A beloved Toronto gourmet food store has closed its doors after its owners could not keep pace with rising costs.
All the Best Fine Foods, a 32-year-old store selling prepared foods, breads and cheeses, declared bankruptcy on Tuesday. The company had a flagship location in Summerhill in addition to a store near Church and Wellesley, and a commercial kitchen in Leaside.
"The food business is very challenging and the last few years for All the Best have been very challenging," said co-owner Jane Rodmell. "We used our ingenuity, our creativity. We worked hard but we were not able to … keep pace with the rising costs of operation."
Ms. Rodmell cited higher rents, the increasing cost of ingredients and drawn-out renovations to the Summerhill building. "Many things conspired to make it very difficult to continue."
However, another independent high-end food store has bought some of All the Best's assets. Summerhill Market is taking over its Church Street location and commercial kitchen, but is not assuming the Yonge Street location because the lease is "too cumbersome," said owner Brad McMullen.
Mr. McMullen said he began speaking with All the Best's owners in mid-July. "It was like a perfect fit for the both of us," he said.
Summerhill Market hopes to rehire about half of All the Best's 58 employees, he said. In addition, All the Best's co-owners will work for Summerhill Market during the transition period.
Mr. McMullen said he is still determining how to merge Summerhill Market's prepared foods with All the Best's offerings. In addition to buying some of the company's assets, the sale included its recipes.
"It will be all of the best of Summerhill and all of the best of All the Best," he said.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that All the Best Fine Foods had 40 employees. In fact, it had 58. This version has been corrected.