Archive for the ‘Humans of Danforth East’ Category

Meet Paola, the owner of Sugarmoon Salon.



The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur



Being an entrepreneur might not be for everyone, but for Paola, it’s in her blood.  As a Girotti from St. Catharines, Ontario, she comes from a long line of entrepreneurs.

Maybe that’s why I knew I could do it on my own.

When Paola almost walked away from everything that she had created, it was a chance encounter with a Dragon’s Den star that changed her life.

Paola’s story is one of brains and vision, the guts to continue through devastating times, and the feet to keep moving.  And for those who know Paola, they know of her heart.




When your skin is the largest organ of your body, Paola feels that you should feed it with the best food possible; maybe that’s why her lotions and scrubs smell so good that you want to eat them.  Sweet Orange. Lavender Lime. Vanilla Bean.  She has hydrating masks, savoury lip balms, sugaring kits, and decadent bath melts that will leave your tub filled with dried flower petals.   She invests the time and research into bringing quality products to the floor.  It has built Paola’s reputation and has attracted celebrity clientele to her salons.

Whether it’s a skin line from Italy or a product that’s Canadian, she chooses only the best.  At Sugarmoon, all of the skin care lines are eco-certified (which is a difficult certification to get) and she also works with a chemist out of Mississauga to create her own products.  Just within the last few weeks, Sugarmoon has expanded to include Babymoon (products for baby) and Sweetmoon (skin products for teens).


Growing up in Thorold, Ontario, Paola had sugaring done as a child.  She had light skin and dark facial hair on her chin and upper lip.  Paola was thankful that her mom got on it quickly and took her to see someone which helped with her confidence.

Later in her life, when Paola was working in Toronto in the film industry, she couldn’t believe that she had to drive all the way back to St. Catharines just to be sugared. There was nothing in the city and Paola saw an opportunity.

Sugarmoon Salon became a brand built around the process of sugaring and was one of the first salons in the city when it started 15 years ago.  Sugaring is a hair removal approach that’s more gentle on your skin.  The sugar is made from natural products (sugar, lemon, and water) and when cooked to a particular consistency, almost mimics the feel of wax.  You could actually eat it if you wanted to.  It is cool to the touch and does not adhere to live cells, so unlike waxing, your skin is not burned or removed in the process.

We are the organic strawberry.  The Whole Foods of hair removal.




Paola studied science in college and university but didn’t love it.  With a cousin who was a film director, she decided to get into the industry as a production assistant.  Nine years later, she was a production coordinator and also produced her own short film.  She loved story and being able to see it come to life on set, but she didn’t love the long hours.  Paola and a friend (also in film) decided to reinvent themselves in their late 20s.

After going to esthetics school, they opened their first sugaring business in an apartment on the second floor of what used to be Michael’s Meats (just down from where today’s Local 1794 is).  It was the only place where they could afford rent on the Danforth.  Paola’s mom gave them a $10,000 loan to buy the materials and equipment they needed to get started.  It didn’t take long before her loan was paid back.




We can look at a business and think about how beautiful it is or how successful, but we often don’t know what it cost in order to get there.

Paola and her partner went from a super lucrative wage in film to making very little. Her son, Elias, was born two months premature and they had just expanded their business.  Paola had to go back to work when Elias was 8 weeks old.  What did I do?  Why didn’t I stay in film?  I just want to be home with my baby.  She remembers it as a dark time.

After two years, her partner left the business and Paola decided to go out on her own.  Their storefront, at that time, was in the TD plaza at Woodington and Danforth; she was doing well until the building flooded.  Paola then moved her business to its current location at 1509 Danforth Avenue (right across the street from BOMB Fitness).  By this time, Paola had her second baby, Sofia.  She was building her business in a new location, she had a newborn, and Elias had Aspbergers.  Her plate was full.

