Despite being a frugalista, I love my local farmers’ market, even if the produce does cost a little more than grocery stores. It is great to support local businesses and the produce is usually fresher and lasts longer. Less spoils so overall, it does not cost that much extra.
The Hamilton Farmers’ Market is attached to Jackson Square, the Library and Hamilton City Centre. It is so convenient to grab bits there while shopping or running errands downtown. While it has a decent selection, it is not too huge or crowded and has pretty much everything you want under one roof.
I know a lot of people who shopped at the Farmers’ Market hate the new modernised look of the market, they find it boxy and less personable. I never shopped there before the change, but my only major complaint is the hours. Commuting for work, and some of the vendors shutting early means I don’t get to visit as often as I wish I could.
A holiday shoutout to some of my favourite vendors for meat and produce at the Farmers’ Market:
Buttrum’s: Typical farm produce, I regularly get leeks here for my potato leek soup, always fresh and always reliable.
Anissa’s Chicken & Jepson’s Fresh Meats: You may never want to go back to grocery store meat again, all fresh, not processed meats. They do sell out of popular items early sometimes though so shop early!
Dilly’s Farmacy: Specializing in local produce, organics, spices, nuts & honey there isn’t much I have looked for in the Farmers’ Market that I couldn’t find at Dilly’s – plus he once gave me a 20% coupon which warmed my frugalista heart.
Jantzi Cheese: I would be lost without their little bags of cheddar bites, cheese curds (because poutine at home!!) and delicious parmesan.
Truongs: You wouldn’t think mushrooms would be that hard to find in a farmers’ market, but they usually have them as well as bags of lentils, beans and other items that saves me a trip to the grocery store and stops me buying canned!
However, some of my favourite vendors are the ones that don’t sell typical farm products.
Lina’s European Pastries: It is rare that a trip to the Farmers’ Market does not include a stop at Lina’s even if just for a few cookies. Somehow it always ends in oh and a dozen of your chocolate shortbread. They are delicious, fresh and just have to be bought. They have a huge selection of cookies, pizzelles, butter tarts and pies.
British Baked Goods: I am a carb junky and grew up in Britain, what is not to love about this gem of the Farmers’ Market? Pies, sausage rolls and soft floury buns! He has other yummy stuff too, but the floury buns beat the others around and a bit of home is always welcome! One of these days he will give in to my whining for good soda bread too – then it will be total love!
For those who eat gluten free, he has a selection of gluten free products available for you too.
While I am on the subject of British stuff, a special mention goes out to CandiWerx who may have moved out of the Farmers’ Market but was always a stop when she was there. Gotta love a local supplier of British chocolate to go with my fruit & veg.
Do you have a local farmers’ market? Do you shop there?
Hamilton Farmers’ Market
35 York Boulevard, Hamilton
Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday