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The Big Carrot opens second location

The well-known Toronto natural health food retailer has opened a new store in the city’s Beach neighbourhood


On the morning of June 21, a large crowd showed up to celebrate the grand opening of The Big Carrot’s new location in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood—the long-awaited second store for the well-known natural health food retailer.

At 6,300 sq. ft., the new location—dubbed The Beach Community Market—is smaller than the original store but features all the same departments and services, including grocery, fresh produce, fresh grab-and-go foods, personal care and dispensary items, as well as an organic smoothie/coffee bar.

Opened 35 years ago, the original Big Carrot location (on Toronto’s Danforth Ave.) is considered a pioneer in the natural health food world. The worker-owned retailer has long prioritized organic, non-GMO, local, fair trade and sustainability in its purchasing.


“Thirty five years ago, nine very brave individuals opened a health food store on the Danforth, and as you all probably know, they were ahead of their time and they created something very special,” said Sarah Dobec, The Big Carrot’s manager of public relations.

“They not only created a destination in the east end of Toronto, but they were pioneers in the organic movement. They proved that a business can uphold really strict standards and still thrive. The Big Carrot purchased organic products before organic was fully defined; they supported local farmers and vendors, and helped build the organic industry in Ontario and in Canada.”

Dobec then gave a nod to New Hamburg, Ont.-based Pfennings Organic Farms, which was on hand that morning to serve samples of freshly made carrot juice to the crowd ("a very appropriate sample," she joked). She called it “very special” that Pfennings was there to make the juice, as “The Big Carrot and Pfennings have been working together for 35 years, since day one.”

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