04/06/11 – By SAMANTHA EMANN
Bloordale is home to a lot of family and independent businesses. Each one, trying to bring something new to the community. When Alex and Liza Lukashevsky opened NutHouse (1256 Bloor St. W.) they wanted to do just that.
“We wanted to open the kind of store we had been looking for and it turned out that people in the community wanted it too,” Liza says, “We like to let the neighbourhood tell us what they want.”
NutHouse is a grocery store that sells organic, vegan and health-oriented foods and staples. Spices, breads, beverages as well as dried fruit are just some of their offerings. A lot of things like organic flour, and a multitude of spices, are sold in bulk They also sell items such as candles and chocolate made from people in the neighbourhood.
“I think part of our appeal is the neighbourhood experience and community feeling we have here. Just by word of mouth we seem to have more and more customers each week. We have a lot of products that are hard to find locally,” Liza says.
She added some of those harder to find popular items include Daiya vegan cheese, wheat-free tamari almonds and the dried fruits, like mango and peaches, that are popular with the kids among other things.
Toronto resident, Brittany Taylor, 25, says she has food allergies and is always looking for a place with organic and natural products and they are very hard to find in any ordinary grocery store.
“If I had one near me I would go all the time,” says Taylor, “I think it is very important to have stores like that because it is healthier but I have noticed that a lot of people nowadays are more conscious about the different ingredients in their food.”
Liza says they try and sell things in their store that have a short list of ingredients.
“We bring in products that we would want to feed to our own families and we are trying to bring those products to this community.”
Nuthouse is involved in the community and supports it. They have a relationship with schools like Brock Street P.S and the Grove Community, where proceeds from what the students buy go to school projects like snack programs or rooftop gardens.
The roughly 250-square-meter store blends in with the other stores on Bloor with one exception, a big nut hanging above the storefront.
“I almost wish, looking back, we had bought a bigger space,” she says.