The idea of boycotting “the multinationals” was the genesis of the local food emporium Little Brown Cow that Jenny Butcher started with partner Wes Kuntz, but it’s also “so much deeper than that,” she said.Little Brown Cow photo.

Some independent vendors in Brant County are experiencing a slight uptick in business this month, but it’s unclear whether the Loblaw boycott has anything to do with it.

With more than 600 farms, Brant County has an abundance of food producers, nearly 100 of them selling directly to customers, according to the Canadian Census of Agriculture.

Michelle Van Laeken runs a produce stand at Wincey Mills in Paris, and she believes the “small increase in sales” she’s seen recently has been more about “the milder weather and earlier crops” than the boycott of Loblaw-owned stores, she told The Spectator.

Jenny Butcher of Little Brown Cow echoed this, saying their store hibernates somewhat in the winter, but on the first nice day, “everything changes.”

The idea of boycotting “the multinationals” was the genesis of the local food emporium Butcher started with partner Wes Kuntz, but it’s also “so much deeper than that,” she said. 

When shoppers “remove their dollars from multinational corporations, and place them in a tangible spot,” it helps them understand the origin of their food and “at the very least, the person who’s selling them the food,” Butcher said. 

Here are a handful of local produce vendors: 

1. Van Laeken Family Farm, 31 Mechanic St., Paris

The Van Laeken family produce stand at Wincey Mills market is stocked with a variety of crops grown at their farm in Falkland, including garlic, cabbage, hot peppers and peas.

A variety of in-season crops from other growers, and a selection of grab-and-go items — like salad dressings, dips and soups made from their produce — round out the selection. 

2. Little Brown Cow, 234 Cockshutt Rd., Brantford

Butcher and Kuntz are dairy farmers who have gained notoriety for their milk on tap and cheese curds.

They additionally stock produce and grocery items from suppliers based within 100 kilometres.

3. Browndale Farm and Market, 740 West Dumfries Rd., Paris

A modern dairy farm in Paris opened a small shop selling beef products to help feed the community during the pandemic, according to their website.

They’ve remained open on Fridays and Saturdays, carrying items like steaks, bone broth, breakfast sausages and dried pepperoni sticks.

4. Kristi’s Market Kitchen, 226 Middle Townline Rd., Harley

In addition to their own baked goods, this hyperlocal market sells meat, dairy and produce from area producers, including Harley-based Hidden Root Farms and Droogendyk’s Market Garden.

5. Moore Farms, 497 Pinehurst Rd., Ayr

Known for their strawberries, this century farm now operates a daily market, open year-round, stocking supplemental produce from regional suppliers, and a variety of frozen prepared meals like meat loaf and cheeseburger pie.

Celeste Percy-Beauregard’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. The funding allows her to report on stories about Brant County. Reach her at cpercybeauregard@torstar.ca.

By Celeste Percy-Beauregard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 14, 2024 at 07:19

This item reprinted with permission from   The Spectator   Hamilton, Ontario
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