As the movement towards farm to table continues to pick up steam, communities all across the province have realized the potential of the industry of agro and food tourism.
We’ve witnessed the growth of these kind of businesses in communities like Prince Edward County, Stratford, Cobourg and Hamilton. Yes, you read that right, Hamilton. I’m loving the food scene down in the Hammer. So I’m truly delighted to see this kind of food and eco-tourism really beginning to pick up steam in Caledon.
Over on the west side, located on upper Winston Churchill Boulevard, right on the Niagara Escarpment, and literally around the corner from Spirit Tree Cidery, is Heatherlea Farms. Run by the McArthur Family, their primary business was Black Angus beef cattle. At one time, the farm also served as a local B&B. Eventually that gave way to a small roadside shed with a freezer and a cash box.
Today the farm is still owned and operated by Gord and Pat, along with their son Don, and his wife Melinda. Recognizing the potential to become a part of the road to food and tourism, Heatherlea Farms has evolved from that roadside shed to a beautiful, fully serviced farm shop and a truly legitimate farm to table food enterprise we now call Heatherlea Farm Shoppe.
While the star of the show at Heatherlea is meat (trust me, it’s practically a shrine) the McArthur’s have very wisely included a seated café area where you can sit down and have a bite to eat from their daily seasonal menu. This gives you time to take in all that’s around you in this good-sized farm shop space.
The butcher case is only the start. There are freezers filled with prepared foods, coolers filled with eggs, cheeses, milk, butter, yogurt and greens, all sourced locally. The shelves are filled with small batch provisions made by food artisans from all over the province. I even found locally produced flour on their shelves. I was absolutely giddy.
It’s important to note that much of what drives the vision of Heatherlea Farms is buoyed by their commitment to keeping it all local. This just makes me love Heatherlea Farm Shoppe even more. The fact their family roots are Scottish, and being a daughter of Scotland myself, only serves to endear them even more to me.
As I said previously, meat and butchery are the stars at Heatherlea Farm Shoppe. The butcher case is pristine and chock-a-block full of whatever you are searching for. From beef to wild game to pig to poultry, it’s all there. The big highlight for me, besides the fact that all meats are ethically farmed, was the window to the aging room where you can tag, hang and age your own slab of beef. Oh my. This is my kind of farm market. By the way, did I mention that they also offer cooking classes as well? It just doesn’t get much better than this.
The accolades for Heatherlea Farm Shoppe have come fast and furious. After only a year and a half of being open they’ve been acknowledged with the Feast On Certified Taste of Ontario as well as receiving the 2016 Headwaters Tourism Award for “Best See, Shop & Stay” Visitor Experience and the 2016 Ontario Tourism Award of Excellence.
To learn more about Heatherlea Farm Shoppe you can visit their website: www.heatherlea.ca or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org Heatherlea Farm Shoppe is located at 17049 Winston Churchill Boulevard. (519) 927-5902