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Mar 20, 2011 06:08 PM

Moving to Petawawa - help please!

Moving to Petawawa this summer. I don't drive and my husband hates grocery shopping. I understand there is very little shopping in the town... one grocery store and a few smaller stores. I am hoping to find an organic grocer who will deliver or even ship if need be fresh produce.

Does anyone have suggestions for us?

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  1. Google?

    What's the closest town?

    1 Reply
    1. re: 5andman

      I just posted a very helpful reply and for some reason it was deleted. I believe in my posting and it truly is unfortunate that the deletion as intelligent and helpful as it was is gone. I know Pembroke is closer, but North Bay and Ottawa are logical long drives away. Briefly, I did originally to be brief suggest first get to know the locals who would be helpful, and secondly that 2 refrigerators and two freezers would be helpful, especially if one may like various foods of ethnic origin, a trip to Ottawa once a month or every 5 or 6 weeks may be required. Oh Well!!!!!! The request for an organic grocer, delivery, shipping fresh produce to Petawawa would be a tough find indeed!!

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Ottawa would probably be your best bet. Thy here There's also Kasha Foods in Pembroke, about 10 min drive and there's also Beyond Nutrition in Petawawa. These carry organic products, but not produce unfortunately. Moncion Grocers does have a limited organic produce section and there's also a local farmers market in Pembroke which is open during growing season. Hope this helps.

        1. Hi Shaynelle. If you're going to be living in a PMQ on base then the Canex grocery store will be within walking distance. It's not great, but ok for picking up the odd essentials.
          There is a supermarket in Petawawa itself about 3km out of camp, but it's pretty average - especially the meat and vegetables.
          There is a Farmer's market in town too in the summer, but once again you'd need to drive - it's not really walking distance unless you don't mind a long stroll.
          You can get stuff delivered though. Over in Pembroke (about 30mins drive) there is an organic vegetable store called Cardinals. You can order a weekly box (or as often as you like) through their website ( which includes a range of fruit and vegetables. I've used them for about 4 months and it's not too bad. I get a $30 once a week and I never need to get fruit or veg from anywhere else. The contents vary, but you can ask for certain things to be included or kept out if you wish.
          I've been generally happy with them, although once in a while I've had the odd batch of badly bruised fruit. Today's box, for example had:
          2 brocolli
          1 cucumber
          1 red cabbage
          1 romaine lettuce
          2lb bag carrots
          7 large bananas
          3lb bag apples
          1 Mango
          7 plums
          2 oranges

          It was quite fruit heavy this week, usually there is more veg, less fruit.

          They also provide organic eggs, milk, herbs and meat - although the meat selection is not huge. You have to ask for these items separately.
          The best way to do it is to go down and pick up your box, that way you can swap stuff out if you have a specific menu in mind, but there is a guy who lives on base that delivers to military families. He charges $5 for delivery and can be organised through Cardinals (Ross is the best guy to speak to).
          My experience with them has been that if you want it, they will try and get it for you, so just ask.

          Hope this helps.

          1. Hey Shaynelle,

            I agree with what Jon8 has said above.

            The Cardinal Fruit and Veg organics program is good, especially in the winter. I have been doing it for about a year. You do need to inspect your box. I have come across some limp veggies, but it's no problem to change it or exchange for something else and 99% of the stuff is just fine. And owner Ross is a chatty and interesting guy if you meet him and very helpful.

            There is also the Ottawa Valley Food Co-op (OVFC) which showcases local food. They have a monthly delivery drop off location in Petawawa. I only recently joined and haven't had an order yet, but friends have been enjoying it, especially the meat. Again, more things on offer during the summer.

            Moncion's, the grocery store in Petawawa, has pretty bad produce pretty often, although they do stock the PC organics and some local stuff in season. They will deliver. There's a Food Basics in the Pembroke Mall, which has much better produce and more variety, but not so many organics and will likely not deliver to Pet, but I've never asked. Shoppers Drug Mart in Pet stocks non-perishable organic things, their Nativia brand.

            Keep your eyes peeled in the local paper ( when you get here - there was a Petawawa Farmer's market last summer, and they may do it again. It was very limited, but fun and these types of places are always good for networking. The Pembroke market goes May-Oct and is not bad. It is about 15K from central Pet.

            The whole organic/local thing is new for the Ottawa Valley and has really only sprung up in the last 3 years or so. New things are happening all the time, so you never know!

            However, none of these things is on the scale or quality that you will find in a large centre, even though there are 30,000 people between the two towns. This is a rural area, and was known for lumber, not farming or sophisticated palates. The general shopping isn't good, it's true, however it is a bit more than a "grocery store and a few smaller stores". There is a new development being built starting this year which will feature a second grocery store as well as some kind of big box and some smaller shops. Pembroke has more shops than Pet, and the two towns are like twin cities - you don't really see the dividing line. 5 - 30 mins depending where you are driving from in Pet and where you are going to in Pembroke.

            Which brings me to my next point. As I said before this is a rural area. Things are spread out. It is over 30 kms from the base to the far side of Pembroke (Cardinal, Food Basics, Cdn Tire etc). Although it's really none of my business, my big suggestion to you would be to learn to drive. Unless there is a medical reason you can't, it would really help. There is no public transportation here. Taxi fare will quickly add up. If your husband is in the military, he will likely be away alot - Petawawa is a busy base. It could be a challenge to get things done, especially if you have children or you need to find work.

            Ottawa is just over an hour and a half away by car, and there is bus service, but the schedule is not always great. We go about once a month or two and stock up on specialty items. Ottawa has pretty much whatever you need, just watch out for politicians! :-) There are some fabulous restaurants too. Pet/Pem does not have fine dining. Saffron, and The Nook in Pembroke are ok, as well as Fresco in Eganville.

            Anyway, that's my ramble. If there are other specific things you would like to know, just post, I am happy to ramble even more.

            4 Replies
            1. re: awatts

              Wow, this is pleasantly way more info than I expected! It's exciting to know there are possibilities for getting organic stuff delivered. (I drove for 22 yes but can't now due to medical reasons for those wondering - I can walk short distances and most days can cycle so I am hoping to make use of the trails I have heard about in Petawawa!).

              Where is the farmers market held in Petawawa? I will be contacting the places/links provided, and amactually a bit excited to know there's at least a few options!

              Thanks to all who replied!

              1. re: Shaynelle

                The farmers market is held on the grounds of the Petawawa Civic Centre, like most things in Petawawa. There was a mention of it in the local paper a week or so ago, and it looks like it will be a go this year, probably June-ish.

              2. re: awatts

                Tried to eat at Saffron on a Friday evening. Called at 8pm to ask when the kitchen closes, and it had already closed... So make sure you call ahead if you want to eat there. Odd time to close the kitchen on a Friday night.

                Instead, we had dinner at the Nook; see review below.

                1. re: linzertorte

                  Dinner at The Nook Crêperie was fabulous. I had a wonderful salad with roasted potatoes, sautéed bay scallops, warm cherry tomatoes and feta salad on a bed of baby greens and drizzled with a dill vinaigrette. The salad tasted great. I asked for the salad without the feta cheese, but they served it with cheese anyway (I didn't complain because it wasn't too big a deal for me). My partner had a crêpe filled with asparagus, cheese, and topped with prosciutto and drizzled with honey. It came with a green salad on the side, and it was delicious. Both entrees really hit the spot.

                  For desserts, we had an excellent crêpe Notre Dame (a simple crêpe with butter and sugar) and a crêpe Suzette, which was the only disappointment of the entire meal. Instead of being drizzled with Cointreau and flambéed at the table, it came drenched in liquids and was far too sweet. I expected the waitress to inquire, since I only tasted a bite and didn't touch the rest. But she didn't blink when she removed the plate and didn't ask why I hadn't eaten the dessert.

                  For drinks, we had a German beer and a glass of Malbec. The beer was great; the Malbec was served too warm.

                  All in all, it was a very good experience. We enjoyed the atmosphere, which was lively and the service, which was good. I would definitely return.