One of the best parts of summer is cottage weekends – the lake, the company, and – of course – the food! (And if you’re city-bound, try these Cottage In The City spots to get the cottage experience without the travel time!). While we’re not saying that you should buy ALL the cheese for your cottage weekend, we put our heads together and came up with a few essentials that we would bring if we had cottages or weekends to spare or even (gasp) both!
What is Fermentation?
Fermentation is a metabolic process wherein, in the absence of oxygen, sugar is consumed to produce chemical energy. This occurs in yeast and bacteria, and also in oxygen-starved muscle cells (as in the case of lactic acid fermentation). The organic acids made during fermentation give fermented foods their characteristic tang and provide a number of benefits to our digestive system and immune health – including the creation of probiotics. Continue reading “FERMENTATION, PROBIOTICS, and YOU!”
Bugs can be really annoying – that’s probably why they’re called bugs! While we all know the most effective way to avoid bugs (Stay inside! Use DEET!)… those are also either toxic, or just a pretty un-fun way to pass the summer. Luckily, there are a number of all-natural insect repellents and insect repellent products that we sell at The Sweet Potato, that will help you enjoy the summer un-bugged. Continue reading “Buzz Off!”
We were almost stood up by summer… but it seems like the best (and shortest) of the Canadian seasons has finally arrived. And with it: glorious sun! Here’s a rundown of the safest slathers for bare-skinned basking – aka, our mineral sunscreen FAQ.
Continue reading “All About Sunscreen”
Well, it’s been seven months since we moved into our swanky new digs at Vine Ave, and while it’s quite obvious how much prettier than our old location our new Vine Ave. location is,what may be less obvious is all the ways we’ve tried to make our Vine Ave location better for the world as part of our commitment to environmental stewardship.
If the holidays were happening on a desert island, these are the products we’d pack to be ready for anything, from surprise visits from Uncle Allan and Aunt Bonnie to setting a sweet holiday spread. If our island had a pantry (and a fridge, and a freezer, you get the picture), these are the essentials we’d stock them with.
Camino Hot Chocolate Mix
It’s like a hug in a mug, covered in chocolate! Camino’s Organic Fair Trade Hot Chocolate Mixes are on #SweetDeal for $2 off right now.
So Delicious Coconut Holiday Nog
Whoever thought to kick up already rich and creamy nog by making it coconut-based is seriously a genius. Bonus: your vegan friends will be chuffed! Try it this season at 2 for $7!
Gardein Holiday Roasts
You know how many vegetarian recipes promise to be loved by vegetarians and meat eaters alike? Well, this one actually is. Definitely treat your plant-based guests to one of these, and stuff a few extra in your freezer. They’re wicked easy to cook up once the leftovers are long gone and you find yourself craving holiday flavours.
Fiasco Holiday Gelato – Cranberry and Pear Sorbetto, Egg Nog
Tart cranberries. Slow poached pears. Rich, indulgent, frozen dessert. Egg. Nog. Need we say more? Grab a spoon at our soup counter… at least one of these babies ain’t making it home.
Alvéole Honey Tasting Box
What if you could taste the terroir of Toronto’s Junction, Leslieville, Cabbagetown, and Rosedale ‘hoods? Alvéole’s flight of premium grade honeys is that opportunity, each jar flavoured with the flora of this sweet city. This is a gift you’ll want to keep for yourself, but you *should* really use to flaunt how simultaneously cultured and cool you are.
Sweet Potato Kitchen Holiday Cookies
Listen, if Santa can’t get through them all, you’ll just have to step up and devour our holiday cookies. For the sake of the children. On #SweetDeal (3 for $5!), they are sweet satisfaction (and frankly, survival). So stock up. For Santa. Yeah. Santa.
Real Sweets Apple Pie
If you neither competed on nor auditioned for The Great Canadian Baking Show, you’re going to want to have one of these pies on-hand. You may or may not have the time or talent to produce a pie of this calibre… we ain’t judging. We’re just sayin’… these locally made, all natural, all butter crust pies (made with simple Non-GMO and organic ingredients to boot) are unreal.
