Eating-up Stratford
Bite by Byte

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Slow Food Sunday Market Goes... To Market Square, Where Else?!?

Almost exactly a year ago, Slow Food Perth County was invited by Ruth Klahsen of Monforte Dairy to start a market in the back lot of her new artisan cheese factory location. The Slow Food folks didn't hesitate to take her up on her offer, and in late spring, 2010, the Slow Food Sunday Market was created to connect our community with local growers and artisans who exemplified Slow Food's 'Good, Clean and Fair' principles.

It was (I guess appropriately) 'slow' at first.

But then, as the summertime weeks went by and the produce started coming out of the ground, the market started generating a little more attendance. The market regulars knew they had stumbled upon something special - the only place in town where they could get Monforte Dairy sheep and goat's milk cheese, Soiled Reputation Farm's unparalleled greens, starter plants and herbs from Tim at Creton Farm, heirloom seeds and produce from Anything Grows, sprouts from Kawthoolei Farm, smoked offerings from Koert Organics, treats from Lindsay's Bakery, Erbcroft Farm Lamb, and Perth Pork Products - all in the same trip!

As winter approached, the loyal Slow-Food-loving marketgoers started to lament: "What will happen when winter comes and the market goes away?!?"

Then, like the true local food heroes they are, Rick and Allan from Anything Grows stepped up and rescued the market, offering to relocate it to their garden/food store's historic cellar on St. Patrick Street (formerly the site of Stratford's original brewery).

The Slow Food Sunday Market really thrived in its winter home. It became a destination where a lot of people just came to hang out and drink coffee and chat... usually about food. My kind of place. The roster of vendors expanded to include the Stratford Urban Farming Experiment's fresh baked bread,  Feed Your Body's vegan creations, one-of-a-kind handmade greeting cards from Barb's Cards, and sustainable fish and seafood from Simple. Fish and Chips.

What next? It was only natural that the Slow Food Sunday Market would finally reclaim the historic Market Square (behind Stratford's City Hall) as a place for the community and its visitors to come together to access great food and enjoy our city's downtown space.

The dream of a Market returning to Market Square came to fruition on Sunday, June 5, 2011!!

The new market was piped-in with majestic style by the Stratford Police Pipe and Drum band:

The market continues to grow in its vendors. Sara from Nourish Whole Food Nutrition was serving-up spectacular rhubarb smoothies, and nearby Megen Family Farm literally sold a truckload of beautiful seasonal asparagus (next they'll have strawberries!):

Shawn Hartwell from Simple. Fish and Chips had some support from a giant local chicken who was very persuasive telling folks to consume more sustainable fish (and therefore less chicken!):

Antony "The Singing Farmer" John (aka Soiled Reputation's Manic Organic) was belting out the classics to the delight of the massive crowd that showed up for the historic event:

All I can say is: What a day! And many more to come - the market will be running downtown every Sunday from 10am to 2pm all the way until October 30!

I am so unbelievably proud to be part of a community like Stratford and a group like Slow Food Perth County, who have put food back where it belongs: in the heart of our city!


  1. So proud of all of you and so extremely grateful that such a committed group of people have created such an amazing experience for all of Stratford to enjoy! Thank you!!!

  2. Looks like the new market venue is a huge success! Cannot wait to come check it out. I'd love to do a cover of it for our local cable T.V. show, if you're interested you can email me:

    contact (at) seasonalfamily (dot) com