Recipe: homemade mayonnaise

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Homemade mayonnaise is easier to make than you may think, and quicker. With the help of an immersion blender, you can have fresh homemade mayonnaise in 2 minutes or less. And when making mayo at home, you can build off the basic recipe to customize different flavour variations like garlic mayo, spicy mayo, or herbed mayo.

Since the list of ingredients is so simple, using high quality eggs is important, as the egg adds to the flavour and richness of the final product. In the #YVFkitchen, we obviously choose Yorkshire Valley Farms organic eggs! Use your homemade mayonnaise to add a little zip to your favourite sandwiches; add to leftover chicken pieces to make chicken salad; chop up hardboiled eggs make egg salad; or try dipping baked potato or sweet potato wedges into mayonnaise instead of ketchup.

homemade mayonnaise
1 Yorkshire Valley Farms organic egg yolk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup neutral-flavoured oil (we used organic sunflower oil)
pinch of salt

flavour variations:
garlic mayo: add ½ tsp garlic powder or 1 clove minced fresh garlic
spicy mayo: add 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce (you can add more for even more kick)
herbed mayo: add ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, chives

tools: immersion blender (also called a stick blender or hand blender)

Place egg yolk, lemon juice, water, mustard, salt, and flavour variation ingredients if including, in the bottom of the immersion blender cup. Alternatively, you can use a 500mL wide mouth mason jar, which saves some dishes, as you can store the finished mayonnaise in the jar.

Pour oil into the cup and allow ingredients to settle for a few seconds.

Submerge immersion blender into the cup, all the way to the bottom, and turn it on. The ingredients will begin to emulsify and your mayonnaise will form. Tilt the cup and/or move the blender up and down within the mayonnaise to ensure all the oil has been incorporated. Season with additional salt if needed.

Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to one week.

Recipe: stracciatella (egg drop soup)

This is our take on stracciatella alla romana, an Italian egg drop soup that is wonderfully comforting on a cold winter day. It is easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. Here in the YVF Kitchen, we like to serve our stracciatella in mugs, alongside some crusty bread, for a quick lunch.

Our version of this soup is Inspired by the cookbook ‘How to boil an egg’ from Rose Bakery, a beautiful collection of recipes that celebrate of the humble, versatile egg.

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Stracciatella (egg drop soup)
670mL Yorkshire Valley Farms organic chicken stock
2 Yorkshire Valley Farms organic eggs, beaten
1/4 cup ground almonds (substitute almond meal or semolina flour…in a pinch you can leave this out all together, but it adds nice texture to the eggs)
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, loosely packed
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 2 cups of shredded greens such as spinach or arugula

Transfer the Yorkshire Valley Farms organic chicken stock to a medium-sized pot. Heat the stock to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer.

While the stock is heating, gently beat the eggs. Add the ground almonds, Parmesan cheese and nutmeg. Mix to combine.

When the stock is at a gentle simmer, add the parsley, then add the egg mixture and swirl around the pot. If using shredded greens, add now and stir to combine.

Remove pot from the stove. Ladle soup into mugs or bowls. Sprinkle with extra parsley and Parmesan if desired. Serve alongside your favourite salad or a warm baguette.

Makes 4 small servings or 2 large.

Community Spotlight: The Stop CFC Drop-in Program

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Healthy, fresh ingredients are an integral part of The Stop’s community meals.

Located in Toronto’s west end, The Stop Community Food Centre strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community, and challenges inequality. This season, Yorkshire Valley Farms is proud to support The Stop through the donation of organic whole turkeys to be served as part of the Drop-in Program holiday meals. We chatted with Scott MacNeil, Community Chef at The Stop, about the Drop-in Program’s impact on the community, what inspired him to become a Chef, and what’s on the menu for the holidays.

What is the Drop-in Program?
The Stop Community Food Centre’s Drop-in is a safe and welcoming space where anyone, regardless of where they live, can enjoy nutritious food, meet others, and access information on social issues and community resources. Breakfast and lunch are served four days a week (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays). On Wednesdays, the Drop-in hosts The Stop’s Healthy Beginnings program, for pregnant women and new mothers.

The Stop’s Drop-in offers: services in partnership with other agencies, including an ID clinic, housing and legal services, a settlement worker, and dietetic counselling; workshops on tenants’ and employment rights; and demonstrations on how to make low-cost, healthy, delicious meals.

