The New Face of the General Store

As a child, the corner store was that place down the street where I could spend my allowance on five-cent marshmallow strawberries and jelly worms.  It’s hard to tell if local culture has changed or I’ve just grown, but the corner store has turned into a community builder, a public sphere, a provider of local and artisan foods.  Living in Victoria, we are spoiled with wonderful, locally made foods and a plethora of fresh produce all year long. And while Victoria is growing, the presence of local corner stores continues to turn neighborhoods into communities.

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Fairfield Market

About a year and a half ago, Ralph Wimmer took over the Fairfield Market, bringing a keen eye to a cozy interior, while maintaining the beautiful array of fresh local produce that continues to supply Fairfielders. Tucked away on a sleepy dead-end street (but easily accessed from Moss St.), the Fairfield Market feels like a true neighborhood hub. Stop in for a cup of locally roasted coffee, a jar of Van Isle Apiaries honey, or maybe some fresh baked bread and some Tree Island yogurt. During the spring and summer months, be sure to stock up on a wide assortment of fresh local tomatoes, berries, and garden greens.

Fairfield Market

1275 Oscar Street V8V 2X6
250-590-1772
Facebook: fairfieldmarket
Twitter: @FairfieldMarket

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Niagara Grocery

Just blocks away from Dallas Road, you’ll find the little, yet bustling, Niagara Grocery.  This one-stop shop prides itself on its local first policy, says owner and operator Jennifer McKimmie. “The whole drive [of the market] is community”. Whether you stop in for a cup of house-roasted Mile 0 coffee, some veggie starts for the garden, or a wide selection of local treasures, Niagara Grocery will charm you. Cool off with some of their summertime “better for you slushies”, including a Happy Planet juice slushie, or perhaps one made with Almond Breeze and decaf iced coffee.

Niagara Grocery

Website
579 Niagara Street V8V 1H8
250-383-1223
Twitter: @niagaragrocery
Instagram: @niagaragrocery
Facebook: niagara-grocery

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The Local General Store

Opened for just over a year, The Local General Store has become a real staple in the Haultain Village. Providing the community with a full assortment of local produce, Fieldstone Grain from the Okanagan, and Island Bison from Courtney, it’s another one-stop community shop.  Owner Alix Harvey says “it’s a general store, but you’ve got to have some specialty products”. For The Local General these include plenty of gluten-free products (such as gluten-free perogies from Perogy Factory), vegan items, and Vancouver Island produced foods (such as Organic Fair Syrups, Kid Sister ice creams, and Peace Lovin’ Granola). Keep your eyes peeled for locally made kimchi coming soon!

The Local General Store

Website
1440 Haultain Street V8R 2J9
778-265-6225
Facebook: thelocalgeneralstore

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Aubergine Specialty Foods

Located in the heart of Fernwood, Aubergine Specialty Foods provides “everything you need on the way home” says owner Leon Zetler. South African items, including the popular boerewors sausages, natural Biltong jerky, and traditional pastries (served on the first Saturday of every month), are a specialty of the shop. One can also find a great assortment of kosher items such as meats, pastries, and traditional holiday items. Or choose from the beautiful Saanich produce that lines the sidewalk.  Right now it’s hard to resist a punnet of local strawberries, cherries, or raspberries.

Aubergine Specialty Foods

Website
1308 Gladstone Ave V8R 1S1
250-590-1031
Twitter: @Auberginefoods
Facebook: auberginespecialtyfoods

 

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Willows Park Grocery

An Oak Bay fixture for over a hundred years, Willows Park Grocery sells a wide array of products, from house goods to groceries to their beloved house-made dinners. Each Wednesday and Friday, freshly made meals such as Daal, Butter Chicken, and Aloo Palak are ready to go. If you happen to stop in on another day, look for their house-made meals and meal deals in their freezer section. While you’re there, be sure to grab some locally made Cold Comforts ice cream or a pie from Country Pie in Coombs.

Willows Park Grocery

Website

2405 Eastdowne  V8R 5P7
250-592-6004
Twitter: @WPGrocery
Facebook: willowsgrocery

Written By:

Sophie MacKenzie is a food enthusiast through and through. When she isn't busy working early mornings shifts at a local bakery, she can be found creating and photographing original recipes for her wholefoods centred blog. Her ...

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