Paola hired her best friend, who also became a nanny for Sofia.  Sofia would come into work with Paola; a peek at her schedule would have shown: appointment. appointment. appointment. breastfeed.  appointment. appointment. breastfeed…  She decided to scale down the business and refocus.

Being a mom was number one for me.  I’m not sure if I did that role well. I felt guilty all the time.  Now I’m the mom I wish I could have been back then.  I wish I could have taken time.  You can’t get those years back.

Paola grew her staff to 12.  She expanded to a second location to College.  She was taking care of everyone in her business and doing everything she could to protect it and keep it going.  Meanwhile at home, things were not what they seemed.

Paola’s life blew up when her marriage ended.  I don’t think we nurtured our marriage.  We were so busy.  She chose to stay in St. Catharines with her kids to be near friends and family.  

Then she met Arlene Dickinson from Dragon’s Den.

She had written Arlene a note after reading some of her books during the time of her divorce.  She was surprised to receive an invitation to meet her.  In Arlene’s board room, Paola and Cailey (her general manager), gave a presentation.  It was a crazy time in Paola’s life.  She was doing her best and didn’t know if she should continue with Sugarmoon or walk away from it.  After asking Paola to share her story, Arlene’s response was, “Don’t worry, honey.  I’ve been married a few times.  You’ll be just fine.”  The visit didn’t result in a deal, but it was Arlene’s words of encouragement and reassurance that Paola needed to hear at that exact moment in time.

It was a life changing moment for me.

Paola not only continued with Sugarmoon salon but has since built it into a brand with three locations, a product line, and has a distribution company.  The gift of Arlene’s time and the understanding of someone who had also been there, made a difference.




Paola has chosen to pay it forward.  She has developed an employee program where she pays staff to work offsite and volunteer at The Red Door Family Shelter.  Women who have been battered or are seeking a safe place to stay, are given complimentary massages and sugaring. It’s a way to care for them in some small way.

Paola does what she can to protect family time for her employees.  Sugarmoon closes at 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.  They are closed on Sundays.  For Paola, families need a day to be together and employees need time to decompress. Although some may question the hours she keeps, she has 22 employees and 11 of them are mothers.  From her own experience, she knows how important it is for them to have time with loved ones.

Paola and her children still live in St. Catharines.  She’s been on her own now for five years and she’s raising her kids the way that she’s always wanted to.  She drives them to school and picks them up afterwards.  She’s in the city to work three times a week and has hired staff to manage her three locations (Danforth, Bloor, and College).  Elias is in grade 8 and is getting ready for high school; Sofia is in grade 3. According to Paola, she has learned to manage work and her family life more efficiently.

Being an entrepreneur can mean financially tough times and difficult decisions.  It also comes with the pride of seeing dreams come to life, which is what keeps Paola going.



You can visit one of Paola’s three Sugarmoon locations in Toronto, one of which is right in our own neighbourhood at 1509 Danforth Avenue.  She is proud to share the same philosophy that she started with 15 years ago –  bringing eco-focused, organic hair removal to the industry.

Visit her website to learn more about her specialty services and product lines.



Additional posts from The Humans of Danforth East series:

Kari from The Pop Stand

Chris from Firefly Creative Writing

Erin & Yvonne from Origin Wellness

Colleen from The Nooks

Introducing the Humans of Danforth East


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Meet Colleen (shown on the right).



It’s an interesting thing to grow up without your parents.

At 5 years old, Colleen was sent to live in a boarding school in Rothesay, New Brunswick. She was from Toronto.  Her parents had just divorced and they decided to send Colleen, and later her little sister Jenn, to live on the east coast for the next 12 years.

Colleen spent her childhood growing up with dorm mates and a designated houseparent. Her older siblings (2 brothers and 4 sisters) remained in Ontario. From her small dorm room, a little nook, she dreamt of one day having her own apartment that she would decorate.  She would spend all of her money on throws and make this apartment a home.


