Yours to discover // The Docket

Buying local isn’t just about groceries. Here are some other amazing products made right here in Ontario

By Samantha Yaffe

On Tuesday October 15th, 2013



Old school
Crown Shaving Co. founder Dino Caracciolo grew up sweeping hair at his father’s  barbershop, part of a family franchise that started in 1955. In 2006, the chemical-sensitive  barber developed a manly collection of luxe grooming products, using the finest natural, non-irritating ingredients. Hand-bottled and packaged in Toronto, these modern-man formulas (packed with old world charm) prove barber knows best. Get groomin’ with Supreme Glide Pre Shave Formula ($26), Shave Cream ($30) and Soothing After Shave Lotion ($20).

New school
Exfoliate, moisturize and replenish your skin from neck to toe with ruggedly sweet  “desserted island” smoothing brown sugar body scrub ($32) from local bath-and-body company Cake Beauty. Founded by Toronto beauty junkie Heather Reier — who started it all by mixing and mashing ingredients in her own kitchen — Cake’s award-winning collection is known for its nourishing recipes, delicious scents and pretty packaging.


Crafted spirits
Why go Russian when some of our best spirits are handcrafted, filtered and bottled at 66  Gilead Distillery, just off the 401 in quaint Prince Edward County? Produced in small  batches using a custom-made copper still, Canadian Pine Vodka ($39) and Loyalist Gin ($44) are LCBO faves. For local liquor enthusiasts, it’s worth the two-hour drive to the historic distillery in PEC for a tour and tasting of the company’s full collection of true north vodkas, rum and more. Insider info: select products are only sold at the distillery’s retail store near Bloomfield.

Turning Japanese
Toronto may be known for a lot of great things, but locally brewed sake was never one of them until the 2011 arrival of the Ontario Spring Water Sake Company. Running a retail store, tasting counter and brewery in the Distillery District, the company mixes Northern Ontario spring water using a traditional Japanese method — the “junmai” (pure rice) style — to prepare four distinct varieties of its IZUMI brand sake, including signature fave Nama Nama ($13). Sold in-store, at the LCBO and at many fine Toronto restaurants.


Creature comforts
From Martha Stewart to Elton John, celebs have gone gaga for Toronto-born kiddy-swag-co Cate & Levi. Founded by Windsor Law grad Josh Title, this eco-fab collection of intricately handcrafted puppets, stuffed animals, blankets and more is made almost entirely from locally sourced reclaimed wool (this is where fine, discarded sweaters are reborn). And you’ll feel extra good knowing that a percentage of the company’s profits are donated to kids in need. One favourite is the Moose Animal Plaque ($45), also available in  elephant and lion.

Cool play
Mini mioche — with locations on Queen West and in the Distillery — has become the  boutique of choice for discerning mipsters (mama hipsters) with its fabulously Canadian trove of design-savvy kid and baby stuff. Among its collection of organic fashion, décor, fun and functional mini-must-haves shines the artful toys of Toronto design shop Fidoodle, the purest, pampering body products from Toronto-based Matter Company and mini mioche’s own line of super-soft basics, neutrals and layering pieces. For fall, no frilly-free child should go without a Lush Hoody (from $52) that comes in big kid and grown up sizes too.