At the Market, we welcomed new baking vendors like Gluten-Free Kitchen and Pie.ology, who enriched the Market – and your gustatory enjoyment – with Ashley’s gluten-free sweet and savoury baking and Liesl’s amazing “hand-pies made with heart.”
We were joined by Nikos and his Local Motion food truck on Wednesday afternoons, and proud to be there when he became the first food truck in Ontario to be awarded the FeastON designation for his use of local farm ingredients in his menu.
We saw growth in many of our other food vendors as well last year: Lucy Q with her ever-expanding variety of perogies, Northern Unique with their fabulous Wednesday dinner offerings, Chino’s launch of their sugar-free line of tomato sauces, and Little Harriett’s Natural Baby Foods, who after learning how many adults were sneaking portions of their baby cereals and cookies decided to pull the Baby part and become Little Harriett’s Natural Foods, offering delicious cereals, juices, cookies and other healthy products for growing families so Mom and Dad can eat just as well as the little ones. We even saw an artisan vendor, Bobbi from Crazy Horse Studio, put up a second shingle as a baker of sinful delights.
Our preservers were busy again in 2014, raising eyebrows and winning awards at Hymer’s Fall Fair. A Little of This’ Fire and Ice Jelly won lauds there and the hearts of many Market customers this year; H&P, meantime, launched their remarkably popular Horseradish Cranberry Sauce in time for holiday turkey, ham and roast beef.
We watched a couple of vendors graduate. One of our roles in the community is to provide a place for small businesses to spread their wings. Nothing could make us more proud than to see a vendor outgrow us, and that happened at least twice in 2014 with bakery vendors.
Both Hands Bread now has a bricks-and-mortar operation in the old Shear Heaven building on the corner of Park and Algoma, where Derek Lucchese, his family and friends have opened a bakery and take-out pizza joint that’s busily winning the hearts of north core foodies with whole pizzas, slices and loaves of Derek’s famous rustic breads.
Then Erinn DeLorenzi and her team opened the Sweet North Bakery’s new home in the old Court St Café to the siren songs of rich hot chocolate and baking “like Mom and Grandma used to make.” Both Hands Bread no longer joins us at the Market, but you’ll still find Erinn and the Sweet North team offering their famous pretzels and a rotating variety of other mouth-watering baking.
Last year we said a fond farewell to vendor Michael Quibell of Little Doo’s Farm & Kitchen; Michael gave up his home catering business to join the team at Shelter House as their new kitchen manager. Although Michael doesn’t maintain a table at the Market anymore he visits regularly and sometimes sells farm products through other vendors, and he’s always glad when friends stop to lend a hand in his new kitchen on George St.
The Market grew in a lot of ways last year. Food and farmers were only a part of it. Stay tuned for our next post, when we take a look at what happened among our amazing artisans last year.