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My Foodland: Bayfield

The owners of Bayfield’s Foodland, Brad and Melissa Maidment, are proud of how local their produce is. “Until two years ago, the store’s fresh sweet corn came from the fi eld across the street,” explains Brad. Now a local winery is establishing grape vines there, and the corn is grown about five minutes away, in a field beside Lake Huron. “The corn comes to us every morning, starting around the August long weekend until the end of September.”

“It’s the freshest corn possible,” Melissa adds, “which makes such a difference to the flavour. Customers love it.” Ten minutes away in the village of Zurich, Masse Fruit and Vegetable Farm supplies seasonal squashes, pumpkins, broccoli, beans, and strawberries for the Bayfield Foodland. “They grow an everbearing variety of strawberry,” says Brad, “so we have ripe, freshly picked Ontario strawberries in store from June until the first frost.”

Bayfield in the late summer and early fall is buzzing with Lake Huron cottagers, day-trippers visiting the town’s heritage conservation district and beaches, and boaters docking in the sheltered harbour. The season is also busy with local fairs, including the 165-year-old Bayfield Fair. As the town’s full-service grocery store, Bayfield Foodland has what these customers need. “The boaters used to bring up a week’s worth of supplies,” Brad says with a laugh. “Now they just stock up at our store.”

By featuring food products from the area, the Maidments support local businesses, including River Road Brewing, a local craft brewer that produces “Up Yer Kilt” beer-washed cheese, and Coastal Coffee, a small batch artisanal coffee roaster. From The Garlic Box, a nearby grower, “we get salad dressings, steak toppings, and of course fresh garlic in season,” says Brad. Foodland’s selection of unique, local products and fresh produce is convenient for shoppers who know they’ll find their favourites here. And the personal service keeps them coming back. “Brad and I have been here long enough that we know almost everyone who comes through the front door, even the cottagers who are just up for the season,” Melissa says. “It’s great to see them back each year.”