Hi, Welcome to Panda Hobby!
At Panda Hobby, we always have the pleasure of getting to know our customers, and today I’m here to tell you a little bit more about us. My name is Samantha, in 2015, Baldwin and I traveled to Japan and we absolutely fell in love! The sights, the food, the shopping, the culture, and the SHOPPPING! It was such an unforgettable experience. We came back to Canada and tried to recreate some of that experience, those vibes, the <3 and luckily Toronto is filled with amazing Japanese restaurants. Unfortunately, the shopping not so much. That’s when we decided that we would try to bring a little bit of Japan to Canada.
In 2017, we took a leap of faith and started our amazing journey. We opened the first Panda Hobby location in a tiny Chinese plaza with terrible parking. Both Baldwin and I agree that the hardest part of that was working elbow to elbow at one small desk 7 days a week. I still remember customers having to take turns shopping because we couldn’t accommodate more than 2 people in the shop! Everyone that came to Panda was crazy nice and we were fortunate enough to get to know them. We gained a ton of new friends and so much love and support.
In 2018, we moved into a bigger space with much better parking. We were now able to build our dream shop equipped with a Build Room and a Paint Room! The intention of the Build Room was to create a comfortable space for people to hang out, meet new friends, and share interests, a place where we get to geek out. We decked it out with TVs for Anime (Crunchyroll, Netflix, Funimation), PS3 (Gundam Versus, Overcooked, Street Fighter), large tables for building (because it’s way more fun to build when you can lay everything out), and a library of Gundam and modeling magazines consisting mostly of Baldwin’s personal collection. Another big thing for us was to have a Paint Room because we knew the pains of trying to paint while living with our parents or in a condo. And for the next 2 years we were able to host a lot of great people that share in our passion for Gundam building, Anime, and the Japanese culture.
Panda Hobby is a Canadian Mom and Pop shop striving to change what it means to be a small business in 2022. We want to bring the positive aspects of big companies to our small family-run business. With Baldwin’s extensive background in corporate marketing we are able to provide a professional, convenient, and seamless shopping experience both online and in-store. Our goal is to provide amazing customer service to every single person who comes through our doors or reaches out online because we believe everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. We genuinely hope that we can make the hobby a little less lonely and a lot more fun.