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After graduating high school, Collen returned to Toronto.  Her parents no longer lived in the city.  They had moved out to New Brunswick and had started new lives, with new partners.  Colleen was 17 years old.  She went out to work and found an apartment.

As a student at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Colleen studied painting and drawing, as well as industrial design and furniture.  She also completed the business entrepreneurship program at George Brown.  Her art and business background came together when Colleen owned her first business – a furniture consignment shop at Kingston Rd. and Warden. NiceNook Marketplace.

When she found that artists kept coming in, asking to have their art featured on her walls, Colleen saw a possible need for artisans to have a venue to showcase their work. She knew that a consignment model didn’t work for artists (as it left them with very little profit).  She wanted to come up with a different solution.  Instead of consignment, she offered to display their artwork for a flat monthly fee.  In return, they could make full profit from a sale.  It left artists with more money in their pockets and put them in control of their sales.  The idea began to build.

Enter DESIGNnook.

I had to really save to get my first and last month for my first store. I would love to be that person who was like hey, here’s a space…

She found a space at 2038 Danforth Ave (next door to Celena’s Bakery).  Artisans could fill out an application for a nook, a little space in the store, where they could display and sell their handmade items.  They would rent the nook space for $200/month and then receive 100% of the sales. Colleen would essentially be a landlord.  Within 3 weeks, DESIGNnook was filled with 91 vendors.  Artists were looking for an affordable place for rent and it was a cool agreement that people were responding to.

It wasn’t long before Colleen was out looking for additional retail space in order to expand.  Now at 28 years old, Colleen currently owns and operates three businesses: DESIGNnook, The Nooks General Store, and STUDIO by the nooks.

There was never a set plan for Colleen to own three businesses.  Each evolved organically.  When there was a waiting list for a nook at DESIGNnook, Colleen started Nicenook Lifestyle as additional retail space for artisans.  When community members loved the rental space at the back of The Nooks General store but wished for more privacy, Colleen then transformed Nicenook Lifestyle into a private rental space; she moved product over to The Nooks General Store.  STUDIO by the nooks is now a great venue for creative workshops, pop up shops, art exhibitions, yoga or private parties – the options are endless!

In creating her businesses, Colleen credits some really solid jobs in helping her shape her dream.  Starbucks.  Lululemon.  MAC Cosmetics.  She worked for corporations known for their brand identity, their investment in employees, and how they encourage personal freedom of expression.  This became an obsession for Colleen and she began to envision what her own business would look like and feel like.

I was so ready.  I had been planning for so long.  I had sketches and everything that I wanted to do and be and the look of my business.  Planning it back when I was at MAC… Having enough courage to take the risk.  It was incredibly rewarding.

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A sketch Colleen shared on Instagram – February 25, 2016.


Through the Nooks, Colleen has created her own version of boarding school, but one that’s closer to home for others.  She’s provided a space they can call their own.  Like a houseparent, she’s there to provide them with tools and resources (she offers workshops and materials), as well as encouragement and support as find their own way.  Instead of having to figure it all out on their own or seeing their talents simply as a hobby, Colleen is there to help them imagine something bigger.

Hence why, at the end of nookSTART, a business competition amongst 30 applicants vying for a free nook for a year, Colleen didn’t give one person a free nook, she awarded the prize to four people.

I want to be that exception for people.  Because life and business can be so tough and I didn’t have any handouts besides my boarding school.  I was independent at 17.  You have your schooling and education.  You’re a smart person, now go make your life.

She’s creating a Nook Universe.


Are you ready to #findyournook?  Apply online!
Take a peek at what’s in DESIGNnook through Instagram @thenookstoronto
Or check out “hand-made” stories of local / Canadian makers at www.nook2nook.ca



Additional posts from The Humans of Danforth East series:

Kari from The Pop Stand

Chris from Firefly Creative Writing

Erin & Yvonne from Origin Wellness

Introducing the Humans of Danforth East

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Photo / Jessica Laforet

Meet Erin and Yvonne, best friends who are more like sisters.
They are practicing Registered Massage Therapists and the co-owners of Origin Wellness.

