Hello, hope you are doing as well as possible. It’s been a heck of a few months, and I know many of us have been impacted in a variety of ways. It’s hard to imagine how drastically things have changed in a short period of time – I like to think we’re all in this together, and that it will be over someday, but I know that it hasn’t been impacting people equally. Shout outs to the people keeping us healthy, keeping us fed, and keeping the city moving.
We are lucky that we live in a city where a variety of online/socially distant grocery options already existed before people had to pivot to offering them. We’ve been doing an online order – grocery pick up thing for a few years, if only because synchronizing our schedules and wrangling a toddler made grocery shopping challenging in the best of times.
Anyway, I’ve been worried about a few small businesses making it through this, and I also wanted to share a few suggestions for sources of some levity during this time. If it’s accessible to you – support local stores and shops, some are doing pickup, some are open, and some are doing delivery. I’ve felt so much more comfortable going into my small local store than larger chains right now.
At some point during the pandemic we completely stopped shopping at Loblaws and related chains (this may have coincided with their removal of pandemic pay/hazard pay to their staff.) but in Toronto there are a variety of options.
First of all, if you haven’t signed up for one of FoodShare Toronto‘s produce delivery boxes, you might want to consider it. They’ve just recently added Alternative Grounds fair-trade coffee, and they also have a couple of different loaves of vegan-friendly Spent Goods bread available that can be delivered at the same time as your produce box.
I love that they have a variety of choices – just fruit, organic or conventional, smaller or larger amounts, and I find their prices very reasonable – especially because it is all delivered. We get a conventional box every week, along with some bread.
FoodShare Toronto has also been doing a bunch of really wonderful food access work – in collaboration with Black Creek Community Farm and others they’ve delivered Emergency Food Boxes to people that have needed them. You can also donate here to support their work.
Anyway, here is a list of folks in no particular order that I think are doing great things, doing their own delivery or curbside pick up, and folks that I hope, with all of my heart and wallet, will do well, and make it through.
I will keep updating as time and inclination allows! If you know someone who would be helpful to include on here, please feel free to post them in the comments or send me an email or IG message if you want to!
Grocery and Produce Delivery
Fruit and Veg To Go
Fruit and Veg To Go is a business that started up during the pandemic – delivering bags of produce and grocery items. They have a variety of great options – including rice and peas bags, bean bags, special Jamaican produce bags, and more. They’re not exclusively vegan, but lots of great vegan options.
The Sweet Potato
The Sweet Potato is a great grocery store in the Junction neighbourhood in west-Toronto. They have a wide variety of vegan specialty products, organic produce, snacks, body and home care items. They offer delivery and pick up options, as well as in store shopping.
To be honest, the pandemic has made me appreciate them even more than I did before, as a responsible place to shop with a commitment to transparency and public health.
Comfort Toronto (if you click this link, you get 10$ off, and I get 10$ off) ) is a service we’ve been using for a few years, and it’s a great way to get Costco stuff without having a membership. They don’t have every Costco item on their site, but they do have many of them. You can also visit them directly.
If you follow me on Instagram, (which if you don’t already, you should do, I am great,) you will know how much I love Mugi foods. They’re completely plant based, and their food is amazing – fresh flavours – dishes like massaman curry, pad thai, khao soy and more on a rotating menu. They have also been open for just a tiny bit under a year, and their food is amazing.
I thought it was super cool how they posted their options once a week on Instagram or Facebook, but now it’s pretty straightforward to order. You can order over the phone ((416) 535-3886) or through many delivery apps.
Home of salads, soups, and smoothies (as well as delicious giant cookies) this plant-based Roncesvalles spot is doing a bunch of great meal kits, selling produce and pantry staples and fancies.
I made a giant pot of their delicious Be Well Soup, and had plenty to eat and share. (they’re also nice folks, they’ve posted the recipe for it online too)
Wandering Deli is offering pick up at their store on Toronto’s West side. They have a beautiful variety of great cheeses that change with the seasons and cheese-maker inclinations, including a variety of havarti-homages, strong flavoured kale leaf wrapped chevre beauties, brie, and more. Check out their shop and pick up on the weekend.
Sorry I’ve Got Plants
They’re selling meal kits, dressings and dips, produce and grocery items.
They’ve been doing this for a while, but have added a few more options to their online store and more frequent deliveries. You can get delivery for a fee ($8 or less) or pick up from their Roncesvalles location.
You can visit their shop here.
Sausage Party Toronto
Oh Sausage Party, funny name, tasty vegan meats and more. Check out their ample options.
Every couple of weeks the folks from FatChoi post a meal you can pre-order for pick up on their instagram account. You prepay via e-transfer, and select a time for pick up on Friday. They have a really great socially distant pickup where you pick a time-slot ahead of time and they clearly communicate how you get your order while protecting both yourself and their staff.
We have ordered this regularly since they started and it’s always been wonderful.
Hummingbird Eats makes incredible Jamaican Vegan patties and meals. They do deliveries to Penguin Pickup Locations around the city, and home delivery to some locations in the GTA. I have gotten these a few times, picking up from a penguin pick up site, but have not yet done home delivery.
Live Organic Food
An assortment of raw and cooked, gluten free, organic, and refined sugar free options are listed on the Live Organic Food site.
They have an impressive south-central Ontario delivery area.
Toronto Gourmet does a variety of vegan soups, spreads and dips – they’re offering no contact delivery of “wholesome boxes” via their website.
Suup is now PlantCuts
Delivery foods from this plant based deli – We ordered a few times in their first incarnation, and it was a quick and easy process. They now have a variety of vegan meats for sandwiches and pizza and more. They are also now shipping in Toronto, throughout Canada, and to the USA. Check out their website.
A frequent sight at farmers markets around the city, Chocosol has direct trade chocolate and coffee available for no-contact bike delivery and they ship too. We’ve taken advantage of their big bag of coffee deal several times throughout the pandemic.
You can buy things in bulk and save big or in their usual package sizes. Check out their shop for more information.
On Pause / Pending / Unknown
As this list has ebbed and flowed, places have opened and closed. I’d like to keep a record of some of the businesses on pause, and follow up with them every once and a while.
EastEnd Vegan (on pause until June 1st)
Almond based vegan cheese spreads, based in the east end of Toronto, but delivering around the Toronto area weekly. Check out their webstore.
Urban Acorn (on pause)
Urban Acorn has started offering a biweekly Vegan Supper Club online – you can chat and eat with a bunch of other people on zoom or instagram, or skip the video call and just eat whenever you want to.
They also have a variety of tasty vegan things on their online store available for delivery or pick up, including croissants, Jamaican-style patties, and a housemade plant-based highland blue cheese.
They’re delivering weekly within the GTA and Hamilton, Burlington, and Mississauga. You can also pick up your order from the Baby Point area Check out their shop here
Apiecalypse Pizza It’s hard to ship pizza, but you can order shortbread and a few other treats for delivery all over. Check out their website. They have been selling out of cookies often, but keep restocking. Apiecalypse is closed temporarily. Looking forward to whatever comes next.