The Market - About Us
Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market
Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market
Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market proprietor, Dave Cook, has pursued his passion for food for over 26 years starting in kitchens at the age of 15 and is sometimes still found there. Cook’s social enterprise company The Artisan Group owns and operates several cutting edge, food –based companies: Fire Roasted Coffee Company, Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market (WFFAM), Masonville Farmers Market, as well as the bean- to- bar urban specialty chocolate company Habitual Chocolate. In the process of pursuing his passion Cook discovered the link between healthy food access and the resulting economic and community development
Located in the historic Confederation building in the Western Fair District the WFFAM has established itself as an innovative business incubator, neighbourhood social centre and community tradition. The Artisan Group businesses have a social mission and tap into the movement of revolutionizing retail – people dedicated to sourcing quality, ethical, healthy food and concerned about where it originates.
Habitual Chocolate crafts artisan chocolate with quality hand- harvested cacao beans sourced from a number of small family farms in exotic locales that include: Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Single varietals cacao beans are brought to London, where they are roasted, ground, tempered, blended and moulded in small batches at a micro- facility within the Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market where the unique tastes, flavours and characteristics of each country of origin are showcased.
The Market is a popular destination for chefs, cooks and local gastronomes in search of a wide variety of artisanal products and ingredients. Market-goers love the Market because they can buy high-quality; farm-fresh products directly from the person who produced them and can find unique products they won’t discover anywhere else in the city.
The local community loves the Market because it brings people together and has changed a former culinary desert into a hive of productivity, attracting entrepreneurs, culinary artisans and innovative thinkers. Several of London’s best restaurants and chefs which include: Kantina, The Only on King and True Taco, have set up satellite locations within the Market. The Market serves as an anchor for community life by providing a setting for interactive cultural and civic activities that complement the Market and its location in London, Ontario’s Old East Village.
All year long you will find fresh produce, even in the winter you will discover fresh local apples, pears, brussels sprouts and other cabbages (red, green and savoy), delicious root vegetables like parsnips, beets, carrots and rutabagas, potatoes and sweet potatoes, a large variety of winter squash. You can also purchase delectable artisanal cheeses from Erin Harris of the Cheese Poet or Rick Peori of ABC cheese.
On the Move Organics provides fresh, local, independent and 100% certified organic produce throughout the year. They also have a natural juice bar and a CSA production operation called the "Movement" located on the 2nd floor.
Today, market-goers enjoy a variety of products that include the finest in produce, fresh-cut flowers, dry goods, gourmet products, speciality teas and fairly traded coffee and chocolate. Locally raised products from three butchers, fresh poultry, and a variety of artisanal delicatessen and charcuterie from Saucy Meats &Much More are on offer. Fresh local fish, free-run eggs and quality dairy products are available.
Traditional culinary favourites include local delicacies, homemade regional sausages, apple fritters, fresh hand-pressed cider, organic popcorn, birch syrup and pure Ontario maple products.
The market has an unsurpassed variety of artisan bakers who have mastered a palette of flavours, high quality ingredients and techniques. Gerda and Theo Korthof's, Artisan Bakery features a full complement of European -style pastries and artisanal breads. From Lindsay Reid’s bake kitchen in the basement of his Sebringville home; Lindsay handcrafts small-batch scrumptiousness to set up shop on Saturdays at the Market. Alan Mailloux’s Downie Street Bakehouse features from-scratch, hand-shaped, artisanal and specialty breads made with time and care. Baking is a calling for Christain Burdan, who is a seventh-generation baker, tracing his family's craftsmanship back to 1762. Burdan has tantalized tastebuds in both his native Germany and in France before immigrating to Canada. Burdan's breads, rolls and speciality baked items such as pretzels from the Red Cat Farm are available from their mobile stall at the Masonville Farmers’ Market in season and outdoors at the Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market for the rest of the year.
You can also purchase locally milled grains sourced from Arva Flour Mills. There are also specialty bakers and a variety of vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free and reduced-sugar and -salt baked goods.
Authentic ethnic cuisines (think farm-to-table, Serbian, East Indian, Tibetan, Salvadorian, Mexican, Polish, Dutch and Hungarian) are featured prominently, as well as other specialty food vendors and food stalls showcasing the multi-cultural diversity of our community.
Upstairs on the 2nd floor is the Fire Roasted Coffee Cafe/Roastery, presided over by lead roaster/chef Patrick Dunham. Recognized as one of Canada’s finest specialty hand-roasted artisan coffees, this is where serious coffee drinkers can experience expertly roasted single-varietal coffees. It is here on site that they do their roasting and tastings. The roastery is open Monday to Friday (9–5) for retail and wholesale purchases, and of course market hours on Saturdays. Fire Roasted Coffee roasts over 50 types of beans, including 20 single-origins, decafs and blends. 95% of the coffee selection is Fair Trade Certified, and many more are Organic Certified and shade-grown as well.
The 2nd floor Artisan’s Market also features the best and most unique craftspeople, artists and artisans, together with an eclectic roster of distinctive and locally handcrafted products, fine jewellery, collectibles and one-of-a-kind services. Family friendly entertainment includes musicians. There is great shopping on the 2nd floor with over 40 permanent vendors providing friendly personalized service.
900 King Street, (Ontario and Dundas Streets) 519 438 5942
Saturdays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Some specialty vendors are open Thursdays.