Since meeting in school, they have always been there for one another.  A friendship when you don’t even remember when they became your person for life.

Yvonne was present at Erin’s first birth.  They are now slowly learning how not to dress like each other.  And together they have worked hard to build a business that they love.

It was their artistic sides and love of music that drew them to one another.

Before massage therapy, Erin did her undergrad in theatre.  She performed in a Fringe show, was in the house cast at Bad Dog Theatre and performed in improv festivals in Toronto and Chicago. She then decided that a different career might be a better fit for her.

Yvonne was a musician and a student in Humber’s music program.  As an introduction to professional playing, Humber held information sessions – speaking to students about carpal tunnel, tendinitis, and caring for their bodies.  Playing up to six hours a day put strain on Yvonne’s body.   She saw a physical therapist to help relieve her aches and pain.

From artistic backgrounds, Erin and Yvonne came together as massage therapy students.  They were study buddies who then became colleagues.  While working together in various spas and clinics, they realized more and more that they shared similar philosophies and ideas on how to provide the best patient care.

Origin Wellness began one night at Christmas.  Erin and her husband had recently moved into their east end home and Yvonne and her partner came over for a visit.  The guys, always encouraging and supportive of their work, suggested that Erin and Yvonne should start their own business. They had been practicing RMTs for 4 years at this point. From their experiences in spas and clinics, they knew what elements they would intentionally bring together to benefit the lives of others.

Within a month, Yvonne had a list of places they could rent and Erin was busily making spreadsheets. The switch was flipped. They were all in.

It seems fitting that they found their first space at Danforth and Moberly.  Erin lives only a few blocks away and Yvonne’s first home growing up was on Moberly.  Her dad, aunts, and grandma all lived in the neighbourhood.

Erin and Yvonne rented a little, 200 square foot nook from Ankh Yoga (at the back of the studio building).  It wasn’t long before they outgrew the space and needed more rooms to accommodate their bookings. Luckily for them, the entire main floor of the building suddenly became available and they had to act quickly.

At the time, Erin was 30 weeks pregnant with her son and Yvonne was just picking up her music again.  It was an intense period but these two friends made it happen. Erin described it as the ultimate nesting (helping with the expansion of the clinic).  Her baby was 5 days overdue on opening day.

Together they have created a beautiful space – warm, cozy and quiet.  Their hope was to avoid a clinical feeling and they most definitely have.  Walking in, you will feel like you’re in a spa, with the professional and research-based practices of health care practitioners.

Origin Wellness has an incredible mix of patients: parents, professionals, athletes, kids, and more.  There are people who run up to a dozen marathons a year, those recovering from cancer treatments, to kids who seek relief from anxiety and growing pains. Word of mouth has kept them busy and many long-time patients come to see them from across the city. People trust them and feel their sincerity.

As friends, they miss spending time with each other.  With the nature of their work, they’re often in therapy rooms with patients.  It’s a wave at each other down the hallway or a spontaneous trip to IKEA to grab supplies.  Their schedules are very different which makes their time together even more valuable.

Along with caring for patients, Yvonne is a musician.  She performs regularly with the Arkells, playing in their horn section.  She also plays with a Motown band, The Intentions.  Yvonne’s a baritone sax player who plays on the spectrum from jazz to punk rock.

When Yvonne is getting ready for an evening performance, Erin is usually in her pyjamas.  Erin is on an extended maternity leave and enjoys her days with her 6-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.  She does a lot of the clinic’s administrative work from home whenever she can squeeze it in and continues to enjoy treating patients in the clinic every few weeks.

It’s their opposite nature that has made them not only great friends but great business partners.  They get each other and their strengths complement.  Where Erin is calculated and organized, Yvonne encourages them to go for it.  One provides the energy, the other the support.

It’s pretty special to be able to do what you love and with your best friend.  Erin and Yvonne have both.


