Toronto neighbourhood getting a taste of the Rock with newest Newfoundland store

A St. John's-born ex-pat was sick of hunting for homegrown staples, so he's opening a shop filled with … salt meat and pineapple Crush, of course.

'Everything is going to be made by Newfoundlanders and from Newfoundland,' owner says

This brand new Newfoundland Store is set to open its doors Wednesday in Toronto. (Supplied by Craig Pike)

After 14 years away, Newfoundland-born Craig Pike hasn't stopped loathing the annual struggle to get his hands on some savoury.

But when the actor-turned-baker bought an addition to his small Toronto bakery, Craig's Cookies, he realized he could bring a touch of home to all that empty floor space — and supply those rare, faraway goods all by himself.

"I've got 100 square feet where you can get pineapple Crush or Rick Mercer's book, and everything in between," Pike told the St. John's Morning Show.

Pike plans to import syrups, salt and chocolate from the province's homegrown producers, plus candles and other locally-crafted goodies.

Yes, Peppermint Knobs and roast chicken-flavoured Lay's will be shop staples, Pike said.

Pike sees the store as a chance to "build some community in Toronto," he said. "Everything is going to be made by Newfoundlanders and from Newfoundland."

He's noticed a sizeable contingent of ex-pats living in the city, and said prepping the store for its debut Wednesday has already led Toronto residents to stop by and tell Pike about their families back home.

"Everyone in the neighbourhood is really excited," he said.

Parkdale, a busy, tightly-packed cluster of streets just west of Toronto's downtown core, is already lined with antique shops and specialty stores, with lots of foot traffic from potential buyers who might want to try something new.

And for fellow ex-pats frustrated at the lack of salt meat, Pike hopes the shop will be a holiday-supply haven.

But, Pike says, the one question he gets most is whether he can help Newfoundlanders living away make a proper dressing.

Don't worry, he laughed. "I've got boxes and boxes of savoury."

With files from The St. John's Morning Show

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