de la mer St. Clair W | A Boutique Fish Market That Values Sustainability, Service and Quality Set to Open Soon
David Illiatovitch-Owen and Blake Edwards set out to make fresh seafood more accessible with De La Mer, their local chain of boutique fish markets. Now they’re expanding that culinary mission’s scope to St. Clair West.
“I felt like St. Clair was the best neighbourhood where De La Mer wasn’t represented yet, where there was a real need for what we offered,” Edwards says in an email statement.
The offerings at De La Mer, meaning “of the sea” in French, go beyond the seafood you could find at a big-box retailer, suggests Illiatovitch-Owen.
“What really sets us apart is our quality control,” Illiatovitch-Owen tells Village Living Magazine. “We don’t keep stuff around until it sells.”
Wandering the store—slated to open this month at 728 St. Clair Ave. W.—shoppers can expect to find lox, salmon jerky, candied salmon, lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, seafood pizzas, dips, and sauces and soups, for example.
House-smoked fish is also a staple of the business, as is sustainability. “We carry a large selection of sustainably caught wild fish, everything from Lake Erie pickerel, to Atlantic cod, to BC halibut,” Illiatovitch-Owen adds.
From suggestions on sauce pairings to recipes for how to cook a particular type of fish, Illiatovitch-Owen says staff members are trained to educate customers—another step towards bringing high-quality seafood to the masses.
At the new St. Clair West storefront, some items will be specifically curated for the neighbourhood suggests Jeremy Gladstone, De La Mer’s marketing and media director and partner for this location.
“We’re going to go a little heavier with very interesting curated dry goods and prepared foods and potentially even some organic vegetables to pair with the fish,” he says, noting the aim with this fourth location is to act as a local grocer in Wychwood. “We want to be able to make it a one-stop shop for somebody who wants to have a dinner party.”
There are also plans for on-site art installations here. “It’s going to be nothing that you’ll see in any other fish monger in Toronto—let alone around the world. It’s going to be a pretty special place,” Gladstone assures.