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Troublesome is both a design studio and an espresso bar, where you can sip coffee and shop for design-focused everyday items.

Owners Natasha McDiarmid and Sam Johnstone came up with the idea for a cafe and retail store after seeing a similar concept during their trips to Amsterdam.

They combined their design and e-commerce backgrounds to create Troublesome, a space where retailers around the world can work with them to build their brand and have a place to sell them in-store.

awkward torontoAll the products inside the store are what they call “utilities”, which means they are everyday items: razors, mugs, fruit bowls, which are uniquely designed by companies in Canada, the United States and Japan.

awkward torontoAt the back of the store there is a small space McDiarmid and Johnstone run the design studio.

They help brands develop web and graphic designs, as well as general messaging for how their products are displayed on shelves.

awkward torontoTake these Mood Bites for example ($15.00). Troublesome worked with Pym, a company owned by Robin William’s son, to create their brand identity.

Inside are adaptogens, little herbal gummies that target your body’s hormone levels to help you manage stress and anxiety.

Troublesome came up with the idea for the packaging, saying they wanted it to be accessible but still relevant to the wellness world. They’ve included odd shapes on the box to represent emotions that don’t always fit in their place, and the colors symbolize the chews’ citrus flavor.

awkward torontoThis Well Kept razor is the perfect example of the products sold at Troublesome. While it may seem like a simple thing you use to shave, it looks a lot more aesthetically pleasing compared to the everyday razor you’ll find at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Who wouldn’t feel cool using a designer style brass razor? Although it’s more expensive ($94.00), it all balances out in the long run because it lasts a long time, meaning you’ll save on buying plastics over and over again.

It’s also designed to ensure a clean and safe shave, so no need to spend extra money on creams to treat cuts and irritations.

awkward torontoThe rest of the items sold at Troublesome include many great finds, especially if you’re looking for a simple birthday present that won’t just sit on a shelf in your home.

awkward torontoItems like unique cards, graphic printed t-shirts, backpacks, and stationery sets are just a few gift ideas you can give someone knowing they will be put to good use.

awkward torontoTroublesome’s espresso bar offers the classics, it’s simple, straight to the point and their beans are sourced from a local brewer.

awkward torontoPirates of Coffee is based in Vaughan, but they ethically source coffee directly from farmers in places like Costa Rica, Colombia, and Brazil, so you know you’re getting a quality cup.

awkward torontoA regular sized latte with regular milk is around $4.50, but you can choose between flat whites, a cappuccino, or a milk tea.

You can also find some interesting cool drinks at Troublesome that you wouldn’t normally see in a regular cafe.

awkward torontoAn alternative to caffeine is Earth and Star matcha drink made with oat milk ($7.50). The price of this drink makes sense because it includes Lion’s Mane Chaga mushrooms.

Don’t worry, you won’t be going on a trip sipping this one, it’s another form of adaptogens, mushrooms help improve memory and boost concentration.

awkward torontoWhen the warm weather arrives, Troublesome organizes bike rides from the store and cycling 25 kilometers, through High Park, to the waterfront in Etobicoke.

awkward torontoThen everyone gets an espresso or an Americano once they get back to the store and have finished their ride. Living in the area themselves, the owners say they wanted to connect more with the neighborhood and meet other like-minded people through the cycling club.

awkward torontoFind Troublesome’s storefront less than a minute’s walk from Dufferin and College, feel free to grab a coffee with a friend on the blue bench outside the store.

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