We got the chance to catch up with the founder of Toronto Market Co, Melissa Zuker. Her online company is helping Toronto foodies and general shoppers find more of the pop up markets we hold and cherish so dearly in this day and age, and more importantly here in Toronto.
What is your business called and what does it do?
I am the founder of Toronto Market Co, an online destination to discover 100+ local artisanal food vendors. It is run like a weekly market where you can shop your favourite goodies online from a variety of vendors across the city with one easy checkout and one easy pick-up/delivery. Toronto Market Co. features the best local goodies in Toronto and showcases new up and coming small-batch vendors. Some of my current favourites are Nutella Ice Cream from Booyah, Hot Honey Pizza from Good Wheel Pizza, the most delicious take-home kits from restaurants like Marben’s famous John’s Burger. Oh man and the Randy’s Take Out: Beef Patties – 12 Pack!
What made you want to do this work?
As an entrepreneur I have always been passionate about supporting local businesses and creating avenues for small businesses to showcase their goods and connect with customers. We started in 2014, creating amazing pop-up markets and animating urban spaces in the downtown Toronto core, such as the Union Station Holiday Market. With the onset of Covid, we pivoted our business from in-person markets to online, yet we stayed true to our origins and have continued to curate the trendiest hyper local items our city has to offer.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
Our online market Toronto Market Co. (torontomarket.co) was a great solution during covid when many vendors could not participate in outdoor markets or did not have their own websites to connect with customers and make sales. What we learned is that people were really craving interesting and new local options. We have become a trusted curated destination to discover the best foodie finds in the city. We love being able to provide our customers with these amazing market finds from the comfort of their home.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
We cater to anyone who loves delicious local food! Everything is made fresh from the vendor for the customer! Currently, we offer delivery in the GTA and can ship certain items across Canada.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
The business model is designed to work for our small batch local vendors. Toronto Market Co. takes care of all the marketing, packing, consolidating and delivery. We offer lots of flexibility for vendors so they can adjust availability based on product availability or accommodating new items. We operate like other retailers as we buy in bulk and sell at MSRP.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
What is so great about Toronto is that there are so many entrepreneurs and small business owners! We are everywhere!
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
The best question to ask is “Why should I make a purchase at TorontoMarket.co?”
A. We pride ourselves in offering the best Toronto has to offer. If you want to discover new items, support your local makers and enjoy really great quality foods (and service!)…then TorontoMarket.co is for you!
What is the best part about what you do? What is the most challenging part?
The best part about what we do is being able to work with so many amazing local entrepreneurs. We all pour our hearts and soul into our small businesses, and I think this really shines when customers receive their orders. People feel all the love that went into these products.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
I recently came across this joke online and I love it. “Believe in yourself! If cauliflower can become pizza, you can do anything.”
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?
Love watching the hustle of This is J. This brand is amazing and creates super comfortable and stylish fashion accessories that come to life through unique and vibrant prints. Their pjs are my absolute favourite!