Fiesta Farms purchases the land it sits on


Published:

Monica Gupta, chair of Friends of Christie Pits Park group, poses in front of the beloved neighbourhood grocer

Image: CJ Baek

For nearly 30 years, neighbourhood favourite Fiesta Farms has been at its location at 200 Christie Street. Now, after a successful negotiation to buy the property, it will remain there for many more years to come. 

Fiesta Farms confirmed that the vendor, Essex Properties Inc., sold the four properties that make up the 2.10 acre site, to Salina Properties, the store’s parent company, for $28,500,000. 

In June, residents noticed the advertised sale of the property where Fiesta Farms has been a tenant since 1989, and the conjecture began: would the independent, family-run store have to relocate? The business took to their blog to let customers know they held first right of refusal on third-party offers and hoped to soon own the property themselves.

News of the sale was first tweeted the morning of Aug 23, which Fiesta Farms confirmed with Post City shortly after. 

Monica Gupta, a 20-year resident and chair of Friends of Christie Pits Park group, was pleased to hear the popular grocer would be staying.  

“This is great news for Fiesta Farms and our community! It's such a pleasure to know a family-run business can be successful. Especially in these days of 'big grocery' chains and box stores,” said Gupta.

Tracey Virgona, Fiesta Farms’ store manager and daughter of the owner, said the outpouring of support they have received from the community has been overwhelming. 

“This puts the cap on a thirty-year dream of a visionary entrepreneur and his family to secure the opportunity to continue our work in the city we serve. Joe Virgona started with a simple idea and a big heart: treat people like you'd like to be treated,” said Virgona. 

Gupta called the store “a unique shopping experience,” and “a throwback to that kind of place you walk in and everyone knows your name,” that she said doesn’t exist anymore.

Councillor Mike Layton is also a fan, and said he shops at the store “a minimum of three times a week.” He calls Fiesta Farms a “food oasis” which has become a neighbourhood institution. 

The concern over the sale had been third-party developers taking over the property, which is zoned as residential. Layton had explained that, from a purely planning perspective, “You’re not likely to get a high density on the site,” given the location is not that close to transit and isn’t on a main street.

Virgona said they were grateful to play their part in the community, who seem to support their ideals. 

“At a time when five companies own most of the brands you find on grocery store shelves, exposing more people to healthier, locally grown, independently owned, and culturally appropriate options has never been more important,” said Virgona.

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

First Look: Cheesecake Factory gives diehard fans a local outpost at Yorkdale Shopping Centre

First Look: Cheesecake Factory gives diehard fans a local outpost at Yorkdale Shopping Centre

Whether overtly or just secretly, Torontonians are buzzing with excitement for The Cheesecake Factory’s Canadian debut at Yorkdale Mall on November 21, 2017.
Posted 3 days ago
Thornhill deli gets new life at Yonge and St. Clair as Zelden’s Deli and Desserts

Thornhill deli gets new life at Yonge and St. Clair as Zelden’s Deli and Desserts

Irene and Shelley Zelden recently opted to return to their roots with Zelden’s Deli and Desserts.
Posted 4 days ago
Eat This Minute: Yonge ’n’ Blythwood’s newest resident Koek Koek is both healthful and stylish

Eat This Minute: Yonge ’n’ Blythwood’s newest resident Koek Koek is both healthful and stylish

Bowls are another main draw. The Obi Wan Bulgogi ($15) has been the top seller to date. (We’re pretty sure that name has helped steer its path to popularity.) Beginning with a bed of black rice, the meal-in-a-bowl is loaded up with purple cabbage, roasted broccolini and a poached egg.
Posted 1 week ago
First Look: Howard Dubrovsky returns to Toronto restaurants with Bar Sybanne

First Look: Howard Dubrovsky returns to Toronto restaurants with Bar Sybanne

It seems Toronto restaurateurs are still enamored with Mediterranean cuisine and Ossington Avenue. The latest addition is Bar Sybanne in the former home of Yours Truly, near the intersection with Dundas West.
Posted 2 weeks ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module