COFFEE, CLOTHING & COMMUNITY STILL THRIVE ONE YEAR LATER
Story by Jacqueline Flaggiello
Photos provided by Lost & Found
What do you get when you combine a high school math teacher, an MBA graduate and a fashion-educated enthusiast? Well, when they all have amazing taste, a passion for quality clothing and creative ambitions, you get a stylish shop and java bar located in the heart of Toronto’s Dundas West strip called Lost & Found.
Recently celebrating their one-year anniversary, Lost & Found have already had an amazing start as their name has slowly spread from Little Portugal all the way to Cabbagetown. Carrying brands like menswear line Unis, Libertine-Libertine, Erin Kleinberg (she of The Coveteur) and Toronto’s own The Leather Atelier, it is clear that the darlings of Lost & Found leave nothing to chance.
“When buying new brands I look for sustainable trends, items that stand the test of time, exclusivity and something that speaks to my personal style,” said co-owner Zai Raikotwala, the inspired mind responsible for hand-picking all the women’s clothing and accessories. When it comes to picking the men’s apparel, co-owner Jonathan Elias states, “I looks for pieces that are classic, non-seasonal and something you could wear year round”. Well stated, as everything from the satchels on the wall to the delicate jewellery displayed a table embodies a timeless appeal.
When it comes to trends for Spring, they both agree that floral patterns are always a fun way to go, with a floral dress shirts by Creatures of Comfort leading the way. With prices for pieces starting from $60 and going up, it is evident that their motto is definitely quality over quantity, with the focus primarily being on investment pieces.
Yet, what really sets this savvy shop apart from the rest? “Community,” states Justin Veiga, the soft spoken yet enthusiastic former math teacher, and Lost & Found’s third co-owner. “The community is really supportive and we love how the coffee shop is able to assist in blending the social atmosphere and the love of clothing in one.” The supportive community has definitely assisted these three friends, allowing them to flourish and continue to do what they love.
After admiring the shop’s unique selection, my sights become fixed on the their latest selection of eclectic and eye popping friendship bracelets by The Leather Atelier; their exclusivity and beauty define Lost & Found’s ethos.
So what do these three entrepreneurs have in store for the future? “We seem to have been asked this question a lot recently,” Jonathan laughs. Perhaps a heavy question at such an early point in time. “Well, growth is certainly in the future for us… [the] challenge right now seems to be space. We would love more room to grow.” With more room comes more selection, meaning more items for us to lust after and covet.
When asked how Raikotwala, Elias and Veiga would sum up Lost & Found’s aesthetic in only three words, all three agreed that “Classic, versatile and genuine”, embodies their look and philosophy just perfectly. With three good friends, a cozy atmosphere and damn good coffee and sweets (especially the donuts…drool), they have definitely found that elusive balance of community and singularity that we’ve all been looking for.
Lost & Found, 1255 Dundas Street West, Toronto