Nature’s Emporium, a fast-growing and leading family-run health food market, is opening its first location in downtown Toronto as it kicks off a multi-year expansion across Southern Ontario.
The brand, founded in 1993, will be Located at 1 York Street inside Menkes’ landmark One York development, the approximately 25,000-square-foot store is expected to open late 2022 to early 2023 and will employ approximately 100 people. The store will replace a Coppa’s grocery store that opened in March 2019 and shut last year.
Nature’s Emporium currently has locations in Newmarket, Maple, Burlington, and Woodbridge.
“We decided to seize the opportunity to bring a unique shopping experience to Toronto’s South Core District and Harbourfront communities,” said Joe D’Addario, Chief Executive Officer, Nature’s Emporium. “Our new location inside Shops at One York will offer exceptional all-organic produce, healthy handcrafted meals to-go, superior supplements, natural health and beauty essentials, and much more.
“We aim to be your ‘eat well and live better’, one-stop-market for food and health. Our team carefully selects and curates items intended to inspire healthy choices and healthier communities — this is the Nature’s Emporium difference and we’re beyond excited to bring it to the residents, office workers, and visitors in the area.
“We’ve been wanting to come to Toronto now for a number of years. A lot of people would message us and email us ‘can you please open up a store in Toronto’. We just weren’t able to find the right location until now. We found the right location. We think there’s a void in the city. There’s a void in the South Core and in the Harbourfront community here in Toronto. We’re here to fill that void. We’re super excited. It’s a very diverse community. Very active community. So we thought there was a need for a retailer or a supermarket that sold organic, as well supplements, health and beauty and everything to do with organic in a one-stop shop.
“The opportunity came here at the Shops at One York. We decided to seize upon that opportunity and finally get our number one store in Toronto and hopefully it will be the first of a few more to come in the city.” Shops at One York is the new name of the recently rebranded mixed-use building formerly known as One York.
D’Addario said the company has a couple of new locations coming, which are located more in the suburbs.
“We’re hoping to open up in the next five years at least 10 more stores. That’s the mandate that we’ve been given to do,” he said. “We have store number five here coming and six and seven coming soon and many more to come in the near future.
“It will go beyond the GTA. We’re hoping to be in more of the southern Ontario market and then hopefully after southern Ontario we’re hoping to expand even to Western Canada and Eastern Canada as well. But right now we’re focusing on GTA and the southern Ontario market.”
The company’s first location was in Newmarket.
“We’ve been in business for 30 years. Our mandate has always been to help educate people to live well and live a better, healthier, longer life,” said D’Addario. “And that’s been our mandate since day one. We’re hoping to spread it around to various communities around the GTA in the next few years.”
The story behind the launch of the company is an interesting one. D’Addario grew up in the business. His family has always been in the health food business since 1980. They started with a small health food store in Ajax. That store burned down years ago and after the fire it led D’Addario to Newmarket to start all over again.
“That was the genesis of Nature’s Emporium right after we lost our business to a fire. We opened up a health food store that sold vitamins, supplements, as well as bulk foods. It was a small 4,000-square-foot store and over the years it evolved and today it’s 50,000 square feet. It’s truly a health food emporium,” he said.
“It just evolved over the last 30 years as the business grew and more and more people were interested in living a healthier lifestyle, and more and more organic products came on board, we evolved with the business.”
D’Addario said that Nature’s Emporium is bringing a really unique shopping experience to Toronto’s South Core and Harbourfront communities, one that no one currently offers. The products are unique and the in-house products are something the company believes the community is going to be really excited to get their hands on because it brings another level of healthy eating on the go to these consumers. With everyone today looking to take a preventative and proactive approach to their wellness, the company is fulfilling a need that people want right now.
“We’re coming out of COVID and the city’s starting to come back to life again. We’re just looking forward to being part of the rejuvenation of the downtown and the South Core of the city and welcoming all the people that have been working in the offices, welcoming them back to work and welcoming them with a healthy alternative for their lunches and their dinners as well,” he said.
“We are thrilled to welcome Nature’s Emporium to downtown Toronto at the Shops at One York,” said Peter Menkes, President, Commercial/Industrial, Menkes Developments, in a statement. “Nature’s Emporium has a highly-tailored, unique offering in the natural supermarket and supplements category that we are certain will complement the retail offering at the complex and be a very popular amenity among its residents and office workers.”