Contributed by Anita Bostok and Norman Hathaway. Cabbagetown is a neighbourhood of beauty, heritage, cultural diversity and inclusion. Anita and Noman are 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.
Joann Leelamankong – A native of Thailand, Joann came to Canada as an international student. After receiving her diploma from George Brown, she has worked as a catering coordinator, a brand ambassador for Singha Beer, and created an immigration consulting business. Her latest venture, Maya Bay at 252 Carlton St, sees Joann as a restauranteur along with her four partners. The unique, licensed (when Covid restrictions will allow), Thai ‘grab & go’ offers popular dishes and desserts. Of special interest, two to three times per week guests from the Thai community will cook their favourite dishes from the restaurant’s kitchen. When not at the restaurant, Joann is very active enjoying bike rides and working out.
Evan – A myriad of tasks await Evan every day at Rapid Photo, from transferring old VHS tapes, 8mm reels, camcorder tapes, negative films, or old slides into digital files. He and his loyal staff are constantly making gifts for customers such as photo mugs, custom t-shirts, coasters, water bottles, puzzles, pillows etc.. Specializing in custom framing and wall arts, customers most appreciate that the services are truly rapid. Passport/Visa/PR/Citizenship photos are ready in 5 minutes. Photo gifts, and most of the framings, can be ready in an hour. What Evan loves most about his job is seeing customers happy and satisfied with the services they received.
Sophia and Simon – Children of a businessman from Eritrea, East Africa, the siblings own and operate Glow Beauty Supply 582 Parliament St.. Sophia and Simon chose Cabbagetown to open their shop because they love the energy and diversity with people from all ethnicities and the LGBTQ community. They enjoy learning more about their clients and the specific beauty needs of each. Clients love the great product choices and reasonable prices. The store had just opened before the covid shut down. They are thrilled to have the doors open once again. In her spare time, Sophia relaxes by doing yoga, and Simon is a soccer player and avid fan.
Raj – Originally from Sri Lanka, Raj honed his baking and culinary skills in Montreal. For over twenty-five years he’s been a business staple in Cabbagetown. Raj loves hard work and wanted the challenge of running his own business, so with the help of his wife and daughters he opened Absolute Bakery 589 Parliament St.. Raj’s face lights up when he talks about his devoted customers, who come in not just for the fantastic French and Sri Lankan delicacies, but also to chat. The very fit entrepreneur and Taekwondo Black Belt, admits he counters his croissant consumption with daily visits to the gym, something he’s eager to get back to.