Dave and I have had the pleasure of attending the Greenbelts first ever Local Food Symposium this week, and now I sit at the Buffalo airport trying to digest all that we have learnt. Also last week we sat in on the Food Summit talks hosted by the Hamilton Spectator, both really great experiences.
From the Hamilton event – I felt the pain of a new start up co-op kitchen called the Kitchen Collective, some young entrepreneur looking to build a shared kitchen space. My heart went out to them as I heard their tales of being bounced from dept to dept at the city of Hamilton and the seemingly insurmountable about of certified information necessary before you begin you project. Just that alone is enough to suck 10’s of thousands of dollars in engineering and design fees, and then of course when your project begins there are likely changes and you have to pay it again. Mostly the Hamilton event talked about dysfunction, and I can attest to that. We have given up looking for support from the city.
The Local Food Symposium was a real eye opener, and despite the city and zoning Dave and I are committed to the Farmers Market and Food Processing angle of our business plan, now does the Farmers Market have to be a traditional market, no it doesn’t, so we are in love with our new fledgling website http://ojoshoplocal.ca - we have created an online marketplace where busy people can shop local, and then pickup at the Wilson Street Farmers market or the Ojo Food Hub – what ever you want to call it we will still have community events, and they will be fun.
So the new website our first complete product offering is the Soldaat Poultry line – we now have every item in the computer to order by the pound. If you have ever wished Soldaats would be open late – now it is if you pick it up Friday nights. Frozen Meat Pies from itty Bitty Pie Company are also readily available for purchase and pick up. We have added Real Food Kitchens, this young company is still developing their own website, so we will work with them to enable the web ordering process. At Ojo’s we are diligently working with Plan B Organic Farms to offer some awesome fermented veggies, and we hope to announce our condiments and menu for 2015 on the first day of spring. We are looking for other local sustainable food growers and producers in the Hamilton area that would like to sell their products online for warehouse pick up.
We love the seasons so much we will also host a party on the first day of spring – and then thru the fall we will do it every 3rd Wednesday of the month, and we decree this will be called “good food day” and it will be good.
Mark your calendars for Friday March 20th and plan to come out and be entertained with an open mic hosted by Local Hamilton Favorite Joan Krygsman from 3-7, also on good food day – we of course have to have some good food – so we have invited 4 food trucks to join ojo’s at the market, so come out for dinner and hang out for a while.