Toronto natural and organic supermarket, The Sweet Potato, has some new digs in the city’s Junction neighbourhood.
The new store at 108 Vine Ave. is approximately 18,000 sq. ft., more than twice the size of Sweet Potato's original Dundas West location. The building once served as a manufacturing plant for the breakfast porridge brand Roman Meal.
Thursday’s grand opening comes five years after The Sweet Potato’s founder and co-owner Digs Dorfman first began plotting the move, which involved a lengthy rezoning of the new property from light industrial to retail.
Dorfman says The Sweet Potato’s growing success since opening in 2008 made it necessary to move to a bigger location.
“It got to the point where we were just flat-out too busy, and it was starting to genuinely upset customers,” he says. “To be completely honest, I didn’t like shopping in my store on the weekends – we would frequently have lineups that were so long they would stretch into the aisles.”
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The additional space has enabled The Sweet Potato to add new categories it couldn’t accommodate before, most notably vitamins, pet food and paper products. There is also a new kitchen capable of producing rotisserie chicken, pizza, curries, soups and salads, and a communal dining space.
It also features a significantly expanded butcher and seafood counter featuring organic, local, antibiotic and hormone-free meats, and a revamped bulk section with 250 bins featuring everything from dried fruit and nuts to bath salts.
There is also a cheese department that Dorfman personally played a role in developing, adding approximately 150 cheeses, mostly from Ontario and Quebec.
Dorfman is currently developing The Sweet Potato’s second location, which he says can open within 18-24 months.