Around the Table…with Yum Bakery

One of the staples of the Calgary Farmers’ Market has always been Yum Bakery. In light of them making some refreshments (see what I did there?) to their business I caught up with one of Yum’s owners Debbie Catling and she updated us on what exactly is happening in their world.

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How did this all start for Yum Bakery?
“Well, we started out when the market was at the Currie Barracks. We had bought Wanda’s Fine Baking as she was ready to retire. At the time we were selling Stock and Sauce to our partners and we saw a niche with San Francisco-style bakeries. We wanted to bring that homey bakery style with great breads and Macarons to Calgary and the Calgary Farmers’ Market.”

What is your favorite thing about being part of the CFM family?
“Just exactly that, the family. Getting to know the other vendors and seeing other people that are happy doing what they are doing. You get to go to work with people who are passionate  about their own things they are doing here.”

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What’s your favorite item that you offer?
“There are a lot of things I can resist now that we’ve been doing this for a while, but there are three things I can’t when they are fresh out of the oven: Our Roasted Garlic Cheese Buns, our Savory Scones, and our Ham and Cheese Croissants.”

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Do you have a to-go way you like to eat any of these or a recipe you use them in?
“I like to toast up the Savory Scones and make an Eggs Benedict with them. It’s amazing!”

What are three quick tips you would like to share with market guests?
“1. I think a little-known fact about us is that we don’t add preservatives or additives to anything, particularly our bread. So, keeping it on the counter for more than three days can cause it to mold. Freezing it is a good way to avoid this, not putting it in the fridge though. Putting bread in the fridge makes bread go stale.
2. Our cakes keep really well despite not using preservatives so don’t be afraid to come in and pick something up on a Thursday instead of taking your chance on a Saturday.
3. Order ahead! We make every effort to estimate what will be sold every day. Nobody likes to come in and be disappointed that the thing they are there for is out though, so we recommend calling or emailing ahead of time with orders. We will have your order waiting for you so there is no guess work involved. All that info is on our website.”

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Do you have any bakery Words of Wisdom you live by? 
“One of the first things we say to our staff is that we don’t want anything to go to a customer that you wouldn’t 100% want to buy and eat for yourself. If it doesn’t look and taste fantastic, we don’t want to sell it.”

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What’s your favorite thing to eat in the market that is NOT from your place?
“Big T’s smoked ribs are one of my favorite things ever, and Taste of Quebec has this fudge…you know, you think since I own a bakery I wouldn’t need anything else sweet, but this fudge is magical.”

Can you tell us about any new projects your working on?
“Yes! We are doing a couple of things actually. One of them is a re-brand, which we hope to have completed by about mid-June. That will consist of new packaging and new products. Our other project is opening up a little place called Jarred. The concept behind Jarred is just that: cheesecake in jars, cookie dough and trifle in jars. There will also be preserves using things that are in season. A lot of our customers at Yum request to buy our sauces like our lemon curd and caramel so those will be sold by the jars as well.
Our launch will be June 8th!”

One last question: If you could be a pastry, what would you be?
“If I could be a pastry I would be a baguette! Long, and thin, and hot!”

..I think we would all like that, Debbie.

 

 

 

Cheap Eats at the Market

It’s never a bad idea to be economical, particularly when times are tight. And it makes sense to keep your hard-earned dollars in your community, growing stronger together. We wanted to share a list of only some of the items you can enjoy at the market for $5 and under!

Edgar Farms’ Peas at Innisfail Growers: $5

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Find them on the SE Perimeter across from Fratello Analog Cafe

Gluten, Nut, Dairy Free & Vegan Chocolate Macaroons from Delissitude: $5

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Find them in Aisle 4 beside Gull Valley Greenhouses

A bowl of homemade soup from Stock & Sauce Co.: $5

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Find them in Food Court.  (Pictured: Thai Chicken Soup)

Samosas from Shef’s Fiery Kitchen: $2.75 each 

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Find them in the Food Court

3-Bite and Full Size Doughnuts at Jelly Modern: $2.25 & $2.75

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Find them in the Food Court

Seasoned British-Chip-Style Fries from Wild Fire Wings: $4.50

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Find them in the Food Court. (Pictured: Dill Pickle Fries)

Jacket Potatoes from Frank & Mabel’s Gourmet Hot Dog: $4.50

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Find them in the Food Court. (Pictured: MexiCali Blues)