How many meals do you serve each year?
Last year, The Stop served more than 53,000 meals in the Drop-in.

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Community Chef Scott MacNeil in action preparing meals for the Drop-in Program.

What first inspired you to become a Chef?
It’s difficult to name one single inspiration for becoming a Chef. I cook because my mother and father made delicious food when I was growing up, always hosting dinners with friends and feeding my brothers and I well. My mother was an expert at shopping on a budget. I cook because when I was in grade 8 and was on our Quebec City school trip I ate carrot soup, and pate, and other foods that tasted better than anything I had ever had. I cook because I was not feeling fulfilled working at a desk and I wanted to work with my hands creating something immediately tangible, with immediate results. Most of all I became a Chef because I like to please people and make them happy.

How long have you worked with The Stop?
I have been at The Stop Community Food Centre for 6 years now.

What’s on the menu for the holiday meal?
We have a number of holiday meals planned. For the Christmas dinner, we will be serving dry-brined, roasted turkey with a sage butter. Stovetop stuffing, since in order to cook 15 turkeys, I need to cut them up first. Mashed potatoes and rutabaga (a personal favourite). We are also making cider glazed carrots, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts (maybe), of course gravy, our house made Stop sourdough bread, and for dessert, sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce.

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Community members share a meal.

Can you share a great ‘food moment’ that expresses the impact of the Drop-in?
I remember my first day cooking a meal at The Stop. It was the summer, August, which tends to be our busiest month of the year in terms of meals served. When we brought the food out to the Drop-in for service, the mood was tense. It was past mid-month and folks were well past the point of having any money for food, since their rent probably took the bulk of their money for the month, leaving them with basically nothing. A very stressful and disheartening situation made worse by the desperate feeling we can all relate to of not having any food energy to face your day. We started serving the meal, I think it was lasagna with Caesar salad and garlic bread, and something wild happened. The room, which had been loud and aggressive a minute before, became quiet. And for the next hour we served out that food while people ate and left, and were replaced by other diners. I received a few smiles and one or two compliments for the food, which is a good day here, as we have some harsh critics to be sure. I was struck by the power of food to change people’s mood, and their energy levels to deal with whatever the day was going to throw at them. It was a powerful moment for me to see, in a radically different way than in a restaurant, the effect my food could have on someone.

We’re obviously big fans of organic poultry here at Yorkshire Valley Farms. Can you share some of the your favourite ways to prepare chicken?
Being budget-minded, when shopping for myself I like to buy the whole chicken and roast it with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, or herb salt (that we make here at The Stop). I stuff a halved lemon, fresh thyme and sage, rosemary, and garlic cloves in the cavity and roast it on high for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to about 325°F for another 45 minutes, or more if needed. I will usually throw some potatoes, onions, carrots, and whatever other vegetable I feel like under the chicken before I cook it. You have a nice one-pan dinner. Then I pick all the meat off the bones, make a stock with them, which will become soup the next day. The remaining meat will become a pasta dish, or a Thai coconut curry, or a chicken and kale Caesar wrap for lunch.

I would also say that one of my all-time favourite chicken dishes is Chasseur, or Hunter’s chicken. I first made it in chef school in Niagara College, and remember thinking it was the best thing I had ever cooked in my life.

To learn more about The Stop, visit http://www.thestop.org/

Photos courtesy of The Stop CFC.

Behind the Scenes: an interview with VMG Cinematic

In our latest video we take you on a tour of the Ahrens Family farm to show you how Tom and Nick Ahrens raise organic chickens and grow organic grains for Yorkshire Valley Farms. The Ahrens have been farming organically for over 16 years, and are one of Yorkshire Valley Farms’ founding farm families.

To create this video, we worked with the team at VMG Cinematic. Here we chat with Reid Campbell, who along with his brother Mark Campbell, and their friend Nick Haffie-Emslie, is one of the partners at VMG Cinematic.

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Lights! Camera! Action! Organic farmer Nick Ahrens gets ready for his close up.

How did VMG get started? 
VMG Cinematic officially opened up shop in 2007. Two brothers and a classmate from University saw an opportunity to focus on creating video ads for the web.  Back in 2007, most brands weren’t ready to dive into online video yet, but by 2009, things really took off as YouTube gained popularity. The three of us have been involved in video production since childhood.

What are some places we may have seen your work?
We do brand films, viral ads and infographic animations for many fortune 500 companies.  One recent project we did was a music video with astronaut Chris Hadfield and his brother Dave called ‘In Canada’.  It released on Canada Day this year and has received more than 1.5 million views.

