Lately, our grocery runs have been Sunday-scaries-fuelled dash-and-grabs that see us blasting through aisles, using our cart like a bumper car and screeching, “Excuse me!”
But Nature’s Emporium's new location in the Shops at One York is a complete change of pace from the usual grocery store bedlam. The family-owned boutique grocery has created a relaxing shopping experience. At 25,000 square feet, it’s pleasantly spacious; it’s also a mecca of organic food, and health and wellness products.
Nature’s Emporium CEO Joe D’Addario knows that Toronto craves the health-conscious products on his shelves. There’s huge demand for them. “There are so few options in the city that provide the wide assortment of natural and organic foods and products that we do,” he says. He’s not wrong — the variety here is enormous. It’s practically Disneyland for health-conscious adults.
Walk in and you’re immediately met with a remedy to the age-old blunder of shopping while hungry: hot prepared bites. Gleaming pots hold piping-hot liquids, like grass-fed beef bone broth and curried veggie soup. Behind a counter, employees scoop servings of proteins like brisket and salmon into to-go containers. Chow down on your meal in the store’s cozy seating area before or after you check out.
Quality is the focus here. All of the fruits and veggies in Nature’s Emporium’s produce section are certified organic. An impressive wall of nut dispensers holds everything from slivered almonds to European pepitas, and there’s even a station to grind peanuts and almonds into creamy butters. If you’re feeling fancy, an entire section of their meat and seafood shelf is dedicated to cuts of wagyu.
Countless bottles of supplements also line the shelves. Browse through everything from probiotics to medicinal herbs, tinctures and collagens for joint health. If you’re not sure which one will suit your needs, speak to the in-store holistic nutritionists and naturopath doctor to help guide your choice.
Having opened its doors in 1993, in Newmarket, Nature’s Emporium isn’t the new kid on the block anymore. They’re growing, and fast — in late September, they opened another location in Oakville. If that means actually enjoying a trip to the grocery, then we’re all for it.
Nature's Emporium: Wellness Bar
Come for the groceries, stay for Nature’s Emporium's Wellness Bar. Order custom smoothies at the counter; choose a base, greens, fruit and a booster to create your own. There are also cold-pressed juices and hot drinks to warm your bones, like a cordycep mushroom latte (no The Last of Us zombies, we promise).
Nature's Emporium: Health and beauty
Nature's Emporium's Health and Beauty section is a gallery of certified organic makeup brands, glowing essential oil diffusers, incense and candles. The selection has been curated in an effort to promote overall well-being, D’Addario explains. His goal is to educate people on the benefits of shopping organic.
Nature's Emporium: Special diet products
“Expect to find a range of products, including gluten-free options, dairy-free, vegan, plant-based, keto-friendly, paleo, nut-free, soy-free products,” D’Addario says of the new store.