Maple Butter Cones from Taste of Quebec: $2

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Find them in Aisle 4 beside Gull Valley Greenhouses

Fresh pasta for 2 from Soffritto: $5

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Find them in Aisle 3. (Pictured: approximately 500g of fresh pasta)

Fresh pizza dough-to-go from Soffritto: $3

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Find them in Aisle 3

Assorted Nuts, Dried Fruit, & Granola Bars from Going Nuts: $3-5 

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Find them at the end of Aisle 3

Better Popsicles from Cherry Pit-to-Go: $5

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Find them at the end of Aisle 4. (Pictured: Chocolate Avocado Strawberry)

Assorted Seasonal Berries from Cherry Pit: $5/pint

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Find them on the West Perimeter

Daily Bagel from Wayne’s Bagels: $3.75 (or grab the Daily Bagel & Coffee combo for $5)

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Find them at the end of Aisle 4

Personal-Sized Cones of Candy from Scoop: approximately $3-4

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Find them in Aisle 2

We wouldn’t dream of ruling out your beloved companion! Doggie treat bags from Bon A-Pet-Treat: $4.99

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Find them at the end of Aisle 2

Halibut Skewers, Salmon Burgers, Crab Cakes (and oysters!): $3-5 each

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Find them in Aisle 1

Simple Simon Pies, sweet and savory: $3-5

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Find them on the NE Perimeter

Belgian-Style White Beer & Pommies Farmhouse Cider from J. Webb Market Wines: $5/can

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Find them in the Big Red Wine Quonset in our NE Parking Lot

 

Hidden Breakfast Gems

There’s no mistaking that we have some of the best lunch in Calgary with over 25 delicious food vendors to choose from. But did you know that we have many amazing options for breakfast too? We’re not just a lunch place, we’re a heckuva destination to enjoy breakfast or brunch with your loved ones (without the tummy-growling line-ups of a brunch spot!). From bagels to Belgian waffles, eggs Benny to blintzes we have all the popular picks. Here are just 6 hidden gems you can find Thursday – Sunday for breakfast at the market.

Breakfast sandwich from Big T’s

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This sandwich doesn’t mess around. With your choice of Brisket, Pulled Pork, or a Pork Sausage Pattie you can dress it how you like with your choice of veggies or slaw, all topped with an egg.
Big T’s also has Southern-style Eggs Benedict and Chicken and Waffles!

Breakfast Pizza from Knead

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Why can’t you have pizza for breakfast? This one is made specifically to be enjoyed in the AM with Gruyere cheese sauce, scrambled eggs, bacon, and roasted tomatoes. Pair it with a freshly squeezed orange juice and we say you’ve got a good thing going.

All-Day Breakfast Wrap at Chef’s Earth

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Chef’s Earth specializes in healthy and delicious food to go. This super energizing wrap is full of turkey bacon, spinach, eggs, tomato and cheddar with a creamy dill sauce made in-house! It will keep you going for hours!

Ham, Gruyere, and Farm Egg Galette from Le Petite Mousse

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Le Petite Mousse cranks out incredible crêpes all day long; with 7 sweet crêpes and 6 savory galettes, there’s something for everyone. AND, they’re gluten free! This savory ham, Gruyere, and farm egg galette is a delightful way to start off a lazy day meandering around the farmers’ market.

Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit from Margarita’s Dishes

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Sometimes a homemade bowl of oatmeal is just what you need to get your day started off on the right foot. Topped off with fresh fruit, this traditional oatmeal is a healthy and delicious breakfast gem that’s sure to keep you going while you pick up your local market goodies.

Huevos Rancheros from Los Chilitos

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A fan favorite and brunch mainstay, Los Chilitos offers up a plate of huevos packed with flavor. Perfect for those that love a little zing, the huevos rancheros is vibrant and hearty. They also offer a huevos con chorizo for those that like it spicy!

So the next time you’re looking for a great breakfast destination, rise and shine with us… you won’t be disappointed.

Top 5 In Season Picks

The weather has turned cooler, parents are (perhaps eagerly) entering back-to-school mode, and our vendors’ shelves are bursting with a beautiful bounty. There is still a bit of summer left, and if our bustling weekends are any indication, we know you’re soaking up the harvest. So when you make your weekend trip to the market, what do you buy? Do you meander around looking for something new or beeline to your tried-and-true favorites? Are you picking up the peak produce to toss in salads, throw on the grill, and preserve for the Fall? Here’s what you should be buying right now at the market:

Top 5 Summer Picks

Taber Corn

Taber Corn

Direct from the farm to the market, Taber Corn is typically picked at 5am on the morning it goes to market. It doesn’t get much better than that! Fresh, crisp, sweet corn ready to grace any grill and table to wow your family and friends. And their tummies!

