Good Earth Coffeehouse Opens 1st Downtown Toronto Location with Planned GTA Expansion [Interview]

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Calgary-based Good Earth Coffeehouse has opened its first location in downtown Toronto.

The coffee chain is at the corner of Yonge and Wellesley Street, just steps from the busy TTC Station at Wellesley St. East.

“It’s really exciting for us. This is such a prime location,” said Nan Eskenazi, one of the brand’s founders.

“It’s a big step for us. It’s a showcase for us and I think it will be apparent really quickly in Toronto and in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) that we’re opening a variety of locations. This one is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Good Earth Coffeehouse at Yonge and Wellesley (Image: Good Earth)
Good Earth Coffeehouse at Yonge and Wellesley (Image: Good Earth)

Good Earth is a network of coffeehouses with over 50 locations throughout Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. The first Good Earth Coffeehouse opened in Calgary in 1991. Founders Eskenazi and Michael Going began with a desire to serve exceptional coffee and wholesome food, with a down-to-earth attitude. Good Earth has focused on creating a unique experience for customers through the combination of a distinctive coffeehouse environment with social and environmental responsibility. The company has grown through franchising and remains true to the original mission – to be a coffeehouse with good food.

“I think we can easily in the GTA get up to comfortably 10 or 12 that we feel are really great sites,” said Eskenazi. “Right now, just in Ontario alone in addition to the Yonge and Wellesley location, we just opened in a hospital in Mississauga. We’ve got another hospital in Mississauga about to open. So there’s two more in kind of the outlying GTA.

“We’ve got locations in Kitchener opening and then further afield out in Sudbury that will be opening. All of those are already under construction. So being able to begin with a flagship footprint in downtown (Toronto) and then working a few outer GTA locations and back into the downtown is our strategy. It’s very exciting.”

Image: Founders Nan Eskenazi and Michael Going

With the locations under construction, the brand is at 57-58 locations. There’s quite a few that are just about to open.

Ezkenazi said Good Earth has a location in Halifax in which it is looking for a franchise partner. It’s part of the Indigo/Chapters relationship the brand has developed. 

“We’re continuing to develop that relationship and a number of the Indigo/Chapters locations are the ones under construction,” she said.

“And a special shout out to our hospital development. It’s really awesome that we opened the Credit Valley hospital in Mississauga the same day we opened Yonge and Wellesley. We’re about to open at the sister hospital called Trillium. We’re opening in Sick Kids in downtown Toronto in about two to three months from now. And we’re opening out in Victoria in Victoria General Hospital as well in early summer.

“The institutional side of our company or personality is also growing quite strongly.”

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. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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