First optical store in community grows over three decades

Mano and her husband at a women's entrepreneur event hosted by then Toronto mayor, Mel Lastman in 1998.

CONTENT CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISING

Mano Gunaranjan came to Canada in the 1980s with her husband and a shared dream – to create a successful multigenerational business that would have an impact. Thanks to hard work, determination and strategic financial advice, it became a reality with Optimart.

Although her husband has now passed, the Gunaranjan family has grownOptimartto four locations across the GTA and Mano has been joined in the business by her adult children, bringing the dream to life.

Building the business has had its ups and downs and Gunaranjan has relied on the support of TD Bank for all her business banking needs, from that very first loan that helped to pay for optometry school and pave Mano’s road to success.

CONTENT CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISING

Journey began in 1983

“My journey began in 1983 when I immigrated to Canada and worked in the corporate banking world. My husband, an optician, opened the firstOptimartstore at Main Street and Danforth in 1991, marking a milestone for our community as the first Sri Lankan owned optical store with a full lab in the area. Eventually, my husband persuaded me to join him and I got my licence in 1998. Through dedication and resilience, my husband and I expandedOptimartto locations including Scarborough and Ajax. Through it all,TDhas been with us at every step, from my school loan to our current business banking support, and we could not have navigated our business journey without them,” said Mano Gunaranjan, CEO ofOptimart.

Family business across generations

“Optimartis truly a family business. After my husband passed in 2018, I took over the business, leading us through a new wave of optometry with the increase of screens for young generations. I am fortunate to have my daughter, who returned from London, England, where she obtained her optometry license, and my son, who is also working towards his license, by my side. Despite the challenge of running the business without my husband, we continue to thrive with new technologies and a loyal customer base. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be working in optometry,” added Ms. Gunaranjan.

CONTENT CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISING