Farm Boy review

12:27 PM

The day is here! The south end of London has a gourmet grocer! 

I happen to live a 90 second drive or about 6 minute walk to here so naturally I'm over the moon excited. 

Farm Boy opened yesterday (June 12, 2014) and has a grand opening party this Saturday the 14th - from 10am to 2pm I believe. Unfortunately a poorly timed rain storm kept me from checking it out right on day 1 (seriously, imagine this: both kids in the wood wagon, cuddled in blanket and then a torrential downpour hits us as we leave my street - horrible) but we were able to tour the place today. 

My verdict? Well, my text to Calvin was "AAMMMMAAAZZZZING!"

Allow me to explain. 

Calvin and I are foodies. While he might be more on the end of delicious ("wow, spruce needle cured duck bacon!" -- I'm joking) and I'm more on the end of nutritious and planet-friendly ("mmm local  pickled fiddle heads!"), we want the same thing. A store where we can buy things to make the food we imagine in our heads. 

Until now we have done our main grocery shops at Loblaws. They have good produce and good selection, and it's always clean and well organized. While sometimes expensive, there are no-name options as well as the PC Plus program, and frankly if we are going to spend money I would like it to be on good food. We are so happy that we now have Farm Boy which also has amazing quality, and is gorgeous, and is mainly quite affordable. 


The first thing I noticed was sadly a downside: parking! I hope this was only an issue because it's new and busy but the parking was a nightmare. That being said I plan to walk a lot of the time so this won't be a concern. 

The produce is impeccable. Flawless. Great variety. And the most inexpensive I could have imagined. A cored pineapple for $1.99. Asparagus for $1.99/lb. I think avocados were 4 for $5. The usual 66 cents per lb for bananas. I saw no prices here that seemed above normal. Very happy. 

Then the store has everything from artisan bread, an incredible butchery & seafood monger area, dry items like flours and pasta, nut butters, and so much more! Some standard brands are available at semi-typical prices (Hellmans mayo for around $5) but many items have only a "high-end" choice (you're more likely to find organic sour cherry & vanilla pod jam than $1 grape jelly if you know what I mean). 

What struck me here is the staff! Customer service at its best. I was offered a sample of pumpkin butter made right here in town by the YOU program (youth opportunities unlimited, on Dundas St) and they were sure to give some to my mom on a gluten free cracker. The cheese department gladly let Oliver try anything his eyes could see. (His favourites were a creamy havarti & a smoked Gouda). At one point Oliver quietly said he needs some water and a staff member (management I imagine) hustled to the chilled drinks area and passed him a fresh, chilly, opened water, noting to the cashier not to charge us for it. A friend I ran into asked if they have reusable bags and someone gave her one free of charge. We were physically walked to areas when asking where to find items, as opposed to the usual ("uh it's that way"). 

The last section that I fell in love with is the to-go items. Hello future addiction. There is a FULL (fuuulllllll) salad bar at $1.99/100g). Pickled red onion, eggs, veggie sushi, you name it. A soup bar also. And hot coffee (by Fire Roasted Coffee - if you have read my blog for a long time you'll know this is my ultimate fav). And perfect lemonade. And buttery delicious pastries. 

Just look at this selection of dressings. 

I was floored by the place. If the business cools down and I can manage to keep my bill around the same as it's always been, this will be my new weekly shop. 

Oh and best part? 
Running into Cal's former culinary school teacher, who was the first person ever to win Chopped Canada. If they have people like her working there, it's undeniable -- Farm Boy is pure gold. 

Farm Boy is located on Wellington north of Bradley, in the same plaza as Menchies/5 Guys/Chapters. It is open every day.

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