Blog

Christmas Giving Made Simple

Christmas Box Sets

The Mercantile Christmas Gift Boxes are back - and they're the perfect solution for so many of those hard-to-decide people on your list...

For the home chef in your life, the Chef Essentials box features Maldon Flaked Salt with matching pinch bowl, a classic local mustard, some fine Sicilian olive oil and a little Mercantile chocolate bar;

For the fan of the YouTube show, HotOnes? Get them the HotOnes sampler set featuring a variety of our most popular spicy condiments;

For someone into elegant entertaining? The Spanish Sardines set includes Conservas de Cambados sardines in olive oil, deluxe crackers and a preciously themed serving plate and fork;

For someone who skates outdoors or is getting a new toboggan, the Keep Warm box will be waiting for them with gourmet hot chocolate, two double-walled glass mugs, shortbread cookies and, of course, marshmallows;

For the Yoatam Ottolenghi fan, the Ottolenghi Simple Essentials box features a selection of some of the great chef's most commonly called for spices and ingredients. And if they're not an Ottolenghi fan yet, bundle the box with a copy of the book also available in store;

And finally, for the person on the verge of a New Year's resolution, the Mocktails set includes Seedlip distilled alcohol-free spirits, Partake near-beer, dried orange garnish, FeverTree tonic and a stainless steel jigger.

Our Christmas boxes take the guess-work out of buying for that hard-to-buy-for person. 
Each box includes a flour sack tea towel to cushion the contents and they're so elegantly wrapped you can put them under the tree as is!

Find them across from the cash desk in the middle of the store.

Read more

Tap in to Winter

Tapped Out and Ni9

Well, we didn't expect it so soon or so fiercely, perhaps, but it was inevitable. Winter.

But let's not forget that winter has its benefits - including a chance to focus on indoor pursuits, to create warmth in whatever style suits you. Cocktailing is one such activity (in moderation, of course!) and we have a couple of very special ingredients to mention as we anticipate warm flavours to battle the cold outside.

First, Graeme Foers has a history right here in our neighbourhood but much of his time is spent in the woods handcrafting his Tapped Out Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup. Now, if you ever went to a sugaring off in the bush you might have a memory of taps in the trees and lines running from all around the lot to a tank in the middle. To some people that's quaint and they know that maple syrup operations run the gamut from mom & pop farms to industrial scale evaporation processors. Tapped Out makes even the mom & pops look like a factory floor. He is literally asking each tree for permission to take sap and collecting it individually, keeping the fires burning all season long to make the best maple syrup there is and then aging it in bourbon whiskey barrels brought up from the States.

Nickel 9 Distillery is also very close to home - just a few blocks away in the Junction - and making a mark with a couple of spirits available at LCBO stores. But they've also released this wonderful line of aromatic bitters. Some - like the hibiscus or the lavender citrus or the grapefruit orange - could be used to summon summer in a glass if you're so inclined. But I'm looking at the smoked apple and the cedar cherry bark and the rosemary black peppercorn and thinking I could just lean into winter quite comfortably.

Read more

Boo!

Halloween Stuff

It starts with the Pumpkin Fudge that arrives early October. Not only does it taste and smell fantastic, it triggers something - something in the air. Then the Bat Signal really goes out! And before you know it the Mercantile is filled with spooky stuff.

For school treats try our YumEarth peanut free dummies. There's murderously hot mustard, scary Scoville sauces, bloody eyeball candy decorations for creepy cookies, special edition Laura Slack chocolate skull lollies, halloween lights, mugs, bottle openers, tea towels and other seasonally themed decor items.

Of course, there's  also black cat and black bat pasta from Queen's Pasta - spinach and ricotta filled black pasta ravioli made just for Halloween night dinner and available in our freezer at the back of the store.

And adults know we're a grown up trick-or-treater's dream store!

While we're at it, witches hats off to the people in the neighbourhood who make ours one of the most fun parts of the city to stroll at night with their awesome halloween yard displays. If you haven't walked down Grenadier lately......

Oh. And if you come in late and find we're out of treats, please don't TP our window. We're doing our best to make sure there's enough for all you ghouls and goblins.

Read more

Let's Make this a Thing!

Bunny Hug Kaya - coconut spread

One of the great things about being in a diverse city like Toronto is that tastes for certain things - be they music or movies or fashions or food - move beyond their cultural origins. At The Mercantile we see this every single day in the number of people who come in to stock up on their harissa paste or Okazu or gojuchang or preserved lemons or pasilla peppers or Mado's sauce who aren't north African or Asian or Latin American or Caribbean. All of these flavours have become part of a common repertoire.

A week or so ago, the folks from a local producer called Bunny Hug came into the store with a product we'd never heard of called Kaya. Its roots are in the colonial era of Singapore/Malaysia when local cooks ventured to approximate the jams and morning toast spreads of British officers using local ingredients. 

So think of something like lemon curd in terms of consistency but remove the tartness and replace it with the soft, round, creaminess of coconut and you've got Kaya. It. Is. DELICIOUS!

Now, we can totally see this being overlooked because it's an unfamiliar product and you're not looking for it in the first place and wouldn't know what to do with it if you just stumbled upon it. But we're pretty confident that if you try it you're going to want to keep a jar in the fridge for when you want that sweet comforting piece of toast - or even dolloped on a cracker. We tried it on a salty potato chip and it was fantastic! For now, we're keeping it with the jams and jellies in the cabinet just to your right as you enter the store.

If you're in the neighbourhood tomorrow at 4:00pm, Bunny Hug will be at the Mercantile offering samples so you can see whether you might like to make this taste part of your culinary repertoire.

Read more

Great Taste, Great Gift, Great Cause... Scout's Honour!

