Unique treats, gifts and baskets for unique people.

The Mercantile in Toronto's Roncesvalles Village is your go-to shop for everyday luxuries, with a thoughtfully curated selection of gourmet food items, kitchen accessories, gifts and gift baskets to help you live, give, and entertain in style.

Apples for Teacher?

Apple for Teacher

Traditionally, apples were given to teachers at the beginning of the school year. It was meant to both literally and figuratively feed the person responsible for educating the children of the community. As the school year comes to a close, a newer tradition has sprung up to offer a little gift as a thank you for the care and attention the teacher has brought to his or her students since last September. I suppose some people might offer an apple - or, for that matter, an Apple iPad - but we had something a little more modest in mind.

We have all kinds of great gifts suitable for the occasion - including a special price on Laura Slack's famous chocolate potted flowers. But we know that teachers and their tastes are as diverse as their students so we have a special offer for readers of this newsletter:

This week and next, come in and find whatever you think is appropriate for your kid's teacher and pick out a tea-towel to wrap it in and we'll give you 10% off the bundle. Just mention that you saw it in our newsletter or on our website or social media feeds. And by all means encourage your friends and neighbours to subscribe to our newsletter too so they can take advantage of this offer! We'll even throw in an apple, since you're taking the kids back for summer!


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Dad's Day Kickstart

We've said it before - for both Mother's and Father's Day: the best possible way to celebrate the people who play those roles in your life - biologically or otherwise - is with your time. Whether that's in the form of a phone-call or FaceTime or a home visit or dinner out or a brand new experience or just hanging as usual, that's what it's all about.

Of course, people want to present some little gift as well or do something a little bit special. And naturally we have all kinds of things in store that would be fitting tokens of appreciation - from BBQ sauces and rubs to snacks and cocktail accoutrements. The possibilities are as diverse as dads!

So here's one little uber-Canadian suggestion for Sunday morning: a breakfast Caesar cocktail (okay, okay - brunch. Let him sleep in a little!)

  • Start with Walter Caesar Mix. Actually, before you do that, check the ingredient list on the supermarket brands to understand why Walter is the clear choice: all natural ingredients, no artificial colours or preservatives and clam juice from OceanWise certified sustainable sources. Plus it's a Canadian company!
  • Once your due diligence is done, rim your glass with Saltwest Naturals Seasar Pleaser from Vancouver Island. (And here's a tip: don't wet the rim with water or a wedge of lime. Dip the rim in a saucer of vodka and let drip for 5 seconds or so before dipping in another saucer with the rimmer - you'll get the perfect rim every time!)
  • Put ice in the glass (or Mason Jar if you must). Add 1.5oz of your favourite vodka (or tequila or certain gins) or virgin if you need Dad alert right away. Depending on whether you're using the Walter classic or Walter mild or if you just like a little boost, augment with Worcestershire or tamari, a dash or two of your favourite No. 7 Hot Sauce, a small spoon of Bubbie's Horseradish (find it in the fridge at the back of the store) and a squeeze of lime, then top the glass with the Walter mix and...well...mix!
  • This is where it gets really fun: the garnish. We recommend an Extreme Bean or a Voth's Pickled Asparagus spear! Or you could go for the classic celery stick, or a carrot stick, or a plump chilled tiger shrimp, or a cube of cheddar or a chunk of chorizo or leftover steak from last night or some combination of any or all of these... again, the options are as individual as the dad-guy in your life.

With that fortification to start things off, let the day unfold. May it be a memorable one!

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DIY Summer

Tovolo, Lekue and Onyx ice pop molds

In spite of the cool spring, we've already seen quite a run on our selection of ice-pop molds. But with summer starting to come seriously into view, we expect to see a lot more people coming in to find the best way to make their favourite easy summer treat.

We have a variety of styles, shapes and materials to choose from - from the classic rocket and playful "thumbsucker" molds in BPA-free plastic by Tovolo to the innovative horizontal silicon trays by Lekue (available singly or in sets of four - perfect if you have one of those dedicated flat ice-cube drawers in your freezer) and the super-durable, fast-freezing, easy-to-clean stainless steel models from Onyx.

Perhaps the best idea is to get a couple of different styles so you can have one reserved for the kids' treats and another dedicated to the grown-up ice-pops you might experiment with, like this one!

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