The Grapevine: Caroline of the Ottawa Street Market

November 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

This past Friday on The Grapevine Alex talked to Caroline, the dedicated manager of the Ottawa Street Market.

Here’s a taste of what was discussed on the show:

Alex: “It seems to me that there aren’t a whole lot of places where you can get local food year round now. I’m thinking of the Farmers’ Market downtown, but even that doesn’t have a whole lot of Ontario grown things when you go there in January. It really seems like this is one of the only places where you can actually…”

Caroline: “Yeah, that actually have locally grown products. What some of our vendors do do as well – and we encourage them because they do need to make a living as well, this is their livelihood – some of them will subsidize, so when you do make your market visit and you’re getting your locally grown potatoes and cabbages and onions and carrots, some of them do sell lettuces, which they will bring in across the border… We have market rules and bylaws, and they’ve talked about it, and they’ve decided that in order to subsidize their own businesses, that’s okay. Plus it helps the customer come down and they can buy everything in one shot, not have to run back to the grocery store to get the rest of their salad fixin’s. So there is a little bit of subsidizing going on, but like I said we need our farmers to be able to make a living.”

A: “Absolutely.”

C: “The vendors we do have on site, we have Shearlea Acres, who is a very big grower out in Lynden. They probably have the largest selection of produce over the winter. They do all the winter vegetables, they also do maple syrup, honey, they have birdseed which is really nice as well, they have potatoes…we have another vegetable grower Brian Novak, who is there on Saturdays. Most of them are there Fridays and Saturdays…”

“We do have Kountry King, they do bread and smoked meats, and they have the barbeque, and as long as she can get there she’ll be there, but if they weather is just too horrible sometimes they don’t make it in from Markham. Teal’s is there, and they do pork, beef, chicken and cheese, they brought in cheese this year it’s been very successful: Jenson Cheese, which is Ontario as well. We have Warner’s who does apples and pears, and they have apple cider as well. He’s just going to be coming in on Saturdays, and as long as it’s above freezing he’ll be there, he says. He does nuts as well, they grow nuts, chestnuts and walnuts, he’s got cranberries as well, which he brings down from Ottawa. Locally grown Ontario cranberries, he’ll have those until Christmas. We have Fletcher’s, a big apple grower, I think they’re in their third generation or fourth, I’m not sure. They were one of the original vendors on the market when it opened 55 years ago some honey and they’re very popular, a good anchor for our market. And we have Bristol’s, come with thier eggs, so we have eggs year round as well. They do some winter vegetables as well… Til Christmas, we have a few more vendors that will stick out until Christmas.”

The Ottawa Street Market is open year round, from 7 am until 3 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The market is located at 204 Ottawa Street North.

You can find a full listing of their vendors here. Alex and Caroline discuss finding a market for farmer’s food, besides farmers’ markets.

Listen to the full show on CFMU by searching “The Grapevine.” You can even download it and listen to it as a podcast!


I’m going to try to learn how to post the MP3s of the Grapevine directly to the blog, so you can listen to the show with increased convenience and ease.

This Friday’s show is going to be so excellent: Caffeinated Hamilton: Part 1. We’ll be talking about the history of coffee in Canada and chatting with the folks from Red Hill Coffee Trade. Listen in at 1:30!!


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