A massive gourmet grocer opens in midtown after months of delays

 One of the city’s best gourmet and natural food grocer, the Sweet Potato has finally opened its doors at 1678 Bayview Ave. 

After months of major delays from shelving deliveries to fridge installations, the organic grocer has finally opened its doors at 1678 Bayview Avenue. The natural grocer’s first location on Vine Avenue has now become the new flagship location.

What’s sure to become the neighbourhood’s go-to spot for natural foods, the Sweet Potato caters to all dietary restrictions by supplying dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free products, but its prices don’t reflect the astronomical costs usually associated with organic health foods.

The Junction first welcomed The Sweet Potato back in 2007, when it quickly became the neighbourhood’s go-to spot for natural and local food products.

Though CEO Digs Dorfman explains that while the 102-year old building of the original store is his “first love,” he explains that restrictions from the original construction prevented them from doing as they wanted. The new location, which has been in the works since 2020, offered more growth.

Co-owners Digs Dorfman and CJ Chiddy

“The space on Bayview was brand new. We had the opportunity to really do things exactly as we would have wanted to right from scratch,” he explains. “In a lot of ways the stores have a similar vibes, but we’ve grown up a little bit into this new space. It’s definitely a little bit more polished while still being really funky and kitchy, which is our trademark. It’s a really wonderful space.”

Tonica Kombucha, Live on Chocolate, and the Greenbelt Organic Greens are just a few of the many local brands taking up shelf space. Like the flagship location, the massive 16,ooo square foot Leaside store will also be encouraging the elimination of single-use plastics with a reusable container program.

Since The Sweet Potato believes it’s not only important to know how the food your consuming grows, but where it grows as well, the storefront includes a mural of a map that locates the grocer’s “growing community of local farmers.” It allows shoppers to pin-point exactly where their food is coming from.

“One of the reasons I started this store originally is that I kind of feel like people have become a bit disconnected from the food chain and how local sourcing operates,” the CEO explains. “So, one intention behind the mural was to give people full transparency and to allow people to think a little bit more about the farmers and artisans that craft the foods that will eventually end up on their tables.”

As for the location itself, Dorfman says the Leaside area is very personal to him. Having gone to high school right around the corner from where the building stands, Dorfman spent a “good amount of years” walking the streets of the area.

“We really wanted to find for our second location, something that had a really strong community feeling similar to the Junction,” he explains, stating that he’s already felt such a warm welcoming in the last few days since the grocer’s opening.

“We’ve had contact with a lot of other really supportive local businesses and local organizations. Like schools and things like that, because that’s sort of what we do right? We really, really try to build community wherever we go, and the reception has been incredible. It’s honestly been beyond my wildest expectations.”