A Fiesta Farms in the East End. Does that exist?
I just moved from Trinity Bellwoods to Riverdale. I'd shop religiously at Fiesta Farms because it has fresh, local produce and products, as well as stuff that hopefully won't kill me, my kids or the planet in this lifetime. Is there anything remotely equivalent in the East End that is NOT the Big Carrot, which charges an arm and a leg for a bag of potatoes?
I've heard of Masellis and Summer Hill Market, what's with these places?
Sun Valley is no longer, then there's Foodland at Pape, but here we get into the territory of Loblaws, No Frills, Sobeys, Metro, etc., which SUCK very badly at having any local produce and products on their shelves!
Just to drive the point further. It's a one-stop shop which combined with Strictly Bulk would make life perfect. For example. It's almost winter now. Is there one grocery store in the East End where one can get Niagara prosciutto, Ontario jerusalem artichokes and, say, leeks or cabbages from Ontario plus bread from a Toronto bakery, as well as Mapleton, Western or Liberty dairy, and eggs from real chickens?
Check out Longo's on Laird, they will have at least some of the stuff that you are looking for.
Fresh From the Farm on Donlands carries a small selection of local produce as well as plenty of local meats and some interesting , although pricey, other local products.
There is also the Brickworks farmer's market that operates year round. And the Withrow farmer's market is planning a winter market this year, it's on Tuesday's from 3-7 at Danforth Church near Danforth and Chester.
Masellis has its strengths but no, they are not going to cover most of these bases. They have local produce in season like bushels of sheppard peppers for the nonnas who still can, but not a lot of specialty produce or Ontario stuff over the winter. I believe they source their own meats and go the food terminal to get produce (vs. relying on some mass supplier), they have a lot of imported Italian stuff and some odd "gourmet" products, but they are not focused on trendy or local/natural. I WISH they had Western Cream Cheese (rare on the Danforth) but they don't have bagels so...
They used to make their own prosciutto, so none from Niagara. but none hanging this year and I haven't seen Signor Maselli senior in quite some time, actually (kind of wondering what's up)...
Don't even consider Summerhill Market as an option if you think The Big Carrot's prices are high.
Highland Farms on Ellesmere is the place to go for fruit and veggies. Not the cheapest but appears to have the best. IMO it does have the worse parking lot in the city but that is secondary to fruit and veggie quality Forget Summerhill except for special events/purchases if price is an issue. Really there is no alternative to Fiesta Farms in the East end or elsewhere in the West end for that matter.
I drive from Pickering to Highland Farms, and it is always worthwhile, even though there is a smaller HF near Morningside and KR.
If I was in Riverdale, I would drive over Pottery Rd and connect to Dupont through the shortcuts, and it should take about 15 minutes to Fiesta Farms, well worth it.