March 2012 – By Justin Millerson
Bloordale’s newest convenience store will try to establish itself as a mainstay among storefront shops across Toronto.
A new shop which looks to marry convenience and grocery store qualities opened up about a month ago, at 1284 Bloor St. W. (just at the corner of St. Clarens Ave.).
The space – formally two businesses, Royal Fish and Chips and Golden Burma – is now called D-Mart, the ‘D’ standing for “daily fresh, daily savings,” said store owner, Ding Liu.
The store offers an assortment of fruits and vegetables, including organic choices and stocks a full dairy shelf, things Liu said is not normally seen in convenience stores in this area.
Liu is an MBA accountant graduate from Dalhousie University in Halifax. He initially never had plans to be a store owner, but said he always found the business world “very interesting”.
This D-Mart is the first of many hopeful locations in Toronto said Liu. The 26-year-old has plans to open his second location a little south of this one.
“There is going to be more and more D-Marts,” he said.
For each location, Liu said he plans to tailor the store to the community’s needs.
At Bloor St. and Lansdowne Ave., Liu said, people like to shop on the street. In the summer, he plans to have a welcoming outdoor display, selling his fruits and vegetables as well as exotic flowers.
“Each location is going to have a different style,” said Liu. “We need to find out what people want and adjust.”
The store’s exterior is now just plywood painted black, but Liu has plans to install a stucco façade to the storefront in the summer.