Right from the get go. Slow Food Perth County's Sunday Market has been a hit. Foodies appreciate the good, clean, fair principles of Slow food as well as the exceptional and creative produce and products offered by vendors who have a passion for their offerings.
I'm talking about wild boar, the best organic greens available anywhere, artisanal chocolate, bread, pastries, preserves, sustainable fish and more. This market has been the go-to food destination since it started in the spring of 2010.
The market has moved around a bit, beginning at the grounds behind Monforte Dairy, to the basement of Anything Grows last winter, outside again to historic Market Square, then back indoors last fall to Anything Grows. While Stratford isn't a large city, the moves have taken their toll, especially in the winter location.
But a new location that's hard to miss has given the market a recent boost. The building is the former site of a car dealership long gone and the new home of the Stratford Brewing Company. Formerly the showroom, the space has floor to ceiling windows on a corner site, a block from the main drag with lots of parking close by. Large signs proclaim the location all week long so there's no excuse.
While not larger in terms of square feet compared with the former long and narrow but charming basement of Anything grows, the new location offers lots of natural light, more space for patrons and warmth (literally) for the vendors who are there from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.
"The very first week we were here, we sold as much as we do on a Sunday in July," said Antony John of Soiled Reputation, who among his winter veg was also offering roasted ancho chilies and a recipe for Simmered Ancho Sauce.
Among the weekly vendors were preserves from Caveman Crops ; Anne Campion with her Revel Caffè coffee trolley; Tara Ott's Feed Your Body raw/vegan/gluten free crackers, spreads & more; breads from Downie Street Bakehouse; Lindsay's gorgeous baked treats and more.
"This new space is great," said Steve Stacey, Slow Food Perth County's co-chair. "You just walk in and go aahhhhh."
Slow Food Perth County Sunday Market
114 Erie St, Stratford ON (Erie and St. Patrick streets)
Caveman Crops/Perth Pork Products
David’s Hot Pepper Jelly
Downie St. Bakehouse
Feed Your Body
Simple Fish Co.