Baked goods, coffee, and social entrepreneurs

Yesterday, upon arrival in Toronto I went to three awesome places.

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1. St. Phillips Bakery, Maple, Ontario

St. Phillips is our family favorite for Italian bakeries. My family has been going there since I was very young. It’s baked goods and veal sandwiches are tasty and authentic Italian. Inside there is a deli, large baked desserts section, bread section, espresso bar area, and a full selection of panini’s, pizzas, salads, etc.-there is also a lovely seating area. In the summer they have exceptional Gelato too!


We often order their cakes for birthdays and eat lunch their after I get off the plane.



Photo of pastries we bought.



My favorite is the location in Maple on Major Mackenzie, but their other location  on Rutherford Road is almost identical.


2. Sam James Coffee Bar (SJCB)

By recommendation of Matthew Bourassa a talented barista at Just Us! Coffeehouse, Wolfville, I headed down to the Annex to check out this coffee shop.

When you first enter you notice that there are only three stools in the place and no washroom- the place is built for efficiency/commuters and has lots of standing room. One person takes your order and Sam pulls espresso shots. I had a macchiato (espresso shot ‘marked with milk, not the Starbucks version) and my parents had cappuccinos. Sam put incredible care into every shot he pulled and all three drinks had impeccable latte art (see below).

The espresso came through the milk nicely and had lush blueberry notes. I am very content and would reccomend SJCB to anyone wanting to get a great cup of coffee in Toronto.

It should be noted that it was just before close and 10 people showed up behind us to order drinks. Sam James Coffee Bar definately have a lot of fans, in fact when I mentioned we went to SJCB for coffee while at the Local Buttons, Anne (Co-Founder of Local Buttons) said that it was her favorite coffee spot in Toronto.

3. Local Buttons- Trunkshow

Local buttons is a social enterprise started by two social entrepreneurs. Namely, Consuelo McAlister and Anne Pringle.

“Co-founders Consuelo and Anne are innovators and environmentalists working to incorporate ethics, environmentalism, human rights and fair labour standards into global capitalism. Local Buttons strives to expose and make readily available ethical alternative purchasing markets within the Toronto community, in essence creating avenues for conscientious consumption” – Excerpt from Local Buttons

A couple of months ago, Anne and Consuelo went to Haiti, formed a partnership with INDEPCO (a Haitian textile and embroidery co-op), designed and worked with tailors to create vests out of recycled suits and dress shirts, and are now selling them in the Toronto market.

Yesterday, Anne and Consuelo hosted a trunk sale to sell their line of vests and I was lucky enough to acquire one. They are classy and elegant, but have edge and can be sported as “streetstyle.”

Their line of vests will soon be available in the Distillery District. (See video below for details)

For now, they have a website and are also available through Twitter and Facebook 

Here is an interview featuring Anne and Consuelo on Global: