Local residents and Real Estate agents Norman Hathaway and Anita Bostok of introduce us to local Cabbagetown Shop keepers is their ongoing series “Getting to Know you”. Cabbagetown is a neighbourhood of beauty, heritage, cultural diversity and inclusion. We are Anita Bostok and Norman 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.

Christina and Jonathan – Christina Stamatopoulos and Jonathan Reynolds became friends while working at Michael Garron Hospital in East York. Jonathan made jams for office Christmas parties and Christina enjoyed them enough to suggest they partner in selling 3 flavours of jam at local farmers markets. They loved the people, the produce, and the lifestyle. Their passion for creating sustainable foods and re-purposing over stock produce inspired them to open an outlet fashioned around community support of local produce and the people who produce it. The Great Mallard County Market at 503 Parliament St was hatched with a name crafted to symbolize vintage, rustic Canada… and they love ducks!

Leslie Zysman – Leslie grew up in Toronto in an eclectic home environment steeped in art and design. Her father was and inventor and she helped him design machinery for the family business. Her mother was an artist, and at one time was the fastest typist in Ontario. This exposure to art and machinery drove Leslie’s passion for design. With deep family roots in Cabbagetown, and her own love for the neighbourhood, Leslie moved here in 1991 eventually opening Eclectisaurus Inc., 249 Gerrard St East in 2005. Focusing on items of beauty and function designed between the 1890’s and 1990’s, her delightful store reflects a highly cultivated eclecticism rooted in her past.

Brandon Zhao and Jasper Qi – Brandon Zhao is an international student of culinary management at George Brown College. Along with his friend, baker, and fellow collegemate Jasper Qi, these young entrepreneurs have made Canada their home. Born in China, Brandon gained experience working in Chinese restaurants here in Toronto, whereas Jasper arrived as an accomplished baker. Following their path of creating exceptional culinary experiences, these business partners have introduced something tasty and new to Canada; Pandan Cake. Known as the national cake of Singapore, this delicacy is a chiffon cake flavoured with a plant common to south Asia called Pandan. My Pandan Cake 246 Gerrard St East.

Sooter’s Ali – Thirty-one years ago, Ali opened the Sooter’s photo and framing studio at 461 Parliament St. More than offering a variety of custom frames and photographic services, it is also an art studio and favourite gathering spot. Ali is very kind and welcoming. He treats the artists with tea and cookies while they create original drawings and paintings, much of which he sells in the shop. Born in Iran, Ali spent ten years in India where he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics followed by his master’s in sociology. A devoted family man, Ali spends much of his time away from work with his wife, daughters, and grandchildren. He enjoys listening to classical music. Filled with gratitude, Ali wants to thank the people of Cabbagetown who continue to support his business and all the local businesses.

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