Can you tell us a bit more about the video production process? What steps do you go through to create a video?
The first step is to figure out what the messaging is that a brand wants to put out there.  Once that is established, the more challenging part is turning that message into a story that translates well into video in an entertaining way.

Then comes the fun part: Lights, Camera, Action!

The final step involves cutting everything down to short story that keeps you entertained. This project for example had about 3 hours of raw footage which needed to be boiled down to 2 minutes. It can be a challenging process at times!

What is new in the world of video production that has changed the way you work?
The technology is changing so fast, and we’re always making it a priority to stay on top of things.  One area that is specifically becoming more popular is camera movement technology.  For example, there are a few shots in this video in which a drone was used to capture the beauty of the farms.  These shots only a few years ago would have only been possible with an actual helicopter.

Also, another tool that is now at our disposal is detailed video analytics. When a video gets posted on YouTube, we analyze data such as drop off rates.  This means we can tell exactly which part of the video people are finding perhaps boring or dragging out too much and we’ll re-edit accordingly.

Did you learn anything working on this project that really surprised you?
We were really impressed with the passion we saw at Yorkshire Valley Farms. Everyone we met had a strong personal commitment to creating nutritious food that they were proud to put on families’ tables.

We obviously like to talk chicken. Do you have a favourite chicken dish?
Absolutely, butter chicken is quite popular here at the studio!

To see more work from VMG Cinematic, visit http://www.vmgcinematic.com/

 

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A drone heading off to capture overhead footage of our fields and barns.

 

Creamy Leftover Turkey Soup

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This recipe comes to the YVF Kitchen courtesy of YVF team member Amberlee, who brought this to the office for lunch the week after Thanksgiving. Her soup was a big hit with the YVF crew, so we wanted to share with the YVF community so that you too could enjoy this tasty way to use up extra turkey meat.

Amberlee also explains how she makes her own turkey broth for this soup. Homemade broth is really versatile, so you can make a big batch and then store extra broth in the fridge or freezer. Substitute into your favourite recipes instead of water for a flavour boost – try using broth instead of water when cooking rice or grains.

Creamy leftover turkey soup
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery ribs with leaves, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4-5 small potatoes, cut into small cubes
6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp each dried parsley flakes, herbs de Provence, and ground sage
1 tsp fresh thyme, stems removed
1-1/2 cups milk
4 cups cooked Yorkshire Valley Farms organic turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
5 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cups homemade turkey broth (See note below regarding turkey broth. Alternatively, you can substitute chicken stock.)
2 cups frozen peas
1/4 cup half-and-half cream (optional)

Heat butter and olive oil in a large soup pot. Sauté onion, celery and potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually add milk and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add broth. Add turkey meat and carrots. Add more broth, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add peas. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Finish with cream, if using.

Tip: Don’t use purple potatoes or carrots for this soup. While they are a fun way to add colour to other dishes, they will turn your soup an unpleasant greyish colour.

Homemade turkey broth
1 Yorkshire Valley Farms organic turkey carcass
1 onion, quartered
3 celery ribs with leaves, quartered
10 peppercorns
1 tsp herbs de Provence
1/2 tsp dried ground sage
water

Put all ingredients into a large soup pot. Add enough water to cover turkey carcass. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and allow to simmer for 1-1/2 hours. We suggest you hold off on adding salt during the cooking process. This gives your broth more versatility for use in a variety of dishes and avoids over-salting. Adjust the seasoning when you add the broth to your desired recipe.

To store extra broth, allow to cool and then transfer into containers for storage in the fridge. Broth can also be frozen. Skim fat off the top before freezing. To cool broth quickly, fill sink with cold water and set pot into sink. Change water after 10 minutes, if necessary, until broth is fully cooled.

Partner profile: David’s Condiments

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Yorkshire Valley Farms is pleased to be partnering with entrepreneur and healthy food advocate David Marcus of David’s Condiments to launch a new Lemon Herb Spice Rub Chicken at select Longo’s locations. If you ever have the chance to meet David, and you just might since he manages all his demos himself, you’ll quickly feel his passion and energy for creating low-sodium, preservative-free spice rubs and marinades. We recently chatted with David to learn more about how he got into the food business, what makes him love his job so much, and what his favourite way to enjoy chicken is.

