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New Main Street Newmarket eatery offers pomegranate treats and more

Tochal offers healthy Persian fare made from pomegranates, including juice, ice cream, fruit roll-ups, as well as naturally sweet and savory treats using barberries, honeydew, saffron, pistachios, carrot juice

A new Main Street business is bringing refreshing drinks, decadent ice cream and gourmet cuisine, all with a unique Persian twist, to the Newmarket area.

Tochal, at 30 Main St S., was established after local customers travelling throughout the GTA for Persian treats encourage the business to open a location closer to home.

“We have a lot of customers from Newmarket and Aurora that come to the Thornhill location,” said Samira Sharifpooran, manager. “All these customers can come here. They are happy to see my business here.”

Sharifpooran manages the store in town and the one in Thornhill at 7368 Yonge St., which opened in 2005. Her brother oversees an establishment in Toronto at 1269 Dundas St. W., which opened in 2021.

Her father, who owns the company, spent time researching the best location for the next storefront, she said.

“He had to plan it for three years to open this location here,” said Sharifpooran. “He studied, (went back and forth) and asked everyone about Newmarket. He then decided to open it.”

The Newmarket establishment mainly features products made from pomegranates, including juice, ice cream, fruit roll-ups. Pomegranates are low in calories and fat but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Their benefits include antioxidants, heart health, and exercise endurance.

Tochal also offers treats using barberries — a fruit known to be high in antioxidants — honeydew, saffron, bananas, pistachios, and carrot juice for a sweet and savory experience with no added sugars or preservatives.

“We have a factory in Iran, and we ship everything from back home,” said Sharifpooran. “The fruit back home is tasty. As Persians, we love sour and sweets.”

Tochal is a mountain in Tehran, Iran. With an elevation of 3,962 metres or 13,000 feet, it is a popular skiing attraction for residents and visitors.

The establishment offers traditional Iranian dishes such as akbar joojeh, a unique blend of chicken and sauces, and zereshk polo morgh, a mix of saffron, turmeric, and barberries. It also has its own take on burgers, chicken strips and kebabs.

When Sharifpooran is not attending to her stores, she teaches painting to children in Richmond Hill, ages six to 12. Her paintings have been featured in juried shows and are on display at Gallery Hittite in Toronto. Her expertise is in watercolour and acrylic.

The Newmarket location is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 to 9:30 p.m. on weekends.