Sukoshi brings a new take on the convenience store to Kensington Market.
When people ask me what I ate when I was travelling in Japan, depending on how honest I feel, I sometimes answer, “A lot of 7-Eleven.” The reaction is usually horrified silence: I went to a country with world-renowned cuisine and ate in convenience stores? But what people who haven’t been there don’t realize is that convenience stores in Japan are a whole different beast. In fact, they provide high-quality, fresh meals at surprisingly low prices.
It’s one of those charming and unique things about the country: the Japanese obsession with quality and attention to detail extends into all facets of everyday life.
“A lot of people who have been to Japan definitely do have a nostalgia when they see [everyday] things like this and that’s one of the main things that inspired me to open the convenience store,” explains Linda Dang, who co-owns Sukoshi Mart household Asian beauty brands, not to with business partner Nancy Young.
Sukoshi, which means “a little bit” in Japanese, aims to recreate this quintessentially Japanese experience here in Toronto. In order to show what a convenience store has the potential to be, the team behind Sukoshi had to do things a little differently. They chose Kensington Market for its burgeoning food scene, which includes a growing number of Japanese shops, like dessert café Little Pebbles. Squeezed into a tiny space that keeps costs low without giving up its prime location, Sukoshi can offer authentic, fresh bento boxes and treats at super-convenient prices.
In addition to fresh lunches and home-made snacks like onigiri, mochi, taiyakiand puddings, the shop has a rotating selection of imported snacks, drinks and household Asian beauty brands, not to mention great collectibles like a whole shelf of Studio Ghibli merch.
One of my personal favourites is the fridge full of Japanese cold coffees. Japan has been doing coffee in a can since long before your local indie café started offering cold brew—and, in my opinion, drinks like Boss Coffee, sold in vending machines all over Japan, are better (and cheaper).
By recreating one of the most common experiences of a Japanese city here in Toronto, Sukoshi reminds us that you can always find a little bit of magic in the everyday.
160 Baldwin St., Unit #7B
OPEN: Daily 10 am–9 pm