Join our FREE Corn Roast on Saturday, August 22nd from 10am-4pm!  Yes, we’re giving away roasted-until-perfect sweet Taber corn for FREE!

Taber Corn can be purchased from Cherry Pit (Perimeter, Booth 7) or Souto Farms (Aisle 1, Booth 1).

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Melissa Souto on the Family Farm in Oliver, B.C.

B.C. Peaches

Sweet, succulent, juicy peaches have been cultivated in the Okanagan for over a hundred years. They’re a member of the rose family – as you can likely tell from their delightful aroma. All varieties equally amazing, peaches are perfect for eating fresh, for baking, or for freezing and canning. Souto Family Farms has been farming peaches for 30+ years on approximately 7 acres, brought direct to the Calgary Farmers’ Market. Cherry Pit supports a neighboring farm, Panorama Orchards, by bring their stunning peaches to market each week too. Organic peaches can be found at Blush Lane Organic Market (Perimeter, Booth 6), as well.

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Edgar Farms Sugar Snap Peas

Edgar Farms is most famously known in our market parts for their stunning asparagus. But their summer specialty is sweet garden peas. All of their peas (sugar snap, snow, and pea tendrils) are handpicked and chilled in a custom-made ice bath (conceived and made by Doug Edgar himself!) directly after picking. This chilling process keeps the sugars from turning to bitter tasting starch, thus retaining that fresh-from-the-garden sweetness. The sugar snap peas that fly off the shelf at Innisfail Growers are the ones that have a much thicker pod wall and develop round and firm at maturity. Pods “snap” just like a fresh green bean. These peas are excellent eaten pod and all, but our preference is to eat the whole bag raw. Did we say the whole bag?!? Yes, yes we did. Pick up your own bag at Innisfail Growers (Perimeter, Booth 22).

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Cherries

Most people would agree – it’s not really summer until we start seeing mounds of cherries. Cherries are one of Mother Nature’s truly seasonal crops, and we’ve learned to make the most of our time with them; eating them by the bagful, and preserving them to transport us back to the warm summer harvest during our cold winter months. The two most common varieties you can find gracing the shelves at Cherry Pit, Souto Farms, and Blush Lane Organic Market: a juicy, deep ruby red, lip staining Lapin cherry vs. the sweet, golden blush Rainier cherry. Both are equally incredible. Don’t make us choose a favorite.

Shelley Bradshaw of Beck Farms with their unique carrot harvester.

Beck Farms New Carrots

Shelley Bradshaw, with her husband Rod and two sons have been crafting the art of growing carrots for over 20 years. Over the years, they have perfected planting in Alberta’s rich, dark soil to bring us their famous Nantes carrots, but also beets, parsnips, dill, hot peppers, and more! Nantes carrots are by nature a sweeter variety, but Shelly’s carrots are particularly crisp and sweet due to the unique terroir; the cool nights we experience in Alberta are key to producing sweet tasting, crisp vegetables because it prevents the naturally produced sugars from turning to bitter starch. The new crop of Beck Farms carrots hit the shelves at Innisfail Growers last week, which is particularly exciting seeing as the farm experienced severe drought; Shelly and Rod had serious concerns of having a crop at all this year. Phew!

Things Worth Trying

Our friends over at Avenue Magazine are full of incredible articles that highlight what’s hot in Calgary from food, restaurants, and chefs to homes, entertainment, and lifestyle.  And once a year, they release a super neat article of the 25 Best Things to Eat in Calgary.  We wait with bated breath for this list because we’re eager to see how many yummy things you can find right here at the Calgary Farmers’ Market.  And this year, we hit it big!  We’re so very proud of our vendors that we couldn’t help but share their delicious victories.

Made by Marcus Ice Cream at Blush Lane Organics

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Photography by Jared Sych; originally published Feb 20th, 2014 in Avenue Magazine

Made by Marcus Ice Cream hit the freezer at Blush Lane Organic Market earlier this year and it takes every ounce of will power to not pick up a pint weekly… especially when Marcus Purtzki brings in new and unique flavors on a regular basis.  Organic cream from Vital Green Farms  forms the foundation for his delicious concoctions, like Lemon Curd + Wild Blueberry or Chai Hot Chocolate (which just hit the shelves this week) to name just two of his incredible flavors.  Watch out Ben & Jerry.

