It’s easy to see why individuals and business owners make locally-grown and raised food a staple part of their diet and business.
Locally grown food provides several benefits. The food is fresher and offers improved nutrition. Knowing where your food comes from also improves food safety and accountability for the producer. Locally grown food helps to preserve small farms, create jobs, support other local businesses and keep most of the money in the community improving the overall well-being of the community, residents, and business owners.
Grey County is extremely fortunate to have several producers and restaurant owners who understand these benefits and produce fresh products for the local market or create and serve meals with locally sourced ingredients (or both).
Local food superstars Sumac + Salt have been creating food magic around Grey County for several years. Sumac + Salt are famous for their pop-ups at on farm events and in-home catering, and the relationships they have built with local suppliers, sourcing only the best ingredients from local farms. Demand for their gorgeous seasonal, local (and sometimes foraged) creations has always been very high. Chefs Joel and Hannah have been quietly working behind the scenes to make their food available to more people, more often. Fans of their cooking can now enjoy their beautiful meals at their recently opened Feast On certified on-farm restaurant, Down Home, in the heart of the Beaver Valley.
Be sure to check out Good Family Farms located just south of Meaford. Consisting of 400+ acres of working farm, their fields are home to heritage-breed pigs, cattle, and chicken; all of which are Certified Organic and Regeneratively raised. Their meat and eggs are sold directly off the farm in their farm store, as well as online. Good Family Farms also houses and partners with local micro-businesses who share similar (food) values, like Sumac + Salt (Down Home)! They are constantly working towards improving the health and wellness of our Grey County community and supporting the environment to the best their ability.
Secret Lands Farm is the first “Ewenique” experience in Grey Highlands. A family-owned sheep dairy farm that produces hormone-free, free-range dairy products, artisanal cheese, and various prepared meats. These are available at their farm, through their website and at local farmers markets. Producing only small batches, using their own sheep’s milk, their own fresh well water and fresh air, giving them complete control of their superb quality and taste and nutritional benefits. Secret Lands Farm is one of many local producers who supply area restaurants. Secret Lands Farm also invites you to learn more about the connection to the lands, food production, and access to nutritious food through one of three different on farm tour experiences.
Top O’ The Rock is an award winning “one-stop” shopping experience along Grey Road 13 that attracts visitors, commuters and residents in the Eugenia area. At Top O’ The Rock you can find the latest locally made sweets, treats, and delicious eats. They pride themselves on always being fully stocked with products from local vendors. These vendors include local gems like Saugeen Country Yogurt, Peasemarsh Farms prepared foods, Uncle Richards Maple and many other products from nearby communities. Top O’ The Rock is also home to a LCBO partner store where you can find some of the best locally grown and produced wine, cider and beer.
At the Kimberley General Store, not only do they provide you with a wonderful experience but also pride themselves on offering local, homegrown produce whenever in season and locally sourced ingredients, products and crafts. Their knowledgeable friendly staff will introduce newcomers to the variety of goods and products they carry from fresh baked treats, local coffee, full sourdough bread, in-house pies, local organic goods, and curiosities.
At the Kimberley General Store you will not find your typical store brands, as this local gem truly delivers the best of homegrown foods and an distinctive experience unlike generic general stores.
Justin's Oven is a restaurant fueled by a wood fired oven and a passion to create local foods. The menu is all about local and organic whenever possible. Everything on the menu is made in-house by Justin. The beef, fowl, and pork are locally sourced and ethically raised, with no GMO’s, steroids, or hormones. The vegetables are always organic, and locally sourced when possible. The focus is on being in season and supporting local gardeners. Even the sauces are made in house, including the Caesar salad dressing, salsa, guacamole, tzatziki, garlic aioli, duck egg mayo, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, tomato sauce, nut-free vegan pesto, ketchup, mustard, curry sauce and much more. You can find free samples at the Kimberley General Store, right beside Justin’s Oven.
Looking for a new outdoor market experience? Check out the The Market Shoppe at Rocklands Market on Sundays! This new market offers fresh local foods to take home or enjoy on site, plus live entertainment, craft vendors, a family game area and much more. Coordinated by the folks from The Market Shoppe in Markdale, this Sunday local-food focused event takes place on a beautiful (and brand-new) agri-culinary event space – Rocklands Market - in the village of Berkeley. You need to see it to believe it!
Don't miss these other amazing restaurants featured in a recent Toronto Life article: Destination Dining: A roadside tavern in Grey County from the team behind Union (torontolife.com)
"Sure, gas prices are still pretty bonkers. But, if you’re looking for a tasty getaway this summer, we’re highlighting road-trip-worthy dining destinations across the province, led by Toronto-expat chefs, that are worth the time in traffic and the pain at the pump. Next up: a roadhouse tavern in Kimberley." (TORONTO LIFE)
In Grey County it’s clear that producing and creating local cuisine is not just a trend, it’s a passionate way of life that continues to make new connections and grow a healthier community. Check out our other #EAT in Grey County related blogs / trip ideas below: