Friday, March 4, 2016
Shopping at Atwater Market
I'm definitely a city person, taking advantage of the culture a city has to offer. But when it comes to shopping, I'm more of a smaller town person. I hate the big box stores and impersonal supermarkets. While I do shop there I never feel the same as when I go to Atwater Market. This is not a farmer's market - the individual store owners get meat, fish and produce from a variety of sources. What I like are the personal interactions. At each stall or shop I can talk to the people serving, get recommendations and get questions answered.
This organic stall is staffed by lovely people. As I make my selections we chat - about food, about the weather and even about politics.
This cheese store is a frequent stop for me. A number of the clerks recognize me when I enter and are ready with suggestions for the cheeses they know I like to buy. My spouse prefers to eat goat and sheep cheeses. Quebec has many fine cheese producers. Yesterday, included in my basket, was a new raw milk goat cheese by a Quebec artisanal cheese maker.
While flowers are not usually on my shopping list, yesterday I stopped and bought a small pot of primroses. In addition to learning about how to care for them (this just doesn't happen at a supermarket), I learned about how the owner keeps track of the weather and knows when people are more likely to come and buy flowers.
The people in the organic butcher shop recognize me. I get a smile and "À la prochaine" (see you next time) as I leave. The fish store makes sure the fish I buy is really fresh and lets me know where it comes from. I leave the market laden with bags of good food and a feeling that I have not just ticked items off my list but I have visited the village stores and built relationships.