Chef Mark McEwan Set to Change Shopping Habits in Toronto’s Downtown Core


TORONTO — The McEwan Group is looking to change how the city’s downtown crowd does its grocery shopping, all the while providing an alternative for grab-and-go restaurant-style food. On July 15, Mark McEwan, owner of several of Toronto’s finest restaurants, as well as a gourmet food store in the Shops at Don Mills, opened his latest business venture, a gourmet retail concept located in the TD Centre deep in the city’s financial centre, and adjacent to Bymark Restaurant, one of several successful restaurants owned by the entrepreneur.

The 5,500 square-foot grocery store features fresh, grab-and-go gourmet foods, in addition to a comprehensive selection of groceries for every meal of the day, as well as a florist shop. The retail shop is open Monday to Friday, welcoming morning commuters with authentic Italian coffee and espresso, and upscale items like fresh European pastries, quiches, waffles and yogurt parfaits plus gourmet breakfast sandwiches (even a breakfast pizza).

At lunch, consumers can choose from six freshly made soup features, a customizable panini station, a 15-foot salad bar, and an impressive 32-foot chef’s hot table, featuring a selection of high-end foods from traditional chicken tikka masala to lobster ravioli to Thai shrimp curry.

Fitting for downtown, McEwan’s new location will also feature a food-truck-inspired pop-up menu, with daily features such as gourmet tacos, poutine, and banh mi. But it doesn’t stop there. “We want to serve the best of everything in one place. We’re coming in with guns blazing,” said executive chef Shen Ousmand.

On the grocery side, and geared to the city’s burgeoning condo crowd, shoppers can choose from a sprawling selection of freshly prepared meats like braised short ribs, pulled pork, whole chicken, lamb shank, rabbit, and a range of fresh seafood; paired with an equally large selection of gourmet sides and fresh vegetables. The new location will also feature hundreds of pantry items including homemade sauces, relishes and chutneys, as well as McEwan’s own marinades, oils and pasta sauces.
“We’re bringing high-quality, chef-driven prepared food to the downtown core,” said McEwan. “Our restaurant-style approach is fresh, spontaneous and has nothing to do with traditional retai,” he adds.

McEwan is much more than a gourmet grocery store. The culinary team offers a selection of authentically prepared cuisine from around the world. Fittingly, the gourmet shop also provides catering for surrounding businesses.

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