What is your background? What made you decide to become a food entrepreneur?
I have always had an entrepreneurial interest. I am an accountant by training, with a specialization in retail. Over the years, I had the opportunity to work with many successful retail brands within Canada. My work involved quite a bit of travelling. Getting home for the weekend, the last thing I wanted was another meal out. I found myself really looking forward to a home cooked meal. For me, cooking is therapeutic. Then I met my wife, who is a qualified Chef. We would cook together for friends and family, and our guests were always lining up for an invitation to dine at our house.

When health concerns within our family caused us to change our eating habits, I discovered what was possible in terms of flavourful cooking without salt. My father went in for routine heart surgery 3 weeks before my wedding. He did not come through the surgery. My father-in-law went in for similar heart surgery weeks later. He survived, but major lifestyle changes were required, including having to go on a salt-free diet. Over the next 3 years, my wife and I put a real emphasis on salt-free cooking to suit his dietary needs. Even with the changes, our friends were always so complimentary of our cooking. Eventually a friend with a retail outlet convinced me to bottle my spices. The labels are hand drawn by my wife. That was 3.5 years ago. Now David’s Condiments are sold across Canada and in the U.S.

Your slogan is “Made from the heart for the heart”. Can you tell us more about your emphasis on heart healthy products?
The whole product line is motivated by my family. After seeing the changes required to ensure a healthy lifestyle for my father-in-law, I knew there were more people who would benefit from this kind of salt-free seasoning. Even our friends who had no need to reduce their sodium intake were complimentary of my cooking. Right from the beginning our emphasis was on products that do not contain salt. We really believe in the benefits of a reduced-sodium diet. In fact, a percentage of our profits go back to heart health research, specifically around dietary impact on cardiovascular health.

What has the response been to your low-sodium offering?
We have found that our products appeal to a range of consumers, not just those with low-sodium dietary needs. There are so many shoppers out there who are health conscious and who are simply looking for healthier options for themselves and their families. Many moms want products where they can actually pronounce all the ingredients on the label. They want to feel good about the choices they are making for their kids. We also get positive feedback from a lot of students. They are cooking for themselves for the first time and are trying to eat healthy. Our rubs and marinades make it easy for them to add a lot of flavour in a healthy way.

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You are working with Longo’s and Yorkshire Valley Farms to develop an exclusive rub for a new prepared chicken offering. Tell us more about the process of developing a new product.
Longo’s has been a leader in looking to offer a healthier product range in their stores. The partnership between Yorkshire Valley Farms and David’s Condiments was a natural fit. To develop a product, we look at what flavor combinations we like, which pairings work well, and then see how we can create great flavor without adding salt. The first ingredient in so many products is salt, but here’s no salt in our products. We started our business with David’s steak rub, which is a tastier, healthier version of a Montreal steak rub. Then came David’s Spicy, a spicier version of the steak rub. To perfect our flavours, we also take feedback from consumers. They tell us what flavours they are looking for and we figure out how we can create that combination for them.

The Lemon Herb Spice Rub used for the prepared chicken is exclusive to Longo’s. Can you tell us more about the flavours of this recipe?
For this spice rub, we use the powerful flavour of herbs. We’ve added lemon peel, lemon oil, and lemon seasoning, then added garlic flakes and black pepper to bring it life. It’s made with all natural ingredients. Here’s a bonus: because of all the lemon it’s high in vitamin C, providing 10% of the Recommended Daily Allowance.

What is your favourite way to enjoy chicken?
I am cooking all the time, using different ingredients and experimenting. For me, the flavour of a whole organic chicken is night and day compared to conventional. Organic chicken is just so much more flavourful! I like to butterfly a whole chicken. I marinate it with olive oil and a sprinkle of my chicken rub and let it rest overnight in the fridge. When I am ready to cook the chicken, I add fresh lemon juice. Or I like chicken with my Piri Piri rub.

What’s next for David’s Condiments?
Continuing to develop healthy food products that make people happy! I love cooking for people. Food puts smiles on people’s faces. I never got the same reaction from dealing with numbers in accounting. People relate to food; they enjoy good food. Creating that experience for people is so gratifying. A customer came up to me at a demo and revealed his scar from heart surgery. He was so thankful to have a product that complies with his diet. All I can think is “What a fantastic day. I’ve had a positive impact on someone’s life.” For me, helping people to live a healthier life, what could be better than that?

