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My Foodland: Bancroft

“In early October, the fall colours are amazing around here,” says Joe Favot. “People come to Bancroft for the leaves.” On the southern edge of both Algonquin Park and the Canadian Shield, the town offers rugged cottage-country scenery with a thriving arts scene. Joe and his wife, Carole, own the Foodland store in Bancroft. In fall, the store is full of the colours and flavours of the harvest. “The produce department is where the action is,” Joe says. He describes baskets of fruit delivered directly from orchards to the store and ripe local fi eld tomatoes. The Red Barn Door, Keith and Donna Buck’s farm a few kilometres north of the store, supplies organic vegetables. “Keith’s in the store a lot. He shops here, and we support each other.”

Fall is also pumpkin season. “We get fresh ones in from Buckhorn,” says Joe, “and we bake our own pumpkin pies, tarts, and cakes in the store.” The in-store butchers here cut and package meat for customers and, as at many Foodland stores, prepare a variety of fresh sausages, including a special autumn sausage with subtle pumpkin spice seasoning. For Thanksgiving entertaining, the Favots suggest Ontario cheeses, such as Ivanhoe and Maple Dale, served with craft beers and ciders. “We have a great selection of wine, beer, and cider from all over Ontario,” Joe says. To help cottagers save time on busy weekends, the store has precut fruits and vegetables, salads, and hot foods. And for cottage guests looking for a colourful gift to bring, “we’re the destination in Bancroft for fresh cut flowers.”