Here is your chance to add a little more local to your grocery cart. Metro Ontario will now offer its customers more local products in store as part of their mandate for responsible sourcing. Ottawa is one of the first cities to take advantage of this initiative, as Metro slowly rolls out this program to other stores across the province. In the following post, I get up-close and personal with some of the business owners behind a few local brands and get to taste test a few of the products too. Keep reading to find out what local products in Ottawa Metro grocery stores made the cut!
Francesco’s Coffee Company
I met up with Pietro Comino, owner of Francesco’s Coffe Company, on a cold Saturday morning at his office and warehouse: where the coffee beans go from green to gold! We instantly bonded and chatted over business, his passion for process, his previous life in the tech industry and of course we shared our love of coffee. Pietro has been running Francesco’s since 2002. He is considered one the pioneers in fair trade organic coffee and is known to be one of the oldest artisan coffee roasters in Ottawa.
Pietro’s passion for his business is palpable. If he is not refining his internal processes, or coaching his staff, you can find him obsessing over the freshness of his coffee. “Roast to order”, that’s what he calls it. Basically, Francesco’s Coffee is roasted on Monday, packaged on Tuesday and on the shelf by Wednesday. That gives you just enough time to pick up your essentials and enjoy your much-deserved cup of joe over the weekend. I told him that he should sell his coffee in the produce aisle to drive home the point that his coffee is super fresh! Pietro believes strongly in drinking your coffee fresh. He says there is no need to stock up, but rather buy-as-you-go. This way you can enjoy the beans at their peak before they lose their taste.
Pietro also gave me some coffee to try at home: Mexico High Grown, Mondovi and award winning Garibaldi. My favourite two were Mondovi and Garibaldi, which are milder than the dark roast Mexico High Grown. I typically go for a medium roast and these were perfect. Lots of interesting flavours, with no bitter aftertaste. These three flavours will be available at Metro.
Sadly, I didn’t get to meet #Bosslady Korey Kealey, the nutritional visionary behind Enerjive quinoa crackers. But she did kindly send over samples of each product for me (and Victor!) to try. Coincidentally these little crackers came in very handy. I am not allergic to gluten, but I do find that it aggravates my endometriosis symptoms.
The high-protein, crispy and healthy crackers were crafted with taste in mind! Each colour offers a unique flavour profile like Ranch, Italian, Garlic cayenne, rock salt and even chocolate! I made little appetizers to snack on and snapped a few pics of Victor eating away these healthy treats!
- Chocolate crackers- cream cheese and blackberry / natural peanut butter and banana
- Sea Salt crackers- guacamole and tomato / cream cheese, cucumber, and dill
A list of local products in Ottawa Metro grocery stores
The following local brands (with a total of over 91 products!) will be available on March 23 at all 25 Metro locations in Ottawa:
- Delisse Fine Cuisine
- Seed to Sausage
- L’Orignal Packing Ltd.
- Golden Maple Farms
- Grandmas Garden Ltd.
- Upper Canada Creamery
- Mexican Corn Products
- Against the Grains
- Natunola Health Inc.
- Ohmbars Inc.
- Centreside Dairy
- Oat & Mill
- Francesco’s Coffee Company
- Kimicha Tea
- Skotidakis Goat Farm
- Ferme Avicole Laviolette Ltee
- Ferme Familiale Boudrias Inc.
Because I am a huge foodie and love supporting local, it was a no-brainer for me to work with Metro on this amazing announcement! A huge thank you to Francesco’s Coffee and Enerjive for complimentary edible photo props!