Highwood Crossing Granola at Blush Lane Organics

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Photography by Jared Sych; originally published Feb 20th, 2014 in Avenue Magazine

While we’re on the topic of Blush Lane Organics, they carry a wide variety of organic produce, meat, dairy, and grains, including the locally produced cereals and granola from Highwood Crossing.  “A 100% natural, preservative-free cereal made fresh each week with certified organic old fashion rolled oat flakes, whole flax and sunflower seeds, cold-pressed canola oil and amber maple syrup”, it is delicious whatever way you choose to enjoy it.

Lemon Tart at Eclaire de Lune

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Photography by Jared Sych; originally published Feb 20th, 2014 in Avenue Magazine

When mid-afternoon approaches and you get that hankering for something sweet to go with your coffee break, it’s hard to choose from the incredible selection we have here at the market.  But Avenue Magazine hit the jackpot with Eclaire de Lune’s Lemon Tart.  The crunchy shortbread base seems standard for this traditional dessert, but the not-too-tart lemon curd centre and pillowy cloud of marshmallow-like meringue on top is nothing short of perfection.  If lemony desserts aren’t your thing, don’t fret, Eclair de Lune has a full offering of traditional (and delicious) French pastries to please even the pickiest of palates.

Hunter’s Pie at Wapiti Ways

Wapiti Ways Hunter's Pie
Photography by Jared Sych; originally published Feb 20th, 2014 in Avenue Magazine

With over 80 vendors supplying you with fresh local produce, art, meat, poultry, international food, organic goods , jewelry and more, we’re proud people are starting to spread their culinary wings to include things like elk in their diet.  Wapiti Ways naturally raises their Elk on pasture grass, hay, and alfalfa without antibiotics, preservatives, or additives.  Their complete line of elk products are healthy and tasty, including their Hunter’s Pie;  with chunks of lean, tender Alberta-ranched elk, simmered in a dark ale gravy, with mushrooms, sweet carrots and pearl onions all in a flaky pie crust.  It’s maybe one of the easiest, most delicious take-and-bake items from the market.

Espresso Balsamic from Soffritto Oil & Vinegar Bar

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Photography by Jared Sych; originally published Feb 20th, 2014 in Avenue Magazine

Artisanal oils have become wildly popular with shops dedicated entirely to perfectly pairing oil and vinegar; we are delighted to see our friends from Soffritto being selected as a Top 25.  With 38 olive oils and balsamic vinegars to choose from at their Calgary Farmers’ Market location, you could end up visiting them for a long while as you taste your way through their selections in search of your favorite pairing. The espresso balsamic is popping up as a favorite among many with layers of authentic espresso and dark roasted coffee. It makes a fantastic glaze or barbeque base or can be used sweetly drizzled over ice cream. It’s no surprise that it is part of Avenue Magazine’s Top 25.

Montreal Smoked Bison from Olson’s High Country Free-Range Bison

Olson's Bison
Photography by Jared Sych; originally published Feb 20th, 2014 in Avenue Magazine

Olson’s High Country Free-Range Bison is another market-favorite with their wide array of grass-fed bison products.  They offer all of your typical cuts of meat, but also an impressive frozen selection, including bison pasta, and cured meats to garner your charcuterie board too – we’re partial to the bison bresaola.   The Montreal smoked bison proudly graces Avenue Magazine’s Top 25, which we are sure could rival even the best traditional Montreal smoked meat sandwich.

Porter’s Tonic from Silk Road Spice Merchant

Porter's Tonic
Photography by Jared Sych; originally published Feb 20th, 2014 in Avenue Magazine

We see Nicole Fewell around here a lot as she shops for locally produced items that set the fare of her Cheezy Bizness food truck apart from the rest.  And when she’s not on the roads, spreading Cheezy goodness, “she spends her time making real tonic by steeping distilled water with lemon, lime, lemongrass, cinchona bark and agave nectar to create a tonic concentrate. Mix it 1:1 with your favourite gin, then top with soda water and ice for a sublime G&T.”  And you can pick it up while you’re perusing the impressive spice selection at the Silk Road Spice Merchant.

A BIG congratulations to all of our vendors that were part of Avenue Magazine’s Top 25 Best Things to Eat!  Now, how many have YOU tried?