Boy Scout Maple Syrup

When I was a kid, the Girl Guides had the cookies and the Boy Scouts had Apple Day (not ApplePay, Apple Day) as fundraising tools. Things are a bit more sophisticated these days. The 65th Toronto Scout Group based on Roncesvalles has teamed up with family-run Pefferlaw Farms to offer this high quality dark grade 100% pure, organic maple syrup gathered from trees in the Woodland Trails Scout Camp and surrounding forests.

For many Canadians, maple syrup is a pantry item. For Canadian and visitors alike it's one of the most popular Canuck souvenirs going and "Where do you keep your maple syrup?" is one of the most common questions we get when people enter the store for the first time. We have several excellent maple syrups to choose from and you'll find them on the top shelf above the mustards and pestos on the north wall of the store but for a limited time (and for extra convenience) you'll find this special fundraising edition bottle right on the counter. 

Come see us and help support the Scouts in your neighbourhood!

Read more

Be the Best BBQ Guest

For the gear and the know-how this BBQ season, visit our neighbours up the street at The Cookery. For everything else related to flavour and refreshment, we're your next stop for both hosts AND guests of our favourite backyard celebrations.
Read more

OMG - it's almost Father's Day!

Father's Day stuff

If you're like most families in the neighbourhood, you AND dad have been engrossed in the fortunes of our Toronto Raptors and you may have forgotten that Sunday is Father's Day! Let's hope you'll be able to give dad your full attention on Sunday - assuming we take care of the Warriors tomorrow night in Oakland.

Whether it becomes a shared celebration or not, we have a great selection of stuff for the dads in your life - including the best non-alcoholic beer around. Partake Brewing. Headquartered in Calgary and brewed in Vancouver with Research and Development based in Toronto (in partnership with Durham College!), Partake is a true Canadian product that began with a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 followed with support from investor Manjit Minhas on "Dragon's Den" with a mission to bring craft beer taste and variety to the growing near-beer market. It is now available across Canada and in parts of the U.S. 

With a cold one in one hand and a spatula in the other, you might also want to give dad some saucy options for the BBQ. We have many to choose from, including a zesty trio from Kozlik's - the kings of Canadian mustard.

There's lots more, of course, whatever your dad's personal tastes, as well as the best curated (though steadily dwindling!) selection of Father's Day cards on the block.

Happy Father's Day (and Go Raptors!)

Read more

Mom, so sweet!

For a long time, Wendell Estate creamed honey has been a favourite of ours but they've recently introduced a new organic line and we've got it in store now!
Read more

It's Hopping around here!

Easter2019

Don't tell the kids but a certain long-eared cotton-tail comes to the Mercantile a little bit earlier than to your house... and drops off a TON of colourful treats for every budget and every taste. We're giving you a heads up to let you know we've seen the bunny tracks and we've got the goods to prove the existence of the Easter Bunny!

Old standbys like Jellybeans, Easter Gummies, Malted Eggs, Chocolate Robin's Eggs, Foil Eggs and special seasonal offerings from friends like Laura Slack, Denman Island, Roger's, Saxon and gummy treats and carrot-cake marshmallows from Tout de Sweet.

PLUS, we've got dishes and egg cups and napkins and tea towels and table charms (including bunnies in a variety of sizes). You can even buy our delightful daisy-eggs right from the window display!
We're open Good Friday and Saturday as normal but closed Easter Sunday and Monday. We'll give you more reminders as we get closer but the goodies tend to go fast so we thought we'd let you know now to give you plenty of time.
Read more

Get FUNCHed UP!

FUNCH lunch bags

Spring is right around the corner (and March Break is just about over!), which means there's still a few months of school lunches to be made, carried to school, shoved in a locker and eventually consumed. While we do have lots of good things to go IN to lunch bags, people often come to us looking for a more environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional lunch bag. We finally have just the thing.

Meet FUNCH.

These beautiful and durable bags are made of insulated Tyvek printed with a gorgeous selection of designs and come in two sizes - each with a Velcro closure. So not only will these bags keep your lunch fresh and secure until lunchtime, because they're made from Tyvek, they're strong, recyclable, washable and tear and water resistant. Look for them on the rack right inside the door to your right. 

Read more

Time for a Heart to Heart

Valentine's Goodies

You know that we love our customers. And we know that our customers know that the Mercantile is the perfect place to provision for LoveDay - that's why they've already put a serious dent in our selection of Valentine's Day cards!

But don't worry, there are still treats galore - whether it's cinnamon hearts to pass out at school, luxurious chocolates from Roger's and Laura Slack, a sweet/tart combo for your sweetheart from Tout de Sweet or heart-shaped spinach and cheese ravioli from Queen's Pasta for a romantic dinner at home. Or all of the above wrapped neatly in a CandyHearts Tea Towel!

That's just a fraction of our Valentine's selection but February 14th is a day that tends to creep up on people so we thought we'd let you know before the rush.

XOXOXOXO from all of us to all of you!

Read more

A Taste of Sunny Spain

Plaza del Sol paella etc.

Man, that was grim yesterday. 
Thought I was going to wipe out just going to the corner store. And if I didn't wipe out I certainly came home chilled and damp. And that made me think of Spain...

...to be precise, an open air market in Valencia and the heady aromas emanating from a huge paella pan right there on the sidewalk. Seafood, chorizo, tomato, saffron and that very particular rice. Bomba rice. It's not impossible to find bomba rice around but it's not everywhere so many people substitute arborio and it's just NOT the same thing.

A new line we're carrying called Plaza del Sol delivers the full paella experience along with some beautiful stuffed olives and tasty crostini just in time to beat the winter blahs and turn your kitchen into a street market near the Spanish coast.

Provision here at the Mercantile and then it's off to Spain. 
Traditional recipe here.

Read more
155 results
Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart