It all started roughly around 2010.
I fell in love with food because food changed my life, I could even say food healed my life. I was completely blown away with how good I felt from incorporating healing, plant based foods into my daily routine. And the deeper I dug into the real food movement the more convinced I was that this was a big part of my life purpose, my way of taking part in the huge planetary shift that was already underway.
the Goods started out as a lunch delivery service, we shared a back kitchen at 1321 Dundas West, formerly the Brockton General (thank you Pam Thompson for sharing your space and making it possible). We took orders via blog forms, collecting cash on delivery, setting up the kitchen each morning to prep and assemble the daily salad and smoothie special. We’d deliver the Goods around town, in many cases as far as Etobicoke and Mississauga. Early on I was in the kitchen on my own, planning, buying, making and delivering, but it wasn’t long before that became an impossible task and my dear friend Catharine Parker jumped in to manage emails and orders. Along with a rotating crew of highly overqualified, lovely souls who arrived just in time; Morgan, Kylie, Neil, Whitney, Aga, Lenore. And of course our reliable delivery partners to this day at Good Foot Delivery.
We pieced it together that way for about a year. Learning some BIG lessons and loads of little ones too. We knew we needed a plan, people loved the food but not everyone wanted to pre-order. So we started manifesting what the Goods’ next phase would look like.
Our first brick & mortar
It turned out that a tiny, hidden gem of a spot, one block West at 1255 Dundas West was available. And it was a store front! Well actually, it’s the main floor of a house that had been converted to look like a commercial space, but that suited us just fine – we make homemade healthy food, might as well make it in a house. It felt absolutely serendipitous – we never imagined we’d be able to get an actual storefront with a good track record too. The magic makers behind the men’s clothing store lost & found had just moved out of the space and into their home on Ossington. The space was filled with good vibes, so we took it.
It was a real push, the space was bare and we had a teeny-tiny budget so we did all the work ourselves. We started in December and were up and running by February 2014. It was more work than anything we’ve ever done before, emotionally, physically and mentally, but we were in a flow and when you’re in a flow you just go.
We quickly realized we still had no idea what we were doing so the BIG lesson and loads of little ones continued and we kept learning. Our lunch delivery continued, our catering business blossomed and our nourishing eats were finally available for takeout. This was the first time we had face-to-face interactions with the customers – we were in our element.
And so the days passed, the word spread, the customers continued to walk up those 5 front steps and many of them asking if we had seating (nope), or a bathroom (sorry no) and many of them coming back for more and a few of them almost every single day (you know who you are and we love you for it). We packed the space with as many prep tables and refrigerators as we could. We rearranged over and over, we put in a window bar, extra stools along the wall, we bought popup tables for extra busy catering days, we turned the back office into storage, we tetris’d the shit out of that place so when opening a fridge you’d just miss the next and it wasn’t hard to end up with a lineup of staff trying to get by one another while tripping over the recycling. The team grew, and many wonderful people came through our kitchen to prepare the Goods with love and dedication. Our current core team, most of them long standing Rachael, Marie, Sarah, Patrick and Kassia have been integral in our growth. We would not be who we are today without their continued commitment and love for the Goods.
The time has come for phase 3… gulp. As we have come to rely on only absolute serendipity, a sunny, accessible, airy, gem of a spot at 279 Roncesvalles has our name on it. This time the new space needed love beyond what we could give ourselves, so we hired the incredibly talented team from Brothers and Sons and Ample Habitat to completely gut and transform a 42 year old retired laundromat into our home. And I’d be lost not to mention and thank my brother for gutting and cleaning the ancient basement with me, my mother for completing the impossible task of prepping and painting the storefront and all my incredible friends for cleaning, painting, assembling, unpacking and keeping me sane throughout the process. And of course the Goods team for holding it down on Dundas while we hustled to complete the renovation and for busting their butts to get the new kitchen humming along.
It’s been a whole new kind of ride, with lots of BIG lessons and loads of little ones. Leaving our Dundas digs, the locals who have become friends, the neighbourhood that has been so supportive was a big and bittersweet decision. But here we are, settled into Roncesvalles, a neighbourhood who has unknowingly been supporting us since the beginning – all of our organic produce has been provided by our friends at Maple Produce since day one and many of our dry goods come from the good people at Kim’s Naturals. We’ve been delivering and catering to the area for years, but nothing beats the out-of-this-world warm welcome we have been given by the locals who stream through our door to grab a bite and thank us for doing what we do. I could cry thinking about the customers, it’s been such a supportive and heartwarming experience.
Finally, after 6 wild years, we feel settled, we have an accessible location, with lots of seating, great light and the best food. And as always we’re still on UberEats in the immediate area, our original our lunch service delivers the Goods across the city – we easily have the quickest healthy takeout in town, plus loads of inclusive catering options.
As for the menu, we kept all your favourite and are now offering medium salads and a cup of soup option so you can combo the goodness. We’ve introduced our take on avocado toast and most recently a living sandwich on GF sourdough that will have you coming back for more.
Lots more to come from the Goods, our hearts are very full. Thank you.
Lisa + team