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The Market at Western Fair District


  • Telephone: 519-438-5942
  • Hours Open: Saturday
    8:00 am - 3:00 pm

The Market at Western Fair District

The Heart of Old East Village

London’s Market at Western Fair District continues the weekly tradition of “Saturday Market Days.” Located in the heart of Old East Village, at the historic Confederation building on the Western Fairgrounds, the The Market at Western Fair District has established itself as a neighbourhood social centre and community tradition.

With an area of 52,000 square feet, the red brick Confederation building began as a place for local merchants to sell a diversity of wares, and then replaced the Western Fair’s Crystal Palace when it was destroyed by fire in January 1927. Today, products include the finest in local, organic and heirloom produce, 19 varieties of apples, and an array of locally produced domestic cheeses (How does some fresh goat’s milk Gouda strike you? Or some 7-year-old local cheddar?), as well as international cheese selections, specialty meats, fresh-cut flowers, dry goods, staples and gourmet products. Locally raised products from four butchers (drug-free beef, pork, and lamb), fresh rabbit, and a variety of delicatessen and charcuterie, poultry (chicken, duck, turkey) farm-fresh free-run eggs, and other quality dairy products are also available.

Market-goers enjoy a variety of traditional culinary favourites, including local delicacies such as homemade regional sausages, apple fritters, fresh hand-pressed cider, and pure Ontario maple products. Among the vendors is Onthemove Organics purveyor, Jeff Pastorius, who sells certified organic vegetables and herbs all year round. In addition to premium, delicious and nutritious veggies, he sells other local, natural and organic products and products that have not been genetically modified. Pastorious has recently opened a production operation called "Movement" on the 2nd floor. Another vendor is Rose White, a local farmer/food activist, who runs the City Farming Project and sells organic heirloom vegetables.

The Market at Western Fair District is a popular destination for local chefs in search of a wide variety of products and ingredients from the local terroir and as far away as Leamington. Authentic ethnic cuisines (think East Indian, Tibetan, Mexican, Polish, Dutch and Hungarian) are featured prominently, as well as other specialty food vendors and food stalls showcasing the multi-cultural diversity of our community. Yam Gurung, for example, has been cooking Nepali, Western and other international cuisine for over 15 years and serves delicious curries with rice, as well as his specialty, a traditional Nepali dumpling known as Momos, at his food boutique at the market. And Luis Riva is a long-time market vendor committed to providing the authentic flavours of both Mexican and El Salvadorian cuisines. Riva also opened True Taco, the restaurant in Old East Village, after perfecting his business model and building a loyal clientele at the market.

The market has an unsurpassed variety of fresh baking from four individual bakers, which includes an assortment of artisanal breads, local berry and fresh fruit pies, strudels, cakes, and many other delicious baked items. There is also a variety of gluten-free, lactose-free and reduced-sugar and -salt baked goods. Speaking of baking, Spicer’s Bakery has been a southwestern Ontario institution since 1950, and is known for their made-from-scratch, fresh yeast-raised doughnuts and a wide variety of cookies, squares and seasonal pies. Many of the culinary artisans and purveyors purchase ingredients from our producers and farms to create their products. Pastry Chef Theo Korthof, for example, uses Arva Flour not only for his handcrafted breads, but also for his delicious classic patisserie and savouries. Korthof and his charming wife, Gerda, own and operate Flair Bakery at the market, quickly cementing their reputation for excellence by handcrafting and baking artisanal breads on site.

The Market at Western Fair District is a multi-functional space and has been an ideal business incubator for culinary entrepreneurs. Check out the stall of Scott Carrothers, founder of Savvy Chef, who is a red seal chef with fifteen years in the foodservice industry. He is creating a hand-crafted line of specialty vinaigrettes and artisan mustards, using local mustard seeds and cold-pressed olive oils. He also sells fresh chantrelles, morels and truffles in season.

Upstairs in the Market is the Fire Roasted Coffee Cafe/Roastery, presided over by lead roaster/chef Patrick Dunham. Recognized as one of Canada’s finest specialty hand-roasted artisan coffees, this is where serious coffee drinkers can experience expertly roasted single-varietal coffees. It is here on site that they do their roasting and tastings. The roastery is open Monday to Friday (9–5) for retail and wholesale purchases, and of course market hours on Saturdays. Fire Roasted Coffee roasts over 50 types of beans, including 20 single-origins, decafs and blends. 95% of the coffee selection is Fair Trade Certified, and many more are Organic Certified and shade-grown as well.

The second floor also features a couple of talented local artists, as well as craftspeople, a dedicated-tailor, ephemera, vintage books, antiques and collectibles. Check the upstairs also for hand-crafted products, gift ideas, horticultural-themed garden and cottage decor, clothing, and other craftspeople and artisans.

 


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