Our latest installment in our profiles of great
cookbook stores takes us to Good Egg located in Toronto, Canada. Good Egg
is a shop dedicated to those who like to eat. Visit the store and
you'll be immersed in books and things devoted to the art and
culture of food. Their selection of books reflects every food
philosophy, but they've whittled the vast world of cookbooks down
to the best of the best. The Good Egg staff is eager to help
customers, and they have a large database at their disposal to aid
in that effort. Owner Mika Bareket graciously answered EYB's
questions about her shop, now the only dedicated cookbook store in
How does Good Egg stay competitive in the current
trading environment, where online stores offer low prices and free
The human factor! We read and test the books, and give our
customers honest advice. We'd much make a friend than a sale. Also,
we play really nice music in the store, and gift wrap faster than a
Why do the customers in your store prefer to come to
Good Egg rather than large general bookstores or online
By making discriminating choices in our buying and display. Not
that larger retailers don't, but the size of our store means we
need to be extra picky about what we bring in. What we may lack in
range, we make up for in conviction.
Until the recent closure of The Cookbook Store,
there were two bookstores dedicated to food and drink books in the
city. What is about Toronto that sustained two stores whereas many
cities have none?
Toronto is the most culturally diverse city on the planet, and
with every wave of immigration comes restaurants and grocery stores
specific to each ethnicity. Food is the great unifier in Toronto.
We're located in a neighbourhood called Kensington Market, which
has been a food hub for many generations. It just made sense to
bring a quirky cook book store to the area.
Do you specialize in any particular areas of
We specialize in the best.
Do you sell other products apart from
Oh yes! Everything from budget friendly cast iron skillets, to
ergonomic baby spoons. We're not quite a one-stop kitchen supply
shop, but we try to have the essentials. We also carry many books
that are not cooking-related per se, but are nourishing in some
What are the big sellers at Good
Ottolenghi has been our top author for 4 years running. Well
deserved! Also, we reorder Niki Segnit's poetic and lovely Flavour Thesaurus constantly, and the River
Cottage series of handbooks do really well, maybe because
Do you import many books from
We try to be patient and wait for titles to become available
domestically, but some take a year to do so, and others never do.
So, yes. Australia and the UK publish many of our favourite books,
and well, we can't resist bringing them in despite the sticker
shock due to import charges.
Do you get many chefs shopping in your store? If so,
what are the books they are buying?
Chefs make up a growing proportion of our customer base, which
is great for us because we can get their professional perspective
and offer home cooks more informed opinions than our own. They tend
to buy books with good plating ideas and/or in depth-technique,
typically those written by other restaurant chefs or Michael
Ruhlman, their patron saint.
What type of books do you like to cook from
yourself? Do you have a favorite cookbook of all