this way.
 
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