Living on the Danforth and not wandering into The Big Carrot Community is a near impossible feat. Located near Chester station, this is a not just a natural food market, but a community that looks after its Greektown clients, ensuring they eat well and live healthier lives.
At its conception in 1983, The Big Carrot Community was a novel concept: It gave ownership to its founding workers and pushed hard to make it the unique and successful business that it is today. The Big Carrot Community is essentially a classic business story–––a group of entrepreneurs pooled their resources, created a strong business plan, and built a business that will likely last for generations to come. Its success led to the creation of the Carrot Common, a larger space housing many stores devoted to healthy and environmentally beneficial lifestyle choices, in which the Big Carrot is also now situated.
The Big Carrot Community focuses on the sale of organic food and vegetables, and also offers other supplementary products that ensure healthy living, including natural medicines, body care, clothing, snacks, ready-made meals, desserts, and household items. But beyond just selling products, the Big Carrot Community also educates their buyers about the nutritional benefits of organic products. Unlike other organic stores, the Big Carrot provides in-house nutritionists who are available during store hours to help customers make intelligent purchases.
The Big Carrot Community’s celebration of all things healthy is also presented in the form of events, each centered on wellness and the celebration of seasonal produce–––summer celebrates fresh fruits and veggies, while fall showcases colourful pumpkins from all over the country. The events also focus on relaxation and stress-management techniques. Danforth residents have embraced these events for years.
The Big Carrot Community also sponsors small businesses throughout Ontario who grow organic health foods. Their generosity assists many businesses who would otherwise struggle to find their way into the mainstream market. This initiative helps shine a light on small-scale growers.
The Big Carrot Community holds a special place in the heart of Danforth residents and––now as they expand to expand to the Beaches–––they plan to spread their message to a wider community.
Carrot Common via Wikimedia Commons
Rucha Devarchetti spends most of her afternoons wandering around Greektown and the Danforth area. Her quest: searching for the most delicious food and the most mesmerizing architecture. She lives and breathes words, in the form of books, articles and even catalogues. Her other passions include food and petting various dogs. She is still looking for a sign of her favourite mythical creature–––her own dragon.