This teeny, crafty urban storefront in Moss Park is reopening this week—and it delivers
Merchant of York is stocked with only the best local and international artisanal wares
Randy Spearing, a former urban planner, and his partner, Michael Zhang, a graphic designer, started printing artful, highly detailed black-and-white city maps out of their Calgary apartment a few years ago. The business took off, and they soon moved to Toronto, where they became regulars on the maker’s market scene while stocking their sliver of a shop in Moss Park with the work of local artisans they’d met along the way.
When the pandemic hit, only 10 per cent of their business was online, so they closed their doors early to strategize. They sanitized everything in the store and relaunched right away with same-day delivery—which they figured they could handle themselves—hoping for a few orders from local regulars. To their surprise, sales took off, and they found themselves zigzagging the city for a host of new clients, dropping off potted plants and boxes of CXBO chocolates all the way out to the west end and up to midtown. They’ve now hired additional help to handle the deliveries. Their storefront reopens on July 2, but they plan to continue their delivery service for customers who aren’t looking to step outside just yet. 181 Queen St. E., 647-343-6405, merchantofyork.com
A few of their current favourite things…