Eating & Drinking

URBAN HIPPIE: Green Door Grocer offers local, organic produce (and delicious takeaway)

Urban Hippies, take note: there’s a new player in the HFS game (that’s health food store to those unfamiliar with online shorthand) that’s vying to become your new go-to for the tasty and nutritious staples.

Photo by Ron Farmer

When Ron Farmer, co-owner of the popular vegetarian mainstay resto The Green Door (198 Main St.) heard that that its neighbour The Wheat Berry, a natural foods store, would be closing down, he and Green Door co-owner Jenny Ong saw an opportunity to fill what they thought would be a gaping hole in the community. The Green Door Grocer (202A Main St.) opened mid-June.

Having run The Green Door for many years, they already had all the contacts they needed to source the goods for their new grocery, which is located in the spot which used to be occupied by Singing Pebble Books (whose owner snapped up The Wheat Berry’s more spacious spot).

Farmer says the new Green Door Grocer’s goal is to offer unprocessed, whole foods, period. But as for where those foods come from, well, there’s something like a hierarchy of desirability for the owners. Just like at their thriving vegetarian restaurant, they strive to offer local, organic foods and produce. When they can’t get their top choice (i.e., local and organic) they sometimes have foods that are simply local — the next best thing. Suffice it to say, Farmer says they aim for the freshest possible goods, and if the food they dish up at their always-busy resto is any indication, it’s probably fair to expect them to deliver.

Head in to the Green Door Grocer and you’ll find the aforementioned fresh produce, along with a bulk section consisting of beans, grains, legumes, seeds and nuts (most of that organic, too), along with a selection of packaged goods. Heads up: there’s also an ever-expanding cheese section, with a focus on Quebec and Ontario fromage.

And here’s a hot tip: on any given day, you can waltz in and come away with packaged meal of Green Door favourites; what’s for lunch/dinner depends on what they’re making at the Green Door. A few recent treats, though, have been lasagna, soups, guacamole, hummus, pesto, and even homemade hot sauce — all this without waiting in line during the bustling lunch and dinner hours at the Green Door. (We’re hoping to score a serving or two of the Green Door’s legendary tofu broccoli stirfry, or the “if-you-think-you-don’t-like-kale-try-this” kale salad one of these days.)

Photo by Ron Farmer

Farmer says they’ve taken their grassroots approach to food and applied it to the new store, all the way to renovating and designing the new space: they did all the renos themselves and made everything you see in the place.

Design aficionados: keep your eyes open for the countertop, which is made from a Douglas fir plank, milled in B.C. by Farmer’s son, and which Farmer swears is the kind of furniture one just doesn’t typically find in Eastern Canada.

Green Door Grocer, 202A Main St.

Open Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday  9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.