If you’re interested in booking a massage or naturopathic medicine appointment at Origin Wellness, they would love to see you.  Bookings are done through their easy-to-use, online appointment calendar.

Erin, Yvonne, and their team care about helping people feel better.  Perhaps you’ll find it’s a great fit for you and a quick walk from home to get to your next appointment.

For information about the vast array of treatments available, visit their website at www.originwellness.ca



Additional posts from The Humans of Danforth East series:

Kari from The Pop Stand

Chris from Firefly Creative Writing

Introducing the Humans of Danforth East

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Photo/Shelley Lepp

Meet Chris.  She’s driven, thoughtful, and real.

She’s the founder of Firefly Creative Writing.


The Story of Firefly

It all began in a cute little sun room jutting off the back of her small, one-bedroom apartment.

She was on the main floor of a cottage-y little house in The Pocket.  The sun room wasn’t insulated and had to be heated all winter.  It would leak in a rainstorm so a bowl would sit on the table.  There was just enough room for a small group to gather around a wooden table.  It was epic.

A room full of magic – tucked away from the world.  It shared no walls.  A secret meeting place for people to share their stories.

A neighbour would leave her kids’ windows open at night so they could fall asleep to the sound of their laughter.

It was here where Chris first started offering writing workshops.  That was 12 years ago.


She followed her heart and posted some flyers made on her printer at home. She knew nothing about business and spent some time with a career coach. She was terrified and also really excited.

Her love of writing began as a teenager; as a safe place to freely express herself.  In her 20’s, she did memoir writing in old age homes.  She wrote poetry.  She left Ottawa to take history at UBC and thought a life of academia was in her future.  Yet she found herself taking creative things on the side – photography, writing classes, and film school.

It was at film school that she found her calling.

On Galiano island, off British Columbia, a guy named George had turned an old logging camp into a film school.  Small groups of students would stay together on the island, sleeping in bunk beds, eating their meals together, and learning all they could about film (while creating their own film in 7 days). Nights were spent together around a campfire.

Everyone was really whole there.  No one was pretending.  No one was posturing or competing.  They were all accepting of each other and seeing each other for who they really were.  It was an authentic and loving environment.

That is when it really switched for me.  Whatever is going on in this film school, around this campfire, that’s how I want to spend the rest of my life.  I want to figure out how to make this.  

Knowing writing was her craft, Chris began learning all that she could about adult education and writing workshops.  She did her masters degree at OISE (in Adult Ed.) and sought to recreate this space for writers.  An environment where people would feel heard, excited, and creative.

She was able to do it in her little sun room and now again at her new studio at 1898 Danforth Ave.

There’s something special about the space at Firefly Creative Writing.

Everything has a story.


The teapot.

A symbol of warmth and communality.  It was around that little table in the sun room hundreds and hundreds of times.  Everyone drinking from the same teapot.  It feels really important.

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The note.

Before her first workshop in the sun room, Chris was super nervous.  Tammy, a career coach and friend, told her to write down what she wanted people to feel during her session – then tape it under the table.  Desperate, Chris wrote down three words and stuck it under.  Then she completely forgot it was there.

Just this past winter, Tammy suddenly passed away.  Just days before her funeral, Chris was in the process of moving the old workshop table over to her new studio space. When they took the legs off and flipped it over, there were her words. Confidence.  Reassurance.  Progress.  It was there the whole time.  Taped beneath for over ten years.  It was how she wanted to feel in that moment too.

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The note is still under one of the studio tables.   I had to go see. I snapped this photo lying on the floor under the table like a kid.


The sky blue painting.

Before Firefly moved into the space it was a marijuana dispensary.  Picture an entire room painted bright blue from floor to ceiling, along with a huge psychedelic mushroom mural at the front.  Yikes. As a little reminder, a small swatch of colour remains on the wall when you first walk in.  It’s now part of a cool gallery wall.

