This blog has always covered anything of interest food related. For the most part, everything shared has been rather positive. I am beyond saddened to share with you today the devastating news coming out of St. Jacob's just north of Waterloo that the St. Jacob's Farmer's Market burned to the ground in an early Sunday morning fire. This is a huge disaster for the Kitchener-Waterloo Mennonite community as well as the general community at large.
The St. Jacob's Farmer's Market has been a must stop whenever we are in the Kitchener-Waterloo area which is quite often. While it was famous for attracting tourists, this farmer's market was a staple for those living. The building housed several artisan style small businesses including a couple of butcher shops and cheese shops along with artwork and some of the finest quality handmade wood furniture you could buy. There were several food vendors selling a wide range of products including free range eggs, wild game meat, homemade sausages, bird seed, jams and other home canned foods, specialty foods and so much more. Of course there was the locally grown produce. There were a few small eateries to enjoy including a booth selling piping hot, freshly made mini doughnuts. Now those were divine! The outside of the building was surrounded by more vendors and a market farmyard. This was the place to go! It was a foodie mecca!
This farmer's market was so much more though. It was a community! It was where families spent their Saturdays, where farmer's met to sell their produce and connect with other farmers and it was a way of life for many in the area. It was their livelihood! The demise of this farmer's market will negatively impact the local economy to a large extent. The Amish and Mennonite community in Ontario are strong so there is no doubt the market will be rebuilt and back in operation with the support of those both locally and from afar who loved and depended on the farmer's market. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this devastating fire.