To learn more about David’s Condiments, visit davidscondiments.com

You can find the new Lemon Herb Spice Rub Whole and Half Chicken in The Kitchen at these Longo’s locations:
Maple Leaf Square, 15 York St, Toronto
York Mills, 808 York Mills Road, Toronto
Aurora, 650 Wellington St E, Aurora
North Oakville, 338 Dundas Street East, Oakville
Leaside, 93 Laird Dr, Toronto
Rutherford, 5283 Rutherford Rd, Woodbridge
Bayview, 7355 Bayview Ave, Thornhill

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Retailer profile: Fortinos

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At the Langstaff location, you can choose from one of the many food stations and enjoy complimentary wifi while you dine in the cafe.

As the story goes, John Fortino came to Canada from Cosenza, a town in Southern Italy, at the age of 19. He stopped in Hamilton, Ontario to visit friends on his way to Windsor and never left. In 1961, John opened his first grocery store in the heart of Hamilton.  John’s emphasis was on giving his customers fresh, quality foods at competitive prices with unsurpassed customer service. With a few years of experience under his belt, John brought on seven partners in 1972 and was able to open a second location in Hamilton. Today, Fortinos, the Supermarket with a Heart, serves many Ontario communities, with over20 stores from Stoney Creek to Vaughan. Throughout the years, Fortinos has maintained its emphasis on creating a shopping experience with a sense of exploration and adventure and on offering top quality fresh meats. Each store offers a Butcher Block section, which puts customers in touch directly with the butcher to order special cuts and to learn more about the meat offerings.

The Yorkshire Valley Farms team recently spoke with Tony Ciccarelli, Meat Manager at the newly opened Langstaff location in Vaughn. Tony has been with Fortinos for over 20 years. He got into the meat business as inspired by his older brother. Naturally, we asked Tony about his favourite way to enjoy chicken. With four young children, the Ciccarelli household eats a lot of poultry. For Tony, when you start with good ingredients, you don’t need to do a lot. He prefers a baked boneless skinless chicken breast with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Sounds pretty good to us!

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Tony Ciccarelli, Meat Manager at the Langstaff location, has been with Fortinos for over 20 years.

Tony takes great pride in not only his work behind the butcher counter, but in his role as a mentor to his coworkers, and as a customer service representative providing his customers with knowledge and guidance as they make their shopping choices. Staff education is an important component of the Fortinos shopping experience. The Fortinos team is continuously learning about their products so that they can better serve their customers. The introduction of more and more organic offerings over the last few years has provided a great opportunity for staff to learn more as the category grows. As Tony told us, “customers are curious, so the staff need to be equally curious”. As a Manager, Tony talked about how one of the most rewarding parts of his role is helping individuals to grow within their area of interest so that they can build a long-term career. Now we understand why Fortinos is known as the Supermarket with a Heart.

The new Langstaff store offers more than groceries. Beyond the broad range of fresh produce, meats, dairy, breads and pantry staples, there is a cafe area where customers can sit by the window to enjoy a hot meal. Fresh options are prepared daily at the many cafe stations: coffee bar, wood pizza oven, pane fresco, soup bar, hot foods. There’s even complimentary wifi while you shop or dine. Fortinos stores also organize events to support seasonal or cultural initiatives that relate to the communities they are in. For example, at the end of the summer, the Langstaff store will be bringing in bushels of local roma tomatoes for those keen to preserve. Mark your calendars now, because the tomatoes go fast!

To learn more about Fortinos, or find a store neat you, visit fortinos.ca

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Fortinos offers a broad selection of both fresh and frozen YVF organic products.

Behind the Scenes: an interview with animator Michael Colligan


In our new animated video, we set out to answer the age-old question “why did the chicken cross the road?” To help us bring this story to life, we turned to Toronto-based animator Michael Colligan. You may have seen Michael’s work on TV or online for clients like Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, TD Bank, or Teletoon. We admit that we’re a bit biased, but we think Michael’s work for Yorkshire Valley Farms is some of his best to date!

To give you a peek behind the scenes, we sat down with Michael to discuss what inspired him to become an animator, what it takes to animate a chicken, and, of course, what his favourite chicken dish is.

In the sound studio with our narrator, YVF organic farmer Nick Ahrens, at the mic.

In the sound studio with our narrator, YVF organic farmer Nick Ahrens, at the mic.

