Montreal-based gourmet salad brand Mandy’s Gourmet Salads has secured a new location in the heart of downtown Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville area.
Rebecca Wolfe, who co-founded the brand with sister Mandy in 2004, confirmed the company is opening a new location in Yorkville in early Spring at 110 Bloor St W.
“We’re right next to Starbucks. Our back wall is joined with the new Saint Laurent and it’s a really great spot. We’re so excited. We’ve always wanted to be in Yorkville but the rent was too high when we were first looking at Toronto and now we feel like we’re ready.”
The company has 11 locations currently open in Montreal and Toronto as well as two ghost kitchens in Toronto.
Carmen Siegel of Cushman & Wakefield negotiated the lease on behalf of the Landlord ProWinko, alongside Philip Traikos from Cushman & Wakefield and Arlin Markowitz of CBRE’s Urban Retail Team. ProWinko Canada owns the retail podium of 110 Bloor Street West. Siegel & Traikos, and the CBRE Urban Retail Team co-listed the space, as well as the other retail spaces at 110 Bloor.
International design-build firm SAJO is currently building out the space (and has built the new Mandy’s locations since 2017).
Last year, it opened a new location in Ossington in Toronto. It will be opening another new store at The Well, a massive mixed-use development in downtown Toronto, in late fall.
“We’re under construction there already and things are underway,” said Wolfe.
“In Toronto we’ll have five locations,” said Wolfe of the brand’s expansion.
All other locations are in Montreal.
“We figured that we had sort of mastered the market in Montreal and the concept was really tried and tested after almost 20 years of business and we felt that we were finally ready to take it to the big city,” said Wolfe. “It was always a dream of ours to make it work in Toronto.
“We contemplated Ottawa first and then we figured if we can’t make it in Toronto then we can’t make it anywhere and that’s when we decided to open Ossington. There was really no pure salad concepts in Toronto at the time when we opened. There was a lot of places that served delicious salads but nothing that’s exclusive to just salads. So we were kind of the first in that segment of the industry when we opened there and it proved to be a good move because people really wanted just salads.
“I think disposable income is a little bit different in Toronto and people are willing to spend on healthy food. It’s just been a really successful experience thus far.”
I am thrilled to see our brand’s expansion into the vibrant Bloor-Yorkville area and The luxurious Well Residences of Toronto,” shared Vanessa Fracheboud, President, Mandy’s Salads. “These new locations represent a significant milestone in our journey. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, and it reaffirms our commitment to reimagining the salad experience through sensational spaces.
“Our future is bright, with more restaurants planned for Toronto and expansion into new markets in the west and U.S. At Mandy’s we go beyond food, redefining fast-fancy dining. Stay tuned for more!”
The first store in Toronto was the Ossington location in March 2022.
And more stores are planned in the Toronto area.
“Absolutely, we feel that we have so many in Montreal and Toronto is a much bigger market. If we can do that many in Montreal, then we can definitely do more in Toronto,” said Wolfe.
“We’re also looking to potentially open up a couple more in Montreal. We’re really investing in our team right now for scaling the company. So we’re setting up to open up a lot quicker and during the rollout of Toronto we’re also looking at a couple of locations that we’re going to do in Montreal as well.
“And following that we’re thinking of going out West. Maybe doing a couple in Vancouver and that’s the plan for the next couple of years. And then we’d love to go south of the border and we’re looking at places like Miami and New York.”
Wolfe said the brand is resonating with people. It’s not just about the food.
“As an owner and founder, I definitely think the food is best in class . . . I think it’s also the entire experience we provide. Everything from decor to music to incredible customer service. We really emphasize every aspect of the experience. I think it’s the whole combination,” she said.
“There’s not a lot of health concepts that are focused on the experience itself as well as the food.”
Wolfe and her sister Mandy opened Montreal’s first create-your-own salad bar in the back of a women’s clothing store in the Westmount area in 2004.