Foodie Alert ... Best Cookbook Store in Toronto

My son opened his birthday present from his sister.  It was
wrapped in red-orange paper and tied with a dark blue 
grosgrain ribbon.  Such a beautiful presentation and 
the books inside the wrapping were a treat to read.
As I am oohing and ahhing over the gift, both of the kids
said "Mom, just walk 4 blocks south from your house
to find the Good Egg."

I did and I was besotted with this small neighborhood
 bookstore.  I had to meet the owner.
Mika Bareket set up the Good Egg over 5 years ago 
 and the store is part of a trendy neighborhood
called Kensington Market.   The area is a foodie
haven.  A perfect place for the Good Egg.

The lady with the red scarf? .....  that's Mika. 
Mika learned about book retail after having spent
several years learning the ropes in other bookstores around
Toronto.  She has always had an interest in food and to combine
a foodie bookstore and Kensington Market seemed like a great idea.

Mika calls the Good Egg a food lifestyle store.  There are your
usual cookbooks but also books on restaurants, food
travel experiences, and other trendy ideas related to food.
At one time, many of the independent bookstores lost ground to the large
chains like Borders and Barnes and Noble.   "You've Got Mail" was a
 movie about a small children's bookstore
closing because of a major chain moving in it's neighborhood.

Now, even the chain stores are under pressure from e-books and an
industry that is going from print to digital books.  Tables have turned.
As people go to on-line book purchases or e-books,  the chains like
are having to readdress the market place.

Some indie bookstores are starting to come back but they
are carving a niche with unique books, events and as a
place for locals to gather.  Unlike the chains, the smaller
bookstores don't have to have the large diverse inventories
and thus the high overheads.  If they are plugged into
their clients' interests and needs, they are getting in return
customer loyalty.  Foodies and their love of all things
eatible are huge right now  and the
Good Egg ....  definitely on trend.

Mika also carries a lovely assortment of kitchen
tchotches which makes the Good Egg a great place to shop
for the foodie gifts.  A number of their products are
made by local artisans as well as Creuset and Staub.
Little corners of the store are set up like you may have
walked into Mika's kitchen. 
Mika says her strength in this business comes from her
hardworking and loyal staff.  They are encouraged to come
up with new ideas in books, events and classes.

Mika also pulls in local chefs and sommeliers to
teach specialty food courses. 
I truly loved this little bookstore.  The books are so 
unique and beautifully crafted.  Some of the new
self-publishing companies are creating very arty
and gorgeously presented books.

I remember a good friend of mine who is a caterer
say that her idea of relaxing is sitting down with a glass
of wine and reading cookbooks.  The Good Egg just
takes this activity to a new level.

Here are some of the books Mika has recommended
in the last several months.
The Art of the Restaurateur
Nicholas Lander
This Financial Times Restaurant critic spills the beans about 20
well-known restaurants talking to owners about the joys and
challenges of running their businesses.  
Take Away
Jean-Francois Mallet
This book has beautiful photographs of delicious Take Away
food from around the world.  Sounds like a pictorial
travelog like Anthony  Bourdain's "No Reservations." 
Odd Bits
Jennifer McLagan
This author has taught a class at the Good Egg.
Mika calls Jennifer Canadian's Julia Child.
This is Jennifer's best book.  Not for
the faint of heart but intriguing.....

Visit the Good Egg website and if you live in
Toronto, take a trip to Kensington Market and
support this unique indie bookstore.
267 Augusta Avenue 

Pillow Ladies:

Rose writes books in The Muses of Amour
series .... just not foodie books.
She may change her mind if
she visited The Good Egg.

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