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The handcrafted writing tables and little clipboards.

From the long beautiful wooden table in the main room to the little one of a kind clipboards, her boyfriend, Ian, has been busy working behind the scenes designing beautiful touches for the space and being her rock along the way.

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I could go on, but you need to go see it for yourself.  When you hear the meaning behind the different objects inside, you’ll fall in love with the place.

Since they’re often teaching or seeing clients in the back, just drop them a line to set up a time to come visit. They would love to have you.  Don’t be shy.  Chris and her team love curious neighbours.

And if you’re still wondering where the name Firefly came from, one last story…

Chris was at a writing retreat.  At the time she was trying to think of a new name for her business (formerly Footprint Memoirs) and her students were helping her brainstorm. She knew that she wanted something in the natural world – like a plant or animal or something organic.  They were throwing around ridiculous ideas until it was late at night and she was ready for bed.  She was sleeping in a tiny little cabin the size of an outhouse (it’s cool, she loves rustic things).  As she was walking to her cabin, she crossed a valley.  It was full of fireflies.  A sea of fireflies.  That’s when it hit her – Firefly!  Worried that it might sound cheesy or random, she wasn’t sold on it until after a little research.

She found out that fireflies live underground for years and years, until they are ready to come out and show themselves to the world.  She was like, oh my god.  I know that feeling.  To keep a creative heart underground and then to one day feel ready.  Firefly Creative Writing was perfect.

Maybe you can relate.  You love notebooks and the feel of paper under your fingertips.  You have a particular pen you like to write with.  Maybe you love writing but don’t see yourself as a writer.  If so, you need to step inside Firefly.  If you’re nervous, it’s a good sign.  It means it matters. Just stop by and see where it takes you…
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To learn more about Firefly Creative Writing and their workshops, one-on-one coaching, or retreats, check out their website.

Follow them on Twitter @firefly_writing

Find them on Instagram @fireflycreativewriting

And Like their Facebook page @fireflycreativewriting
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A Note from Lainie:
My family is about to enjoy some much needed time at the lake.  Watch for the next Humans of Danforth post in August!

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It’s been an exciting week since posting the introduction of Humans of Danforth East and the first feature, Kari from The Pop Stand.  Thank you so much for your encouraging words.  I think this is going to be a fun project for us all, and we’re just getting started.

This week I emailed some new businesses in our neighbourhood.  I’m hoping to talk with Queenie from Queenie’s Cards in August.  I’m meeting with Chris from Firefly Creative Writing this upcoming week, and Cafe Cocoro and I are currently finding a date and time to connect soon.  Business owners have also reached out to express their interest in the project — Yvonne and Erin at Origin Wellness and Toni at Elevated Health Associates Inc.  I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and hearing their stories.  I’ll share with you as soon as I can!

If you own a storefront in the Danforth East neighbourhood and would like to share your story with us,  I’d love to hear from you.  You can email me at: humansofdanfortheast@gmail.com  And if you’re a community member who would like to suggest a local business, I’d be happy to hear from you as well.

Hope everyone’s having a great weekend,


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Here is Kari and a group of friends at her favourite festival, Hillside.  Kari is the one in blue, furthest to the right.


Meet Kari.  She’s funny, creative, and can make a mean popsicle.

She’s the owner of The Pop Stand at Danforth and Woodington.

Blueberry pie.  Cherry Bourbon Sour.  Coconut and cinnamon.  London fog with lavender.  Grapefruit Campari and Mint.  Strawberry milkshake… she’s come up with over 200 different flavour combinations and you’ll want to try them all.

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Inspired by pie and chutney recipes, and her extensive bar knowledge (she used to bartend in pubs), Kari usually has a 20 flavour rotation based on what’s seasonal and fresh in our area. Selling her pops at various farmers markets each week, she’s surrounded by local fruit and herbs to use in her next batch.  With delicious strawberries, along with tart lemon juice and organic cane sugar, she creates her strawberry lemonade popsicle.   Simple.  Pure.  Refreshing.

