As we all have our own stories of how we’re getting through this pandemic – the positivity and the struggles – one thing we all have in common is eating… and hopefully sharing food with those we love.
In our current climate, shopping at any store, especially the small independent stores is challenging. With “physical distancing”, “self-isolation” and “quarantines” in full force, it’s not only challenging for us to get to the stores we frequent, but it’s also challenging for the wonderful humans who make the good food and work on the front lines in shops every day. Watching plexi guards going up for cashiers, and decals on the floors to space people out while waiting at check out, staying home and ordering in seems safe and smart – and we can still support the small, good businesses.
Enter “contactless delivery” (or pick up) – another new term that is trending for good reason. It’s impressive, and we should all be grateful to the number of businesses pivoting and making business work for them, and for nourishing us safely.
It’s essential for us to remember how important eating well is … especially now. We need to keep our immune system strong and mood up as we make our way through these days. Even if you are eating emotionally, try to choose the “good stuff” for you and your family. We have lots of Big Lists including our favourite snacks, ice cream, fermented foods, dairy-alternatives, teas and organic alcohol. But for meals, here is who we are leaning on in Toronto right now…and we are so grateful.
Please support the folllowing amazing companies … they will nourish you well, and you’ll be supporting the people and business we will need when we all “get back to it” again.
Real Food For Real Kids, Real Food Home Delivery Big pivot here! Real Food Rises! Kids across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton regions have been enjoying their healthy and delicious Real Food Kitchen-made foods in childcare settings since 2004. As childcare centres and schools are closed and no one knows when they will reopen, they are now bringing healthy, affordable, and delicious food delivered straight to our homes! (Check their website for the whole story). Their goal is to make our lives a little easier, with trusted, kid-approved favourites that everyone in the family will enjoy.
The Healthy Butcher There’s much more than better animal protein here … get healthy food, curated from the cleanest farms and best producers, hand-selected and delivered to your front door with care. They have closed their stores for now, but have quickly ramped up their online store, added delivery trucks and personal shoppers, and made all of their butchers and chefs focus on the single task of cutting and cooking for home delivery orders only. Order online – but for those that cannot, call and they will take good care of you.
Mama Earth This is who we’ve depended on weekly for produce since they first began delivering! Local, organic foods fresh from the farm and food artisans directly to your door in bins … lots of ready made meals and all of your healthy staples too.
Sosnicki Organics We’ve been nourishing our family with Jess and Ben’s produce for what seems like forever. Their stand is our first stop at the markets in Toronto… and it isn’t just the food… it’s the smiles and the kindness and passion and the energy. And..you can taste it. Now they are delivering with that same dedication and goodness right to our door with NO minimums and NO delivery fee. Support your family, and support theirs, and tell a neighbour about this opportunity too.
Alchemy Pickle Company Our absolute favourite fermented food company – organic and packaged in glass by lovely humans who know what they are doing. Grab gut-happy foods like cultured vegetable pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi, and naturally carbonated kombucha and a staple around here … Fire Tonic! Everything is made with produce purchased direct from Southern Ontario organic farmers like Sosnicki Organics (one of our favourite farmers).
Earth + City If you frequent the farmers markets or health food stores, you’ll know their products! All of their ingredients are thoughtfully chosen – we love their cowgirl cookies, their incredible beet dill crackers and macaroons, but there’s a lot more to order from them, and in the spirit of being better together, they are even offering delivery support to other small brands without the means such as Alchemy Pickle Company. We love and appreciate that!
Fresh City Farms They have been delivering farm fresh, local, organic produce and meals along with hundreds of grocery items across Toronto, including Mississauga & GTA. They also happen to own The Healthy Butcher.
Feel Good Guru Healthy plant-powered food – reach out to them directly and Moira or her team will help nourish you well. Their kitchen is nut-free.
Greenhouse They were the first in organic, plant-based, functional beverages in Toronto – their delivery and service is as good as their juices and they have specials for delivery in bulk right now.
BIORAW They look like a salad, and you’ll want to call them salads, but these bowls are designed to be a full meal! It’s as nutrient-dense as fast, fresh food gets! We use two of them as a family side dish or appetizer, or devour a whole bowl as a full meal. Everything they make is certified organic, gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, and delivery is free across the GTA!
Sweets From The Earth If you are craving sweets, this vegan and allergy-friendly bakery founded in 2002 is where you should consider ordering from! Their products are handmade in small batches – many shelf stable, some frozen and refrigerated. Their frozen cookie dough is not health food, but really good right out of the freezer, or baked!
ChocoSol Local LOVE! Their chocolate is made from a unique blend of forest-garden cacao varieties that are sourced directly from Indigenous communities in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Ecuador. They work directly with the producers in the countries they source from and pay above Fair Trade pricing for their cacao, coffee, and other ingredients, and the money goes directly into the hands of the communities. No specifics here except to buy everything! Chocolate is life. Here anyway.
New Moon Kitchen Stay home and eat cookies! Order online for yourself or your loved ones and receive contactless delivery in Toronto.
Green Zebra Kitchen Healthy, organic, gluten-free, whole-food, plant-based goodness made and delivered to your home or work. A friend shared with us that they’ve added additional measures to reduce risk at this time including contactless delivery, and recyclable delivery bags instead of their usual cooler bags.
Kendal Hills Farms Shop their virtual farmers’ market and support a localized food system by purchasing food from their farm, and from their farmer and producer friends.
Annex Market This local grocery store is making it easy and safe for us to access local food and sustainable goods at affordable prices. Order your groceries online and select contactless pickup right away or next day home delivery.
FoodShare Order a Good Food Box with super fresh, locally grown, culturally diverse produce delivered to your door – every week. In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, FoodShare Toronto is working quickly and closely with Black Creek Community Farm and other frontline agencies to ensure that people who are facing food insecurity during the pandemic are getting access to good food. Please consider supporting their rapid response efforts to meet the needs of as many people as they can, offering door-to-door delivery of fresh produce at no charge.
Monforte If you eat dairy, this is it… now delivering to your door since markets and the small stores aren’t accessible.
Ambrosia Ambrosia Natural Foods has over 36 years of experience in offering affordable quality health foods. Read here to find out how they are ensuring our community has access to essentials, especially during this unprecedented time.
Fiesta Farms Fiesta Farms is Toronto’s largest independently owned grocery store and garden centre. Follow their blog to find out what they’re doing, and what we can each do to keep our communities safe.
Nature’s Emporium These family-owned, independent markets have been making a number of adjustments to accommodate their customers and keep us all safe, including curbside pickup and free delivery for seniors.
The Six Farms These urban farmers and bioengineers produce fresh, local, and organically grown microgreens in Toronto. Shop and pay online and receive doorstep, contactless delivery.
Delish Kitch This dedicated “gluten-free & grain-free” bakery is offering curbside pick up on their “limited” menu. Visit their website to pre-order and find their weekly pick up location in Toronto.
The Big Carrot This one-stop shop, offering produce, grocery, bulk, body care and a wholistic dispensary, is offering curbside pickup at their Danforth location, 348 Danforth Ave. Here’s what you need to know.
Fresh And Tasty Mushrooms All natural specialty mushrooms and produce from Amaranth, Ontario. Pre-order Tuesday-Thursday for pickup or delivery here.
More food for thought… grow food, not lawns this spring! Food security is on all of us!