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Good Catch General Store

Posted by Sheryl in Toronto + Places on 14/Feb/2007
When I say the words "General Store", what do you think of? I bet it's the television show "The Waltons", isn't it? And then maybe the image of a dusty-shelved, small-town shop with some outdated products in faded packages and maybe one of those huge jars of pickled eggs on the counter, surrounded by locals, gossiping and chatting. Not exactly the kind of thing you'd think you'd ever find in downtown Toronto. And on that count, you'd be both right and wrong.

Good Catch: Pins Having recently celebrated its 7-month anniversary, The Good Catch General Store on Queen Street West in Parkdale takes all the great aspects of the old-time general store, and does away with the dusty shelves and outdated products.

Merchandise includes a little bit of everything. There are wonderful educational toys for little kids, including big bags of marbles, spyrograph sets and lots of books, as well as a selection of guitars and musical instruments for big kids. The variety of cleaning supplies from eco-friendly companies rivals that of the nearest health food store, and there's a shelf full of holistic pet foods, treats and critter toys, including some truly cosmic catnip.

Cosmetics and bath products are a growing sector of the inventory, and Good Catch offers a variety of great organic soaps, lotions and scrubs made by Toronto-based companies such as Studio Botanica.

Good Catch: Tea Books and magazines continue along the theme of earth-friendly and life-affirming. I've found magazines at Good Catch that I didn't know existed (the Canadian publication Allergic Living), as well as old favourites such as Eat Well, Vegetarian Times and Bust.

The grocery section is full of organic and fair trade offerings that include everything from pasta and soy sauce to a wonderful variety of teas, plus unique products like the pickled spruce tips from Forbes Wild Foods. With the largest assortment of fair trade, organic chocolate bars in the neighbourhood, Good Catch is even a favourite destination for chocoholics. A variety of locally-made breads are available on Saturday mornings (they're usually gone by noon) and with a new refrigerator being added in the coming months, there will also be an array of local cheeses, including goat cheese curds.

Good Catch: Tea Lest you imagine that this little general store is just a place to go to buy your necessities, it should be noted that owners Jola Sobolak and Daniel Hickox want to make the store a part of the bigger community. By focusing on locals vendors and artisans, they are working to bring together both creators and customers, and to support the neighbourhood. Good Catch hosts regular craft shows in an event space upstairs from the shop and there is also a great selection of locally-made jewelry and accessories regularly on display in the store. Artists are also invited to hang their work throughout the store on the vibrant teal-coloured walls.

Good Catch: Jars There may not be a jar of pickled eggs on the counter to attract the locals, but Good Catch has become more than just a shopping destination for many in the area. Not only is it fun to just poke around and explore (I swear I find something new every time I visit), but the warm welcome every customer receives when they walk in the door makes it very much the kind of place that you can't help but want to support because it brings such a wonderful sense of community to the neighbourhood.

Good Catch General Store
1556 Queen Street West
Mon-Wed: 10:30am 9pm,
Thu-Sat: 10:30am 10pm,
Sun: 11am 4pm

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