Meet the newest businesses to "Join OEV!"
Updated: Feb 2
The Join OEV program is an initiative to bring new businesses to the Old East Village
for Londoners and beyond to enjoy and reduce the commercial vacancy in the
neighbourhood. The program was the City of London and delivered in partnership with the London Economic Development Corporation and Small Business Centre and
Mainstreet London. The initial goal of the program was to bring two new businesses to
Dundas St., however, the program led by Program Specialist, Youssef Sadaki, brought
four new business owners to OEV! The new additions range from a variety of
sectors—retail, clothing and local goods, food and drink, and small business
consultancy. Read on to learn more about the program and the new Old East Village
The London City Store is a new retail space by London Inc. Magazine featuring local
makers and small businesses. The store fits right into Old East Village well with its
exposed brick and vintage décor. As Gord Delamont, the owner of London Inc
Magazine and the London City Store explains, “Bringing the concept of the London
CityStore to fruition was in no small way a direct result of the assistance and support
from the OEV BIA and its vacancy reduction program. From finding a perfect location to
funding, logistic, and market research assistance, it was a game changer for us, and
without it, I think the concept would probably be still sitting on the sidelines. It helped
bring a longstanding vision ― a space that fuses our media studio with a retail store
supporting only local creators, makers, and entrepreneurs ― to reality.” Find everything
from clothing, houseware items and ceramics, art prints and more local items.
Have some clothing in need of some mending? There is a new tailor coming to the
neighbourhood for your clothing repairs and custom needs. Located at 757 Dundas
Street, Nakış Embroidery and Alteration is owned by an experienced tailor, Ammar Al
Saghir, and also houses Nagla Medni a local fashion designer who developed her style
and vast experience in Sudan. Nakış is here for your custom clothing needs and
alterations. As Ammar states, “Join OEV helped me return to my profession. For more
than five years I have been in a construction career while considering myself an artist.
As a refugee, it was difficult to start my own business. There were lots of barriers,
including the business system. But with the BIA’s support, my dream is a reality now.”
Check out Nakış for alterations on a wedding or evening gown, suits, custom
embroidery, and more.
The OEV Accelerator is a small business support service led by Rashad Ayyash, meant
to be an incubator space and work area for new and upcoming businesses. Located at
696 Dundas St, this property long-vacant will provide services such as marketing,
accounting, strategic planning and more for new businesses and small businesses
looking to grow.
Wisdom Café Teashop and Japanese Creperie has been a long-time staple in the
neighbourhood, offering 156 loose-leaf teas! Wisdom, as it is known in the Village, closed during COVID. The former owners moved on to new adventures but thankfully after over two years, the cafe will re-open its doors under the new owner, TaraLee Sanderson. TaraLee brings a wealth of experience with catering and offers a new menu along with the loose-leaf tea you know and love.
The Join OEV Program has also helped support businesses looking to expand to into
adjacent vacant spaces, such as the Mockingbird Bar, which has broadened their
offering to include a Dundas facing front seating area! Drop by for a night out and enjoy
a specialty cocktail surrounded by classy prohibition-era inspired décor. Plus there is a
new food offering coming to The East Village Market, located at 630 Dundas! Also
supported through Join OEV an upcoming business, Unique Choice Catering will offer street food from various locations around the world for both eat in and take out. This one-of-a-kind spot will be open in the New Year so stay tuned.
Make sure to come to Old East Village to check out these new, upcoming, and
expanded spaces on Dundas St and shop local!