Vendor Feature: The Whole Grain Hearth

Happy Thursday! We have a jam-packed newsletter for you today with a vendor feature, mother's day gift ideas from the farmers' market, vendor updates, our May calendar recipe, and more! It's a rainy day today, so grab a mug of your favourite tea, curl up cozy in a chair, and relax.

Meet Richard and Sammy from The Whole Grain Hearth!

Let’s jump right in with our first Vendor Feature of 2021! It’s time to meet the people behind The Whole Grain Hearth: Richard, the owner and titled “bread guy,” Sammy, the manager and pastry chef, and their team of eight!

Together, the team brings you naturally fermented sourdough bread and rustic, hand-made pastries! They are incredibly proud that they mill their own flour, and equally in love with their mill. It’s painted orange to match their logo and is from New American Stone Mills in Vermont, USA. It features two 48-inch granite stones that the team needs to regrind twice a year. Ask them all about it and they will be sure to include you in the excitement!

All of the grain The Whole Grain Hearth uses is organic and grown in Canada. They don’t sift any of their milled flour (you can pick up on that in their name – “Whole Grain!”) leaving the best and most flavourful aspects of the grains in their baked goods!

Richard and Sammy both attended Fanshawe College around the same time – Richard for culinary management and Sammy for pastry management. It was at Fanshawe College that Richard was working on a sourdough project with Chef Josie Pontarelli who coined the name The Whole Grain Hearth when they were bouncing bakery name ideas back and forth! In 2018, Richard started baking bread in his home kitchen and officially started The Whole Grain Hearth in 2019. He brought Sammy on to develop a pastry menu shortly afterwards. Fast forward to 2021, and The Whole Grain Hearth has a retail location at 958 Leathorne Street Unit 3; they attend four farmers’ markets in the area including our own, Ilderton, Strathroy, and Wildflowers in St. Thomas; their baked goods are available at Remark; and they have an online ordering system and deliveries within London. Talk about growth!

It certainly did not happen without a lot of hard work – when kitchen equipment needs to be fixed or replaced, or pandemics hit, the job is tougher but still fulfilling! “We truly enjoy baking! It’s awesome to see a full pantry/fridge at the bakery and to be able to create menu items based off of what we have available. It’s really exciting!” Sammy writes. “Our team thrives off of feedback from our customers…It’s great to see people enjoy our hard work.”

Richard and Sammy are humbled by their customers’ feedback, their growing team (P.S. they’re hiring!), and their success. Something they’re incredibly proud of is their whole grain laminated pastries. They make weekly changes to their croissant and danish dough to offer you the most delicious versions possible!

Now that you know them, make sure to introduce yourself to the team on Saturday! It’s one of their favourite reasons to be at Farmers’ Markets – getting to know their customers. “We sell at farmers’ markets because it is one of the best ways for us to get to know our customers! We love chatting, being outside and seeing what other vendors have to offer,” writes Sammy. “I especially love coming home on Saturdays with a bouquet of flowers from Wandering Bee, a jar of spicy green beans from Harvest Moon or a bag full of gorgeous produce from Andrew at Sungold [Market Garden]. It’s a busy time of the year for us, but we always look forward to market season!” So, come say hi at the Market, pop in at their bakery, or place an online order! They take pre-orders from Sunday to Wednesday and delivery within London on Fridays. Find a new menu each week on their website:


The team loves listening to True Crime Podcasts while baking! Why? Well: “The intensity of the episodes makes us work harder because we are kind of scared. LOL!”

The Whole Grain Hearth has two sourdough starters named Zeus and Butters. Zeus and Butters are both four years old and are such an integral part of the team that they’ve even gone to Toronto with the team on vacation, twice! Zeus is made with whole wheat flour and Butters is 100% rye flour.

Vendor Updates

May is always an exciting month at the Farmers’ Market. We’ll have two more farmers joining us this Saturday! Ellen from Orchard Hill Farm who was here for our Easter Market already, and Andrew from Sungold Market Garden will both be there fresh, early veg and pantry staples! We’re so happy to have these wonderful farmers back with us this year. This Saturday, fresh veg is brought to you by:

– Greystead Gardens
– Orchard Hill Farm
– Sungold Market Garden
– Janssens Farm Fresh Produce


Next week will bring even more excitement. Late last year and early this year, the province worked to amend the rules regarding the sale of alcohol at farmers’ markets – now, in addition to offering VQA Ontario wines, we can also have craft beer! London Brewing Co-op will be joining our market family starting next Saturday, May 8th until November, and will bring you organically certified craft beer, brewed right here in London!

Keep an eye out for even more farmers joining us soon as well. Thames River Melons starts at the Farmers’ Market as soon as their asparagus is ready, which we hear will be very soon! A new farmer joining us this year is Becky from Entangled Roots. They’re a herb farm and beekeeping operation based right here in London, and will have culinary herbs, specialty peppers, dried medicinal herbs, edible and cut flowers, potted herbs, raw honey, and beeswax products. Keep an eye out for them starting either next week, May 8th, or shortly after!

