Vendor Feature: The Whole Grain Hearth
April 29, 2021
April 29, 2021
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: https://shoptwgh.square.site
BONUS FUN FACTS:
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.
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!
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:
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!
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!
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!