Kensington Market rallies to help Jumbo Empanadas recover from fire

The community in Kensington Market is rallying behind a second business affected by a three-alarm fire on October 18.

The blaze, which gutted the popular grocery story and snack shop Emporium Latino, also forced Jumbo Empanadas at 245 Augusta to temporarily close.

A GoFundMe page for Emporium Latino has since raised more than $27,000 and two days ago the organizers launched another page for Jumbo Empanadas, which has raised nearly $4,000 as of press time.

“Irene Morales began Jumbo Empanadas in 1991 as a Saturday venture in Kensington Market serving empanadas and humitas from one of Toronto’s original food carts,” organizers Leyla Razeghi, Maggie Helwig, and Venetia Butler state on the GoFundMe Page.

“By 1999 Jumbo Empanadas moved to 245 Augusta Avenue as a dine-in restaurant with a liquor and patio license. Three generations of Irene’s family recently celebrated 30 years of business. Now there are 4 employees who work alongside the owner.”

According to the Instagram account Friends of Kensington Market, the money will go directly to Morales.

Jumbo Empanadas has fared better than its neighbour.

The GoFundMe states that the fire did not enter its building and Morales has insurance, leading her to believe she could remain open. However, safety inspectors disagreed, according to the GoFundMe organizers.

“Any money donated will be used to pay income loss for employees first, if there is extra it will be used for things insurance does not cover such as oven repairs,” the GoFundMePage states.


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