The Lucky Penny General Store
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Par Collaborateur PJ

Advocates of the Community

When owner Debbie Rix approached Tracey Pritchard—a former caterer—with the concept of creating a community-centred general store, Tracey immediately hopped on board. After living in Roncesvalles—an area known for its independent green grocers—she was surprised by the absence of good quality corner stores in the Trinity-Bellwoods community. Debbie had recently acquired a corner lot near the park and wanted to create a shop that would serve as a throwback to the corner stores she remembered growing up. Together, they rounded up some of their favourite local goods and The Lucky Penny was born.

More than just a place to grab a coffee, Debbie’s goal was to fully immerse herself in the community. She contracted neighbours to help rebuild the dilapidated house that originally sat on the lot and sought out suggestions from friends that lived nearby on what the store should carry. Her hope was to not only to provide people with high quality produce and groceries but also to support other local businesses and farmers. “We wanted to create a new type of convenience store where you could get a lot of things under one roof while still supporting your local community,” says Debbie.

The name Lucky Penny was inspired by an old tuck shop Debbie used to visit in cottage country where kids could go with their loose change and buy pretty much everything—from candy and comic books to eggs and fishing bait. Since opening in January of 2014, Lucky Penny has continued to modify its selection based on the needs of the community and has quickly become a local staple. “There’s nothing better than coming out on the patio on a Sunday morning and knowing everyone,” says Debbie of the shop’s regulars.

We wanted to create a new type of convenience store where you could get a lot of things under one roof while still supporting your local community. - Debbie Rix, Co-Owner
Lucky Penny General Store, Coffee, fresh bread, meats

Foodie Paradise

When you first walk into Lucky Penny, don’t be surprised if your eyes immediately begin to wander. The long service counter is loaded with baked treats, big jars of candy and a large glass display with prepared sandwiches and cheeses. Oh, and there’s often samples to entice your taste buds!

Along the walls, reclaimed wood shelves hold crates of fresh bread from Blackbird Baking Co., maple syrup, Mad Mexican chips and salsa, Propeller coffee and a long list of other specialty items, which Tracey keeps constantly updated. The store’s three fridges contain cheese, milk, free-range eggs, ice cream, meat and poultry. Everything is sourced from what the two consider to be the best of the best, including products from The Kawartha Dairy Company, Sanagan’s Meat Locker and Hewitt's Dairy. Out front, farm fresh produce varies by season and is displayed under the shade of a large awning.

Lucky Penny General Store, Coffee, fresh bread, meats

A Hidden Gem in Plain Sight

Because the shop is on a side street just off the main West Queen West strip, it has a distinct family feel. The morning rush often includes parents dropping in for a coffee while walking their kids to the nearby Givins/Shaw Junior Public School and curious dog walkers drawn in by the dog toys and flowers displayed out front. A number of local celebrities are also among the shop’s regulars including members of the Barenaked Ladies, Atom Egoyan, Ron Sexsmith and Justin Rutledge.

Most who wander in are delighted by what they have found and have a hard time leaving without picking up a buttery croissant or package of Pop Rocks from the good ‘ol days.

Lucky Penny General Store, Coffee, fresh bread, meats
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