Cocktail Emporium has opened the doors to its new location on the lower level of Union Station’s Front Street Promenade in Toronto. As part of the transit hub’s revitalization, the specialty cocktail store joins a selected mix of local and independent retailers occupying the building’s original 1927 storefronts, giving them access to some incredible foot traffic (approximately 300,000 commuters pass through Union daily). It joins two existing locations, one in Kensington Market and the original store on Queen Street West, which owner Kristen Voisey opened in 2011.
Cocktail Emporium stocks everything you need for a cocktail except alcohol, including accessories such as glassware, decanters and bar tools, locally made bitters, syrups and garnishes, and items such as books, coasters, reusable straws and trays. At the Union Station location, customers also have the option of perusing Cocktail Emporium’s entire collection on an iPad and having orders delivered to the store.
While her existing customers include both professional and hobby bartenders, Voisey customized her newest location to focus on gifting. “When someone comes in looking for a gift for someone, the first thing we ask is, ‘What do they like to drink?’” To that end, the merchandise is organized by spirit, making it easy to find just the right thing for the gin, rum or tequila lover in your life. There’s also a range of non-alcoholic spirits, which Voisey says have become bestsellers. “It’s all about mindful hosting," she says. "If someone’s at your house or at a bar and they don’t drink, you don’t want to make them feel weird.”
Cocktail Emporium, Union Station, Lower Level, 65 Front St. W., Toronto, 416-964-8535, cocktailemporium.com.
Simons has recently added a familiar face to its offerings. United Colors of Benetton is now available in Canada exclusively at the department store’s locations across the country and through simons.ca. Since it was founded in 1965, the Italian brand has been inspired by bright hues and this collection is no exception. Influenced by the marinas along the Mediterranean, the latest line features a cheerful palette of Benetton’s signature primary shades. Highlights in the collection, which offers options in the men’s-wear and women’s-wear categories, include dresses, shirts, hats and other accessories.
To help alleviate student debt in North America, First Aid Beauty has announced a new initiative called FAB Aid. It’s a commitment to donate US$1-million to pay off student loans. A FAB Aid board, which will include First Aid Beauty founder Lilli Gordon as well as leaders in the education and personal finance sectors who have been affected by student debt, will select winners from the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec) to have their undergraduate loans paid off up to US$100,000. For more information and to apply, visit fabaid.com.
Toronto-based jewellery line Hania Kuzbari is taking over a new bricks-and-mortar location. From now until June, the collection can be found at Yorkville Village in Toronto. Set designer Noelle Hindi has created a window display and immersive art installation for the occasion. Discover pieces from the brand’s Horseshoe, Smile, Freestyle and Arabesque collections as well as new items. The line, which launched in 2014, is currently carried by stockists in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and online at haniakuzbari.com. Beginning this fall, select pieces will be available at the Gardiner Museum Shop in Toronto.
Benjamin Moore has recently launched its new Color Portfolio app in Canada. Available to be downloaded to iOS and Android phones, Color Portfolio uses augmented reality to try out Benjamin Moore’s paint colours in any room. It includes virtual fan decks and accurate photo and video visualizers and renderings that allow budding interior decorators to experiment with different paint colours, save their selections and share the images instantly. When used with its ColourReader device, users can colour match flat surfaces and materials to more than 3,500 Benjamin Moore colours. For more information, visit benjaminmoore.com.
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