May Recipe: Phyllo Asparagus and Goat Cheese Bundles

Speaking of that asparagus we’re anxiously waiting for… our May Recipe, Phyllo Asparagus and Goat Cheese Bundles, is now up on the blog! Here are the ingredients, and the link to the full recipe!

You will need:

  • 18 spears of local asparagus
  • 3 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • 3 tbsp melted butter or olive oil
  • 9 tbsp soft local goat’s milk cheese
  • 6 very thin slices of domestic prosciutto
    • If you are not able to find prosciutto, you can substitute thin slices of smoked Black Forest-style ham.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is almost here! I’m not sure if you’ll agree, but I find my mother the hardest person to shop for. I know that she, and many mothers, are happy just being recognized, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to find the perfect gift that will make her smile. If you’re in the same boat, here are some gift ideas from the farmers’ market that are sure to make her day! And, if you’re a mother yourself, remember that you deserve to be spoiled, too!

  • This one will seem pretty obvious, but: flowers! You can’t go wrong with gifting some gorgeous blooms to a special someone in your life. My mother usually gets a fresh bouquet from a few of her children, her spouse, and her mother, but that doesn’t dim the joy that each one brings!
    • The Wandering Bee will have plenty of fresh flowers this weekend and next either wrapped in paper or with its own vase – both are perfect for porch gifting too!
  • Unless your mother is one of the few people out there who doesn’t enjoy this delectable treat, chocolate is always a perfect gift.
    • Vaka Chocolate will be at the Farmers’ Market for Mother’s Day weekend with a wide variety of chocolate! They also offer vegan, gluten free, and dairy free options for every chocolate lover out there!
  • My mother may be careful about how many baked goods she consumes on a regular day, but Mother’s Day is always an exception! Whether your mother likes a sweet treat, a savoury one, a fresh slice of bread, or anything in between, there’s something for her!
    • Helm Baked’s Mother’s Day menu is online and ready for orders – they are offering pick-up at the market and delivery on Sunday, May 9th.
    • The Whole Grain Hearth’s orders open early next week and close by next Wednesday at 2PM. Keep an eye on their page for a Mother’s Day Menu! They also offer pick-up at their retail location, or delivery on Fridays.
    • Snag a loaf or croissant from La Houlette de Vie for your mother! Seth offers pick-up at the Market or at Orchard Hill Farm. Order here by Thursday at 8AM for pick-up at the market or here by Wednesday evening for pickup at Orchard Hill Farm or the Market.
    • A savoury treat from Lorraine at Morsels is always a gift. You can pick up a savoury tart or a few samosas and she will be over the moon!
    • An edible bouquet? You read that right. Bakes by LilyJ has beautiful cupcake bouquets that look just like flowers! You can pre-order them for Mother’s Day here or at the Market.

  • Flowers, treats and chocolate are fantastic gifts for mom! But, after raising all of us, I’m sure they could use a drink, too! Pillitteri will be at the Market May 1st and 8th with VQA wine, and London Brewing Co-op will be at the market on May 8th with craft beer!
  • Fresh Food! Fresh food is always a wonderful gift, and often greatly appreciated. Especially in these times of uncertainty, gifting anyone fresh, local food could bring a bright smile to their face, whether it’s veg, treats, or meats! Head to the market to choose your favourites, wait safely in line at your mother’s favourite vendor, and gift them a great meal!
    • Step up your game and prepare the meal for her, too! Whether you’re seeing your mother regularly, or need to drop it off on her porch, it will be greatly appreciated. My mother loves any opportunity for someone to cook for her! (And never complains when it’s slightly burnt!)
    • If you’re looking for a low-maintenance option, Elgin Harvest has woodfired pizzas that only need reheating, and Orchard Hill Farm has hearty soups!
  • Charcuterie Boards are all the rage right now – pick up all the fixings for a great spread and wow your mother with your skills! Here are some great options for the tray: bison summer sausage from Blanbrook Bison, smoked fish from Den Besten, some crackers and cheese from Glenda’s Indoors, spicy cauliflower pickles from Harvest Moon, some fresh veg and fruit from our many farmers, chocolate and treats from our bakers/makers, and so much more! Get creative and show us what you create!
  • Jewelry! Da Costa may not be able to come to Market right now with the lockdown, but she is still available for orders! Check out her website here. A wrap bracelet or necklace, or an essential oil bracelet are perfect for mom!
  • And, if you still can’t think of anything for mom, get her the gift for those who are difficult to shop for! A gift certificate! Gift certificates for the Market are for sale in the Market office and can be used both Indoors and Outdoors.

Construction Update

Remember that while King Street can look a little intimidating, it is OPEN! Our market parking is accessible, and the Market is OPEN as well!

Hopefully this construction will be complete soon, but in the meantime, don’t let it stop you from exploring downtown and shopping at the Market and other local downtown stores for your essential goods or curbside pickup of non-essentials. We can’t wait to serve you!

Who Can You Find at the Farmers' Market this weekend?

This is the list, folks! See who you can find at the Farmers’ Market this Saturday, May 1st! Click on their names to find information on pre-orders and to learn more about their farms and businesses!

Check out their websites for more information about their products and to see what’s in season/currently available!