Local foods showcased in new nook at Winchester Foodland

KCEP spearhead Brenda Norman (centre), along with Cedarcroft Farm & Apiaries' Stephen Burgess (left) and Winchester Foodland proprietor Dan Pettigrew. They stand in front of the new 'Local to SDG' food shelves at the store. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

WINCHESTER — Winchester Foodland owner Dan Pettigrew has made way for local foodstuffs at his store.

Located near the establishment’s produce area, the special ‘Local to SDG’ shelves debuted Dec. 10.

Spearheaded by Brenda Norman’s Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects (KCEP) — a not-for-profit promoter of local foods also staging Cornwall’s annual Eastern Ontario Garlic Festival — the new nook at Winchester Foodland features locally produced and/or processed products from every township in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

“Together, great things are happening. It’s blowing my mind,” exclaimed Norman, who proudly hovered near the product line.

Also on hand for the occasion was Stephen Burgess, a North Lancaster honey producer who operates CedarCroft Farm and Apiaries.

Norman marvelled at how quickly the initiative managed to land local retail space in a chain grocery store — albeit one location — and lauded Pettigrew for agreeing to her recent pitch.

“It was easy for her to sell it,” the proprietor said. “Who wouldn’t be happy to carry local food? This is a big, important thing to me. I want to support the people who support me as well. It’s a fantastic initiative.”

Among other local producers/processors are Lambros olive oil and Coffey’s Coffee of the Ingleside area, Gordz Hot Sauce, two honey producers — Cedarcroft and Honey on the Glen — Marlin’s Orchards & Garden Centre and Barkley’s Maple Syrup of Elma. And from the Winchester area, locally grown and processed purple corn chips by Shelley and Tony Spruit’s Against the Grain Farms are featured on the Foodland shelf, as are healthy treats by Meaghan-Lina Arel, aka Meg’s Granola.

For Norman, it’s all part of a larger vision of putting more local food in front of local consumers.

KCEP has already partnered with Brown’s Dining Solutions to offer a unique source of local food to students and staff at St. Lawrence College cafeterias in Cornwall, Brockville and Kingston, an initiative dubbed “Taste of SLC.”

KCEP has also been taking orders for Local to SDG gift baskets.

Local food producers or artisans wishing to be featured on the Local to SDG Foodland shelves are invited to contact Sylvie Paquette, KCEP Vice-President and Communications Officer at (613) 525-5555 or sylviesonrisa@gmail.com

This article was edited to correct the spelling of Gordz Hot Sauce.

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