There was a dream: a childhood dream of two sisters, to create a lasting legacy, to preserve Taiwanese history through the beauty of cultural cuisine and delicacy… and in October 2020, when we opened up the first ever Maeli Market, that dream came true. Selling a wide range of Taiwanese products from traditional snacks, to uniquely shaped soaps and even classic tote bags, our store also included a modern kitchen setup serving hot foods and snacks daily, taking on a no-preservatives and sustainability oriented approach for customers. Over time, as we emerged as one of Toronto’s growing hotspots, life would flourish at Maeli: with monthly cooking workshops for Traditional Taiwanese Cuisine, and even an annual Themed Food Festival, where local vendors and farmers from Taiwan fly across the world with an on-hands opportunity to promote their own products, Maeli Market is all inclusive, all Taiwan, and for all the people.
We originally set out to recreate the memorable, vibrant, tight-knit connection we had to home, for Maeli Market in a sense for many, is just a step away from home. From the products, to the kitchen, to the walls, everything is either sourced from, or evocative of Taiwan. When you walk into the store, be amazed by our attention to detail. Whether it be the pineapple cake shaped bamboo lighting on the ceiling, the red floor tiles reminiscent of popular tourist destination Dihua street, or even the painted wooden panels depicting the recognizable east coast mountains of the island, every minute you spend in Maeli Market is an opportunity to immersify yourself into Taiwanese culture.
Whilst it might have started off as a dream, Maeli Market has since grown to become so much more than just a store, but rather in its core, a space for connection and growth: by instilling our ambition for cultural awareness within the community in Toronto, we now inspire a greater audience to learn and experience traditional Taiwanese delicacy. We’re here to preserve culinary art, preserve tradition, preserve history, but most importantly… we’re here to set a precedent… that dreams do come true.