Vintage Stories

Shop and Socialize

Written by Eatdrink

Strathroy_main

 

For over 150 years the small paved space at 52 Frank Street in Strathroy has been leading a double life. While the painted yellow lines that stripe its asphalt may lead you to believe it’s just a parking lot, Market Square has been a gathering place for merchants and the community since 1861.

Strathroy Farmers' Market manager Daryl Bycraft

Strathroy Farmers’ Market manager Daryl Bycraft

Alex Jackman of Skeezeys Garden

Alex Jackman of Skeezeys Garden

Alex Lamothe of Almo Acres

Alex Lamothe of Almo Acres

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every summer Saturday morning, from 8 a.m. until noon, you can witness a special transformation as Market Square becomes The Strathroy Farmers’ Market. This quaint market brings together area farmers, merchants and entrepreneurs who offer local produce, plants, crafts and candles, as well as specialty products like beloved Girl Guide cookies, Epicure Selections and Arbonne Cosmetics.

According to Market Manager Daryl Bycraft, the market provides a unique opportunity to shop and socialize in a centralized location that is within walking distance for many Strathroy residents, and only a short drive from London.
While business peaks in mid-July as most fruits and vegetables come into season, high-quality local products and approachable, friendly vendors are always available.

Run by twelve-year-old entrepreneur Alex Jackman, Skeezeys Garden provides a one-stop shop for fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from local farms in Wyoming, Mount Brydges and Strathroy. Currently asparagus and rhubarb are in abundant supply, and more produce is on the way, including yellow watermelon and the best seller of the season – fresh peaches, which arrive in August.

Shirley Bruinink from Tony's Quality Homemade Bread

Shirley Bruinink from Tony’s Quality Homemade Bread

Tony’s Quality Homemade Breads is a new side-venture for Tony Bruinink, the ex-co-owner of Hollandia Cookies, and his wife Shirley. , The market is the place to be if you’re hoping for a taste of tradition from this baker, who has no brick and mortar location.  Bruinink learned the tricks of the trade from his father, who was a baker in Holland. Multi-grain, potato and raisin bread are familiar favourites, while the cinnamon sugar bread, a sweet regional specialty from the province of Friesland in northern Holland, provides a taste of something different.

The Strathroy Farmers’ Market is also an excellent stop if you’re hoping to beautify your own garden.

Bycraft Gardens offers a variety of perennials, herbs, grasses, annuals and hanging baskets.

Almo Gardens provides an assortment of trees, including red dogwood, white pine, Norway spruce, oak, white birch and more, which are all grown from seedlings on Alex and Monica Lamothe’s 47-acre tree farm.

The Horticultural Society, Dianne Strybosch

Dianne Strybosch of The Strathroy Horticultural Society, with some early summer offerings

Later in the season, on August 24th, the Strathroy Horticultural Society will hold their plant and bake sale, and on October 19th, the weekend before Halloween, the Strathroy Art Group will be selling painted pumpkins that are sure to add a touch of magic to your seasonal decorating.

No matter when in the season you visit the Strathroy Farmers’ Market, you’ll be pleased to find many friendly faces, and vendors who are knowledgeable and passionate about their products. Who knows, you may even make a new friend.

 

TANYA CHOPP is London-based marketing communications specialist and freelance writer whose work is focused on the promotion of health, wellness and support of the arts. She cooks with wine, and sometimes she even adds it to the food.

About the author

Eatdrink

Eatdrink serves the community of London, Stratford and Southwestern Ontario with entertaining and enlightening news, views and stories about the finer aspects of eating and drinking. Our tightly focused magazine is printed bimonthly, and our website updated frequently, in order to stay fresh, current to the season and timely with news. Our frequency also enables us to profile more of the exciting businesses and vibrant personalities that populate our region, print more wonderful recipes, recommend more great products and share more great stories.