Discerning shoppers will soon be able to return to the Sherwood Market on Mount Pleasant Road and Eglinton Avenue.
The market, which opened in 1984, has been undergoing a complete overhaul for the past three months and is scheduled to re-open in June.
“We hope that the neighbourhood will appreciate the stuff that (Sherwood) Market does,” says Brad McMullen, who purchased the market from his uncle Wayne McMullen in February. “We think it will be a great fit for the community.”
The new owner decided to renovate the outdated equipment and setup, buoyed by the fact that Summerhill Market, owned by McMullen’s father, enjoyed a jump in business after its 2006 restoration and expansion. The shop will also be renamed Summerhill Market to match his family’s other location.
Now that he’s the owner of the Sherwood Market, McMullen plans to preserve that hands-on spirit, managing the store himself for the first three months before considering extra help.
The two markets are like sibling stores, as McMullen’s sister Christy will now manage Summerhill.
McMullen’s first job was sweeping Sherwood Market’s floors at the age of 10. He remembers the resident cat Sherwood, named after the store, from when he was growing up.
“It’s part of my upbringing,” he says.
McMullen hopes his kids, two-year-old twin girls and a one-year-old daughter, will follow in his footsteps, but says they have a few more years ahead of them first.
“Obviously it would be great to work with them, but they’re so young,” he says.
McMullen says anticipation for Sherwood Market’s reopening is high and that one of every three Summerhill customers — which amounts to about 300 people a day — ask when it will be back.
Both markets’ signature concept is to provide high-quality prepared dishes, the most famous of which McMullen says is the chicken pot pie.
Summerhill employs a small army of 60 full-time cooks and chefs creating over 400 dishes. They will soon be preparing food for the Sherwood location as well, since it’s too small for a kitchen that size.
McMullen also acquired a vacant building across the street from the Sherwood Market on Feb. 1, once a pharmacy and take-out restaurant. Its future is the subject of much speculation among residents.
McMullen says he’s received lots of suggestions about what to do with the property, ranging from starting a pharmacy, to a coffee shop, to a dry cleaner.
But he’s not likely to make any decisions until the fall, allowing himself time to evaluate what makes the most sense.
While the renovations will be completed mid-June, the original interior is already gone, replaced by entirely new equipment and fresh finishes.
“I think the store looks sensational,” McMullen says.
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