Bringing rural to urban

[attach]5284[/attach]Dawn Chapman used to help her uncle milk a lazy cow named Daisy at her grandparents’ farm in Midhurst.

The bovine has now been immortalized in the name of her café, Lazy Daisy’s, which is based around the concept of bringing the farm to the city.

“We’re offering everything farm fresh,” she says. “The best coffee, the best fresh baked goods that are made by hand. Everything is as natural as possible.”

Although the café only recently opened on Gerrard Street East at Coxwell Avenue, Chapman is no stranger to the food industry. She worked in restaurants throughout high school and university and opened three successful bagel cafés in London, England. After moving back to Canada and having her kids, Joshua, 6, and Faith, 4, she started pondering what to do next.

“I had to decide, ‘What do I believe in? What do I really want to do with my life? How do I want to express myself and when I’m 80 years old, what do I want to look back on?’ ” she says. “Everything on my menu I’m proud of, so when I stand behind the counter and I serve or make food, I know it’s good and putting that all together is something that I’m really happy doing.”

Upon deciding to go into business, she also discovered a friend she’d met at a creative writing course, Linda Muir, was studying culinary arts at George Brown and wanted to join her in the venture.

Chapman, who lives minutes away from her café on Eastwood Road, says one of the first things she noticed when she moved to the area was the lack of a café and after talking to other parents realized she wasn’t the only one.

“Almost every day at least one person thanks me for opening and I have to say ‘no, thank you for coming in’, but they’re like ‘we’ve been wanting something like this for so long’,” she says. “And it’s just nice to know that Daisy’s is filling a need in the community.”

In addition to sandwiches, bagels, homemade soups, chili, quiche, salads and baked goods, they are now also serving Sunday brunch. The café has also hosted events like comedy shows, held impromptu performances by musicians and will be holding an arts and crafts gala on Dec.13 featuring local artists.

“I want people to feel like they are at home, that they feel comfortable here,” she says. “A warm welcome, those cornerstones that I grew up with, good service, good value, great taste and welcome.”

One thought on “Bringing rural to urban

  • torontodad

    Lazy Daisy feels like it completes the renovation of the entire Gerrard-Coxwell corridor – we have wonderful facilities and eateries, a new alternative school, pet shops, Bombay soda shoppes, the Riverdale Hub, and desi street food – it’s all a-poppin! I’m so happy to be able to patronize a local business run by committed people that supports sustainable principals and local foods – in a very diverse neighbourhood!

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