Local Food – Waterloo Region

I have compiled a list of sources here for local food in Waterloo Region. It is by no means exhaustive and I would certainly welcome input from others in the area. This list is of places that I have been to and return to frequently. When I try new places I will add them to my list below. Please add a comment if you have a suggestion for a ‘must try’ local food resource in Waterloo Region.

Bailey’s Local Foods: There is a nominal $20 annual fee to become a member of the club and with this membership you have access to a wonderfully diverse resource of local food that includes organic beef, local poultry, cheese, milk, flour, popcorn, fruit and veggies. You can do about 70% of your grocery shopping here during the summer and fall months and it is as simple as clicking on an order form to add items to your shopping cart. In the summer the pick-ups are once a week on Fridays. In the late fall, winter and early spring the pick-ups are monthly. Many of the resources I have listed below are available on their online ordering system.

Martins Apples – Open year-round for local produce and their homegrown apples as well as maple syrup. They make their own fresh cider but also carry the longer storing Wellesley cider. Since I use a lot of honey in my baking, I often scoot down the road to pick some up from there since I only buy local honey. They also carry local Eby Farms milk.

Herrles Farm Market – The place to go for pick-your-own strawberries! They have great local produce from their own field and from their farmer friends in Ontario. I’m totally addicted to their baked goods and my Timothy loves the train that run around the ceiling inside the market and the large wooden train outside. They are open from June to the end of October.

The Good Peach They were formerly The Petters and they provide apricots, cherries, peaches, as well as a few other items from Palantine Fruit and Roses. I’ve been ordering fruit from them for a few years now and I’ve always been happy with what I buy.

The Sustainable Market – Place an order through them for Niagara fruit, such as cherries, peaches, and plums using their online ordering form. They also provide other vegetables from other local farmers as well as products such as baked goods and pantry items. There are two pickups a week during the summer with multiple locations. Visit their website to find out more and see if one of the pickup locations is near you.

Stemmlers Meats – A great selection of meat and gluten-free sausages. Love the shortribs!

Brady’s Meat & Deli – I love going there because I know that any questions I have about the meat, they have answers – they know their suppliers. Really wonderful variety.

Vibrant Farms – I have been ordering beef from here for several years now. Sometimes we order a half steer if someone goes in on it with us, but we regularly order a quarter steer. It lasts us usually at least 6 months, if not longer. You can find more information on their website or order through email: orders@vibrantfarms.com

Food Link Waterloo – For as full a list as you can get for local Waterloo Region food this is the best site. The map that is produced is also really handy.

Find a Waterloo Region CSA: Other than growing all your veggies in you backyard, nothing is more local than being part of a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) program.  With some CSA’s you go and pick up a selection of what they have to offer that week and others deliver a food box directly to your house. I have tried both of those options and know for us the direct delivery is what works best for us. It does make things a bit of surprise each week and if you like to have more control of what you take home then find a CSA that allows you to pick and choose such as Transpire Organic. We are going with Stevanus Family Farm again this year. We were with Transpire Organic last year and loved Candice’s passion for creating a community around the produce she produces but the weekly pick up would not work for us. We have been with Stevanus before we are returning to them.  From reading about the CSA’s on the link provided above I understand that some of them do a central pick up with a food box.