% Arabica Coffee to Enter Canadian Market with 2 Storefronts in Toronto [Exclusive]

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Kyoto Japan-based coffee brand % Arabica will be opening the first two Canadian locations in Toronto. The first location will open either later this year or early next year at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre, and a location at Union Station will follow.

The Yorkdale location is scheduled to open in December 2021 or January 2022 and will be designed by #no__10 of Nomurakougeisha. The storefront will be in a space that opened as a David’s Tea in 2016. When David’s shuttered the majority of retail locations last year, the Yorkdale space was leased by T. Kettle pre-pandemic and that storefront recently closed. Construction is now underway for the new % Arabica location that will span nearly 1,000 square feet on one level.

“We are a part of the third wave coffee experience, with our very own coffee farms located in Hawaii in addition to other international selections,” shared a spokesperson from % Arabica. “Since debuting our first cafe in Japan six years ago, we have grown % Arabica to an astonishing 101 global outlets in 17 countries.”

% Toronto Yorkdale
% Toronto Yorkdale concept design

% Arabica will also be joining a roster of notable tenants at Toronto’s Union Station, which is being described as the most significant retail development in Downtown Toronto since the opening of CF Toronto Eaton Centre in 1977.

“We had a vision of growing % Arabica across unique lands and cultures of the world, so that everyone can “See the World Through Coffee”,” shared a spokesperson.

“We are so thrilled to be coming to Canada with one of our locations landing inside Toronto’s iconic Union Station. We are excited to share our love for coffee and design with the Canadian market and offer a truly unique coffee experience.” 

% Toronto Union Station
% Toronto Union Station (Photo by Dustin Fuhs)

The Union Station location for % Arabica is scheduled to open in 2022.

Toronto based Beauleigh Retail Consultants and Osmington have been working together through the creative process to conceptualize and implement the retail vision for Union Station. 

Over the past decade Beauleigh has strategized and handled the leasing at the property, creating a unique mix of retail and food tenants that aim to reflect Toronto’s diversity as a city. That includes a new food-focused market with a wide range of unique tenants.

Beauleigh says that the majority of the retail footprint at Union Station has been leased with committed tenants while some spaces remain available for lease.

Michael Betel of Cushman & Wakefield represents Arabica for its real estate selection in Canada.

Image: % Arabica

Founder & Creative Director Kenneth Shoji shared his story and philosophy on %.

“I truly need an amazing cup of coffee every day. This is why I founded % Arabica.”

“So to create the best coffee possible, I borrowed money and bought a coffee farm in Hawaii. I also started trading green beans from around the world and became the sole-exporter of a Japanese roasting machine along with the distributor of one of the best espresso machines in the world. Then in September 2014, I opened the flagship store in the beautiful historic city of Kyoto, Japan.”

“We only live once, so let’s explore the world we live in, set goals, and enjoy our time together over an amazing cup of coffee.”

In the United States, there is currently only one location for % Arabica in New York City.

A cross-Canada store expansion is planned for the brand with more details to follow.

Article Author

Dustin Fuhs
Dustin Fuhs
Dustin Fuhs is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail-Insider.com He is a digital entrepreneur and Retail Specialist with over 20 years experience. He is the founder of Steps to Magic, a travel website that focuses on Disney & Universal theme parks.

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