Back in the 80's when I (Sarah) was younger, my dad used to walk me and my sister to the neighbourhood corner store (apparently called the Federal Store though I couldn't yet read three syllable words) at Québec Street and West 10th Avenue every Friday evening. We were each given 50 cents to spend on Friday candy. With our shared box of Smarties, my sister and I were each allowed to get a 5 cent liquorice pipe. Although we moved away from Mount Pleasant when I was five years old, it that remains one of my fondest memories of that neighbourhood.

So when long-time Mount Pleasant residents Collette Griffiths and Christopher Allen reopened the Federal Store in November 2016, I was hesitant to go inside - something about not wanting to ruin those childhood memories. Thankfully, curiosity won and I decided to re-enter my childhood candy store. It's now a 16 seat café, lunch counter, and specialty grocer. The old sign remains, as does its neighbourhood charm. Inside, tables and chairs are vaguely reminiscent of those we sat on in school. The retro fridges and antique shelves hold everything from toilet paper, to milk in glass bottles, and specialty maple syrup. At the back of the store is the counter with baked items, soups, and sandwiches. The store started as a bakery in 1922 and has come full circle, as the new Federal Store does all their baking in house.

We visited twice in one weekend, if that gives any indication of how much we like it. The new Federal Store has established itself as a neighbourhood hub and a great place to people-watch while having a cup of coffee and eating avocado feta toast on freshly baked organic sourdough bread, or granola and yogurt with candied ginger, honey, and fresh fruit. Oh, and to pick up that bottle of milk you originally came for.

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