If you’ve ever tried one of Kari’s creations, you’d be surprised to find out that she doesn’t have a formal background in the food industry. She’s a small town girl from Newcastle, Ontario who’s always had a love for all things creative and entrepreneurial.   At six years old she was selling popcorn in her driveway and going down to the creek to get clay so she could make little teapots and sell them to the neighbours.  She’s never been short of ideas.

During a fun road trip to Nashville with a friend, they came across Las Paletas — a place known for their authentic Mexican ice pops.  Although the shop was closed and they didn’t get to try them, the idea stuck.  Years later, after selling her clothing shop at Queen and Greenwood, she decided that she wanted to try something new (she had studied fashion design in London, England, just one of two university degrees she has.)  It was late one night when the idea of ice pops literally ‘popped’ back into her head.

She found an ice cream cart on Kijiji and started passing out her popsicles in front of the pub where she worked.  She vividly remembers overhearing two men in their mid 50’s / 60’s, sitting and chit chatting about million dollar real estate deals while trying each other’s popsicles.  It was like they were five years old again.  What did you get?! I got a Key Lime.  How’s that one?? It’s good! Try it!  They were like kids in a sandbox, eating each other’s lunches.  It was a hit and she was hooked.

From making popsicles in a commercial kitchen with manual molds and storing them in her parents freezers for big events, she now has her own storefront/work space and people to help her (Amie and Gillian).  Little by little, she’s investing in her business buying what she calls ‘game changers’ — a new freezing machine and a vehicle to get her cart to various events around the GTA and beyond.

Kari feels that the growth and success of her business is due to her amazing friends and family for supporting and encouraging her crazy ideas.  Growing up, her parents never put her ideas down.  They simply asked, “how are you going to do it?”


To Kari, there’s just something about popsicles that brings the kid out in all of us.  Suddenly barriers are dropped.  We’re simply enjoying a popsicle and everything else just goes away.   It’s that easiness of life that she loves.


This summer, stop in and meet Kari.  Check out her incredible selection and stock up on some poptails (her boozy popsicles) for entertaining your guests.

She’s very excited to meet everyone — people and puppies.  She loves dogs and hopes to spoil yours with some all natural pupsicles.

Watch for her red polka dot cart outside her shop.  She’s at 1686B Danforth Ave., directly across from the street from the TD bank.


You can follow Kari on Instagram @thepopstand
Place custom orders for your next party or corporate event at www.popstandtoronto.com
and see what she’s up to on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hi everyone,

I’m Lainie.  I live in the Danforth East neighbourhood with my husband, Eric and our three little ones, Tate, Thatcher, and Charlie.  We moved here a year and a half ago. There was something about the area that felt more like us.  We both grew up in small towns and wanted to raise our kids in a place that had a sense of community.  We found it.

Growing up with parents who volunteered regularly, I wanted to do the same.  I love to write so I decided to volunteer by blogging with DECA Diaries.  I liked the idea of letting others know what was happening in the neighbourhood to help bring people together.

Inspired by the idea of Humans of New York, I’ve decided to begin writing a weekly feature called Humans of Danforth East.  My hope is that this will be a fun post where I will introduce you to a local business owner.  Although DECA is a residents’ association, it has always felt that supporting a thriving retail strip is part of their mandate.

Humans of Danforth East will be a here’s the face and story behind the business.  We’ll learn about how they got started, what they love, and why they’re a great person you need to meet.   I think it would be cool to walk down our streets and know each owner by name.

If you’re a local business owner reading this, I’d love to meet you!  Please send me an email so we can connect (humansofdanfortheast@gmail.com) This week I hung out with Kari from The Pop Stand (her story is coming soon!)

We have great businesses (and humans!) in our community and my hope is that I’ll be able to write about you all.

I hope you enjoy what I write,

Lainie Holmes

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