This week’s find:
FIND a local produce store that sells local produce
This shouldn’t be surprising but in an era of local food stores that sell everything-but-food, Mike Steinberg doesn’t mind being the anomaly.
In fact, the Herb & Spice chose to focus on local food long before it was fashionable. Over 40 years ago, the founders recognized the value of carrying fresh dairy and produce, a natural offshoot for one of Ottawa’s first bulk natural food stores.
“People who appreciate fresh food enjoy shopping in the European style, buying food as they need it for maximum flavour with minimal waste,” says co-founder Mike Steinberg. Over the years, the shop’s reputation for quality and freshness has made it a veritable magnet for people from all across the city, yet most of its business still comes from the local neighbourhood. Mike is an unabashed community booster who proudly calls the Wellington Village strip near Clarendon Avenue ‘Epicurean Row’ thanks to the abundance of food shops and restaurants in the area.
Customers from near and far appreciate the warm atmosphere at the Herb & Spice. Bushel baskets of seasonal produce – right now it’s fragrant apples and vibrant pumpkins – greet you on the sidewalk. Inside, it’s a carnival of colour and delicious aromas. Be sure to make your way to the very back corner of the shop, where you’ll find an old-fashioned throwback: self-serve wooden spice drawers brimming with the perfect accents for all that fresh produce.
So what about those local suppliers? At last count, the Herb & Spice works closely with over five dozen local growers, foragers and producers. These relationships ensure that the store’s shelves and refrigerated cases are packed with hyper-local, hyper-fresh goods, and ready to feed eager customers who appreciate the difference that buying local makes.
And it’s not just about local food at the Herb & Spice. You’ll also find a local owner on site every day, whether it’s Mike, Bonnie or Ma’ayan Steinberg, whose hard work and hands-on approach are part of the store’s continuing success story.
Keyword tags: WWBIA, Wellington West, Ottawa, food, food shop, fresh food, local food, local, local finds, local business, shop local, support local, eat local, farm-fresh