Successful start for the food co-op 0
COLLINGWOOD – Samples of regional foods were quickly grabbed up at the “soft opening” of the local food co-op.
About 12 different producers set up tables with an array of vegetables, dairy products, bread, sauces, turkeys, and pumpkins at the Collingwood Community Food Co-op, Wednesday evening.
Lots of members and interested public came to the 65 Simcoe St. location to browse and buy some of the goods.
The acting chair Brad Kerr said people started coming by around noon even though the event didn't start until 4 p.m., at which point he said people continuously flowed through the doors.
He said he had received positive feedback.
“I think people are excited they can come down and see the food and they look forward to the store being open to be able to acquire food they are not typically able to find in the area (stores),” said Kerr.
Roy and Ginny Stewart Love from Roy'L Acres in Grey Highlands were selling mini pumpkins, chocolate cherry tomatoes and microgreens.
Microgreens are lettuce and mustard greens such as arugula and coriander, with the seeds still on them, that are sold still planted in containers for continual growth on on a windowsill. The plants hold on to their nutrition longer and replenish.
The Loves say microgreens are a popular trend in gourmet food and high-end restaurants.
“(The opening) is very exciting. We are doing quite well. People are fascinated with the microgreens,” said Ginny.
Co-creator of Free Spirit Gardens Matt Code said the co-op will be a good boost to the economy of agriculture in town.
“It's great it is finally here,” he said.
Free Spirit Gardens is a not-for-profit garden that hosts horticultural workshops for students at both Jean Vanier and Collingwood Collegiate Institute, and rents plots to community members.
At the opening, they were selling pumpkins and eggplants.
Susan and Gijs Vandepest were selling tomatoes, gourds, lettuce, and potatoes from their farm Sunrise Gardens.
Susan said she thinks with the recent beef recall, people want to be a part of the co-op to know where their food is coming from, that it is good quality, and that no pesticides or chemicals were used.
“Everybody says 'your produce looks so good'; it's because I picked it yesterday,” she said.
Some other producers were Kolapore Gardens, Miller's Dairy, and Duntroon Farms.
The Collingwood Community Food Co-op will be holding an official opening in November and are still accepting membership applications. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Collingwoodlocalfoodcoop or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org