Cabbagetown is a neighbourhood of beauty, heritage, cultural diversity and inclusion. We are Anita Bostok and Noman Hathaway and we’re proud to contribute this regular feature where you get to know the people and businesses that make Cabbagetown so special. If you’d like to be featured or would like to nominate someone please get in touch.
Kim loves the freedom and creativity of running Spruce, her home décor boutique at 455 Parliament St. The BCIT graduate with a major in entrepreneurship and marketing worked on Bay St, and as a realtor before realizing her teenage dream of owning her shop. Reflected in the vintage and handcrafted inventory is her eclectic taste. Kim encourages customers to pick what catches their eye rather than stick to a specific style. Her priority is to find locally and handmade first, with all greeting cards made in Canada. Originally from Vancouver Island, the trees and urban mix drew her to Cabbagetown. She loves to cook, entertain, and being outdoors whenever possible. The music enthusiast notes French electronic and Bob Dylan as favourites. Customers love the diversity of products, and that new items come in regularly.
To weather the Covid storm and help others do the same, Cabbagetown businesswoman Lisa launched the Trading Post. The online store features artisanal, one-of-a-kind, and eco-friendly products made in Canada. Many local producers who rely on farmers’ markets and festivals have had their livelihoods compromised this year, but the trading post gives them an outlet. The store is an offshoot of the Redwing Institute, a nature-inspired experiential learning institute that Lisa created. Conducting seasonal treks in spring, summer, and fall, the outdoor adventure school teaches psychology in an outdoor classroom where nature activates our brains. Being in nature is essential for Lisa. The hiking enthusiast has climbed Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, Annapurna, through Guatemala, and Europe. Another passion of Lisa’s is the environment, living in a recycled building and nurturing a container garden on her terrace. Redwinginstitute.com/tradingpost
After graduating with a degree in fashion and fine arts, twenty-three year old Carol Buss worked for her dad in the city’s original health food store. One day while interviewing a potential employee, Carol learned that Lennie’s Whole Foods Cabbagetown, 489 Parliament St, was for sale. She checked it out and immediately got great vibes. A couple of weeks later, the store was hers. That was thirty years ago, and she’s never looked back even moving into the neighbourhood. Lennie’s is known for carrying a great variety of supplements, foods, essential oils, even carrying flour and yeast during the shutdown when grocery stores had run out. Customers love the helpful staff. Carol loves seeing familiar faces and hearing their stories. When away from the store, Carol reverts to her roots, working on various art projects, designing, and beading.
The Epicure Shop 473 Parliament St is turning 40 this year! Owner Patty wants to extend a big “THANK YOU” to all of Cabbagetown for its support. The grocery deli offers a wide selection of food, homemade pasta and sauces, coffee bar complete with espresso machine, and holiday gift baskets. Active in the community, Patty is a member of the BIA and festival committees. Pre-Covid, she enjoyed going to the movies, Spin and Zumba classes, none of which she can do now. But working in the shop and interacting with customers keeps her young, her Fitbit counting 12,000 steps a day. Because many in the community needed help during the shut-down, Patty offered phone orders, curbside pick-up, and deliveries. It warmed her heart to learn that many customers also delivered food to their neighbours.