Spotlighting Women-led Businesses in OEV Pt. 2
Starting on International Women’s Day, the Old East Village BIA is taking time to specifically highlight all the incredible woman-led or female-fronted businesses and organizations along Dundas in OEV. In part one of this series, Adi Berardini listed so many wonderful businesses in various sectors. Though extensive in itself, there are even more female-fronted businesses in OEV that help their customers and patrons eat, shop, and play in this neighbourhood, everyday! See below for further listings of all the ladies whose passion and dedication contribute to making this neighbourhood the unique and inviting place it is.
A must see location in OEV is Somerville 630, rebranded and managed by Kathy Navackas. The space features a rotating art gallery, public seating and variety of fantastic businesses like Ruth Noonan Acting Coach and restaurants like Immanuel’s Kitchen. This eatery is a Mexican food restaurant run by Ester Garcia who has been in business for 10 years but opened at 630 Dundas in the fall of 2020 offering traditional Mexican eats with veggie, vegan, and keto options available.
So many of the incredible, female-fronted restaurants in OEV were highlighted in part one of this series but additional imperative mentions continue! Having become an OEV and London staple, Artisan Bakery is a family business owned by Paulette Elie featuring the baking magic of her son, Kaleb. If you’ve never been, be sure to get there and try out the amazing offerings such as almond croissants, several artisan bread flavours, plus more sweet and savoury treats!
There are no shortage of dine-in and takeout meal options in OEV but if it’s grocery items you’re looking for, you’re covered! Stop by T&C Mart run by Ming Tong who offers produce, dry goods, frozen foods and so much more at her store in the heart of the Village. Or if grocery delivery is more your speed, explore the plethora of local and organic grocery items offered through On The Move Organics which is co-owned by Eliie Cook (who also co-owns neighbourhood fave The Root Cellar which is closed temporarily at present).
As mentioned in part one, there are so many retail establishments in OEV where women have turned their talents and passions into opportunities for people to shop locally for their daily needs. Some more ladies who need to be mentioned include Liliana Sanchez of Totally Unique Custom Design. Liliana is a goldsmith and jewelry designer who has been in the village since 2018 and currently sells her wares out of Wisdom Cafe at 610 Dundas.
One of the most recent additions to the Dundas corridor is Lunah Life, an all natural beauty product company featuring retail and production on site that’s run by Nicole Kirkpatrick. Be sure to check out the brand new storefront at 1008 Dundas!
If you’re shopping for your furry friends or looking to offer them a little pampering well then, you guessed it, OEV has you covered. Be sure to visit The Cat’s Bark, owned and operated by Adrienne Devost, which will meet all your pet’s needs accompanied by the extensive knowledge of Adrienne and her team. As well, if your four-legged family member needs a post-lockdown haircut as badly as everyone else these days, be sure to check out Satomi Chandler’s operation, Tokyo Style Grooming or make your way down to Hairy Barkers and see Barb Hamon, who has been grooming pets since 1975!
There are many businesses that traverse categories in OEV and among those are several personal care establishments. Some of these female-fronted, service based businesses include Soul One Tattoo that opened in the summer of last year and is owned and operated by Randi Scott who has been working in the village for several years. As well, be sure to check out ED Hair and Tattoo run by Erin Fernandes and Dana Carnegie for all your personal care needs.
Speaking of post-lockdown haircuts… OEV also boasts a slew of woman-run hair and beauty businesses that offer services and retail components. Included here are Elle Reve Salon, run by Melissa Pinnell, Love Alchemy Lifestyle Boutique and Organic Hair Salon, managed by Angie Castanza, and Adex Beauty Salon run by Yemi Ousalon. Within this realm, there are some OEV veteran women and businesses that have been contributing to the diverse charm of the area for many decades. These include Anna Balanovic’s Mona Lisa Salon and London staple, K-Laba Hair and Beauty Supplies, managed by Shurema at their OEV location.
Another new place to check in OEV is the long awaited Paradigm Spirits Co. which opened in November of 2020. Tucked into the courtyard at 100 Kellogg next to Powerhouse Brewing Co., Paradigm is a specialty spirits distillery and cocktail bar. This location was founded by a team of women with company president Michelle Dubus at the helm. Stop in today and treat yourself to all the amazing things the women of Paradigm, and many others at 100 Kellogg have artfully created.
Non Profit Organizations
Last but certainly not least, we’d like to highlight the female lead nonprofits in OEV that contribute so very much to the area and do so very much for their respective patrons. In addition to the previously mentioned neighbourhood mainstay London Clay Art Centre, we have LIFE*SPIN which is overseen by Executive Director and Co-Founder Jacqueline Thompson and is a community space for low-income families that offers resources, supports, housing, and a variety of programs for those in need.
As well, The Unity Project, overseen by Chuck Lazenby, is a homelessness relief organization that offers peer-supported services and shelter spaces that have been strengthening the community for the past 20 years.
On International Women’s Day, and everyday, we’d like to thank the incredible women who make OEV what it is, in every sector, because through their contributions this neighbourhood is a more vibrant, inviting, inclusive, and desirable place for residents and visitors alike. Although this series covers the area of the OEV BIA, there are many incredible entrepreneurs in the Old East Village community as a whole.