Aura Cacia Bath Salt Packets
Guests are gone. Bath is drawn. Relax. Detox. Bring either the gelato or the pie into the tub with you…
One With Nature Soaps
As if you needed more reasons to buy these triple milled, Non-GMO, cruelty-free Dead Sea soap bars… these Sweet Stocking Stuffers are #SweetDeal right now!
Natural Factors Vitamin D Softgels
What does vitamin D do? The nutritionists at our new Natural Apothecary know. And our moms know. It’s so important that mom nags us about it every winter, and stuffed our stockings with it. As grown ups, it’s our responsibility to carry on the tradition. Here’s to the things we know are good for us… but don’t quite know why. And here’s to $4.99/bottle on #SweetDeal, too!
Do you love smoked cheddar, and want to use it in everything? We’re with you! Which is why we prepared this Smoked Cheddar Recipe Roundup! Please help us by sharing your favourite recipes!
Smoked Cheddar Recipe Roundup
2. For a brunch worthy of celebration, whip up this Apple, Sausage and Smoked Cheddar Breakfast Casserole from @thekitchn.
image by Laura Volo, via thekitchn.com
3. Twice-baked Potatoes with Smoked Cheddar and Thyme turn a simple side dish into a main attraction. From @RockRecipes.
Oh my goodness, it’s really happening. Like… really happening. Our new store, built into a gorgeous, 100-odd-year-old building at 108 Vine Avenue, is going to open in just 30 days.
We’ve been working on this move for five full years. To the month. As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s been a long ride, and there’s been more than a few times in the past few years where we’ve wondered if The Sweet Potato would ever make it to our beautiful new home.
But we’re not wondering that anymore. Over the last four months, stuff’s been getting really real and it’s all so exciting! We’ve never built a new store like this, and figure probably you haven’t either, and so we thought we’d try and give you a little backstage tour of what our construction this summer has been like.
Since things really stepped up in May, we’ve had 30 to 60 amazing folks piling into our beautiful space every day. The team we’ve hired has a superstar grocery track record – over the last thirteen years they’ve built about 15 Longo’s stores (check out our fave one at Imperial Plaza) – and though everyone told us construction would be the hardest part of this whole thing, it’s actually been a total dream.
To give you just a little taste, here are a few of our favourite backstage details:
So one of the things we learned in this massive renovation is that concrete is usually 6 to 12 inches deep. We had to drill down through it to be able to install proper plumbing for the fridges and freezers, and everyone was expecting a pretty breezy job. Turns out when you’re working with a stunning, old building, sometimes it’s a different story! The concrete was between one and six feet deep in some places, requiring a special super fancy concrete-basher – thank goodness for this awesome dude and his amazing power drill!
The unexpected thrilling part is that, now that the plumbing is all done, the floors of the new store are a mix of new, old, and really old beautiful polished concrete!
Did you know that old metal beams (like those on the original ceiling of our awesome new store) need to be seriously fireproofed? For a full week during construction, the inside of 108 Vine Ave. looked like a haunted house, with giant ghostly sheets of plastic draped over everything as the crew covered the beams with cementitious spray.
When they’re drying, the beams look like they’re caked with two inches of icing, but that spray does the super important job of ensuring that if there’s ever a fire, the beams won’t melt – which we’re all pretty pleased about!
This is one of our favourite hidden gems of the store – something you’ll never see, but we think is one of the coolest (pun intended) things about the new space. This bad-boy micromanages all of our fridges and freezers, recycling hot and cold water from the massive refrigeration system to help keep the store cool in the summer and comfy in the winter! How great is that?!
We love swanky gadgets, but what we love most about it is it’s space-aged energy efficiency, which is super important to us given our commitment to environmental stewardship. Check out this gigantic and mysterious machine:
So… when do we get to see the place?
Yeah, yeah, we know!
But for real, while it’s been super fun to show off a bit of the magic, behind-the-scenes work we’ve been doing to turn our new home into something that will do you all proud, what we really can’t wait to do is show you the finished product!
Come spin down the aisles (you’ll be able to pass your fellow shoppers will a fully loaded shopping cart, or stroller, we promise!) and celebrate with us when we open on September 21st, and at our community party on September 24th. We can’t wait to show you what we have in store!