Local Commerce Company ‘GoodGood’ Launching Pop-Up Cafes and Wine Bars in Toronto and then Nationally: Interview

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GoodGood, a local commerce company that brings together curated items, local hard-to-find favourites, and specialty snacks through instant delivery and retail, has raised $6.5 million to fuel its continued growth.

Founded by Robert Kim and Kris Linney, GoodGood’s goal is to make it easier for neighbourhoods to access their favourite makers and artisans. The company has opened a pop-up cafe in the King West neighbourhood in Toronto with plans, to be announced in early 2022, to open a series of cafes and wine bars in various Toronto neighbourhoods.

“We want to bring these innovative products that makers have poured their heart and soul into directly to local neighbourhoods that otherwise might never have heard of them,” said Kim, co-founder and CEO of GoodGood. “Torontonians shouldn’t have to resort to Amazon or scouring multiple locations across the city to get great products. Canada, and more locally, Toronto, has a huge amount of entrepreneurs making incredible items, and we can’t wait to showcase them.

Image: GoodGood
The GoodGood team. From left to right, Leon Chiu, Kris Linney, Rob Kim, Stephen Young, and Shannon Mulligan (CNW Group/GoodGood)

“GoodGood is a cafe designed for discovery of the best food, drinks as well as gift items from local craft makers. You can come into one of our cafes in person or get our products delivered to you in under an hour when you place an order through the web or our mobile app that will be published in Q1 of next year. And our team is currently working on expanding across Toronto by summer of 2022 followed by a more broader expansion across Canada after that.”

GoodGood’s mission is to help neighbourhoods discover specialty treats, niche beverages, and ‘your next oh-my-god-I’m-obsessed favourite craft items’. The local commerce initiative will incorporate a physical presence and an online business.

The concept started in the summer of this year. The name of the company “just spoke” to the owners when they heard it. It represents the selection of food that the company offers as well as the socially responsible stance that many of the makers and customers have.

“It wasn’t anything specific but I would say given everything it just fit very well,” said Kim.

GoodGood (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Image: GoodGood

The funding to support growth comes from Golden Ventures, BKCM, Tet Ventures, Maple Ventures, and Canadian angel investors including Farhan Thawar, VP of Engineering at Shopify, and Chris Rickett, co-founder of Digital Main Street.

“Globally, we’ve seen the concept of localized quick commerce and instant delivery take off,” said Ameet Shah, general partner, Golden Ventures. “Rob and Kris are, without question, the best team to bring this concept to Canada. They have a demonstrated passion for local commerce, and are on a mission to bring a truly curated retail experience to Toronto.”

Kim and Linney launched the concept with help from Google, Ritual, and Shopify.

For the first time in Toronto, according to the company, locally curated coffees, specialty beverages, one-of-a-kind healthy snacks (and some not-so-healthy snacks), plus everyday favourites will be offered via instant delivery (60 minutes or less) to neighbouring customers. It said the same/next day delivery is available throughout Toronto, with instant delivery range quickly expanding.

GoodGood at 410 Adelaide Street West (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

The GoodGood products will be available in brick-and-mortar locations, with local cafés and wine bars carrying items specific to their neighbourhood.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in commerce in general throughout my career. In the last good part of the decade when I spent time at Google and Ritual I really learned about the power of local and the community. When I realized that during the pandemic the industry or the market of the craft food and drink is quite large and it’s still growing rapidly fast, yet Canada has this little bit of lack in terms of providing education, discovery and access to these products, the opportunity spoke to me,” said Kim.

“There’s a huge demand for it on the consumer side and it’s not really easy to get these products in Canada especially in a local community setting.”

The first location is at 410 Adelaide Street West in Toronto.

“We have a few more locations that’s currently being worked on that will open in Q1 and Q2 of next year,” said Kim. “I would say before the summer of next year we’re looking at something like five to 10 locations across Toronto, making sure that we have good coverage in downtown east, downtown west as well as the actual downtown,” said Kim.

“We’re looking to expand in midtown as well as some of the other areas in Toronto first.”

GoodGood at 410 Adelaide Street West (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
Honey’s Premium Plant Ice Cream at GoodGood (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
City Seltzer at GoodGood (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
Come Back Snacks at GoodGood (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)
Propeller Coffee at GoodGood (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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