For an intrepid, always-curious food sleuth, finding Fiesta Farms is a real coup.
It’s strange that it took many years of living in Toronto (the store opened 20 years ago) for me to make this discovery but I have and, naturally, I must share.
Billed on its web site as “Toronto’s largest independently owned grocery store,” this wonderful food emporium is just that – and much more.
Located in what is probably the Annex, a block north of Bloor and just west of Christie, Fiesta Farms is a spacious, clean, well-organized, well-stocked. welcoming spot and, most important, a veritable cornucopia of good food.
I have long had a love/hate relationship with supermarket chains, especially since a nasty accident at the Metro location on College St. near Grace where, about a year ago, I skidded on a scallion in the ill-attended, unkempt produce section causing me to tear a ligament in my ankle: a painful, debilitating injury that took two months to heal. (Note to the lawyers at Metro: Yes, I did consider suing after filling out all the necessary forms and making a formal complaint but decided it wasn’t worth the hassle.) I now take note of the condition of floors in all supermarket produce sections, most of which keep logs for staff to regularly sweep them, and walk accordingly. Beware, people, of parsley, grapes and lettuce leaves – hazardous materials on a slippery surface.
But I digress. The produce section is what first alerted me to the virtues of Fiesta Farms. It was here, last fall, that I found the beautiful, local Spy apples required to make my famous apple crumble. Having become a regular, I have enjoyed their fabulous peaches and nectarines, grape tomatoes, all manner of mushrooms, peppers and other Ontario fruit and veg. They have an organic section and emphasize the importance of knowing where food comes from. What a novel concept!
What I also love about Fiesta Farms are the helpful staff, friendly cashiers and the fact that I can get all my shopping done in one spot. They have a large deli section, great selection of coffee and a big parking lot. None of the snootiness of Whole Foods or Fresh & Wild (neither of them Canadian and both chains) and better prices. You read it here first.