How did you first get into animation?
It all started at the age of 9 with a trip to Walt Disney World. There was an attraction ride called The Magic of Disney Animation. The ride started off with a video of Robin Williams showing the different stages of animation while turning into an animated lost boy from Peter Pan. Afterwards the guests were taken to an observation deck where you got to see the studio first-hand. At that point I was hooked.

Can you tell us a bit more about the animation process? What steps do you go through to create a video?
The great thing about animation is that it offers a medium of storytelling and visual entertainment. So our first focus is to find that perfect story that represents a brand or company. After we design and create a storyboard based on the approved script, we head to the sound studio to find the proper voice for the video. Now comes the really fun part– animating the video! This is where we add the magic to grab the viewer’s attention. Lastly, we add the final touch ups in the editing room by adding special effects or sound effects.

The storyboard maps out the script and the visual flow.

Was animating chickens different than other characters you have created?
Every character has something different to bring. When it comes to animating chickens, it always comes down to the walk cycle. The joints in their knees move in the opposite way than humans, which can sometimes make it pretty tricky.

Did you learn anything working on this project that really surprised you?
What I learnt the most working on this project was how much work is actually involved in raising an organic chicken! It’s really fascinating to see how chickens are raised and fed on a certified organic farm. It takes a lot of work to keep them healthy without using antibiotics.

We obviously like to talk chicken. Do you have a favourite chicken dish?
I would have to say my favourite chicken dish would be fajitas.

We recently launched our frozen all-white-meat breaded chicken fillets. What’s your dipping sauce of choice?
You’ve gotta go with barbeque sauce.

To see more of Michael Colligan’s work, check out his website at cartoonadvertizing.com or follow him on Instagram @cartoonadvertizing.

 

Retailer profile: Choices Markets

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We have great news for our friends in British Columbia. Select Yorkshire Valley Farms products are now available at Choices Markets! We recently spoke with Tyler Romano, Marketing Manager at Choices Markets, to learn about the Choices history and operating philosophy that has helped them to become Western Canada’s largest local retailer of natural and organic food.

The beginning of Choices Market was a bit of a happy accident. The first store opened in 1990 in Kitsilano, BC. The initial idea was to offer shoppers a broad range of choices – any kind of food customers wanted – hence the name, Choices Markets. However, in the early days, Choices unintentionally ordered a large shipment of organic rice cakes. The rice cakes sold out in record time! Realizing they were on to something, the Choices team decided to focus on offering healthier, better for you organic options and they haven’t looked back since.

Part of the Choices philosophy is to offer a warm, attractive, family friendly shopping experience. Each store has a dietician on site to answer questions. You can even take a complimentary store tour to get guidance on shopping for specific diets or lifestyle needs. Choices has also been a pioneer in offering a range of gluten-free products, including a dedicated gluten-free production facility (which also acts as a storefront) where they make fresh additive-free and gluten-free products daily.

When it comes to meat options, Choices knew their customers were concerned with two things: knowing where their meat comes from and knowing that the animals have been treated ethically. Offering Yorkshire Valley Farms organic chicken products allows Choices to satisfy both these concerns providing a product that is free of additives and that is ethically raised. The frozen Yorkshire Valley Farms organic chicken nuggets, fillets, and burgers align with the values of the Choices meat department, making our partnership an obvious one!

You can learn more about Choices Markets on their website choicesmarkets.com or visit one of their seven locations: 4 stores in Vancouver, 1 in Burnaby, 1 in Kelowna, and 1 in South Surrey.

 

Retailer profile: Vince’s Market

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Vince’s Market is an award-winning Ontario grocery chain that has been recognized as being one of the top Independent Grocers in the country. We recently spoke with Giancarlo Trimarchi, Co-owner of Vince’s Market, about Vince’s history, the growing demand for organic poultry, and his favourite way to enjoy chicken.

Tell us about the history of Vince’s Market:
Vince’s has a long history in Ontario, with the first store originally opening in Toronto in 1929. The Vince brothers moved the location to Sharon in 1956 as an open-air fruit market. In 1984, my father, Carmen Trimarchi, purchased the business and continued to run it as open-air market until 1989. From there, he built out the business into a full service supermarket, adding a second location in Newmarket 15 years ago, and then a third location in Uxbridge 5 years ago. My father is still active in the business, along with myself and business partner Brian Johns.

Can you tell us more about the philosophy of Vince’s Market?
We built the business off of fresh fruits and vegetables, and then expanded into a greater product offering. We have always been community focused, offering fresh, quality products at great value. We endeavour to buy from local suppliers where possible. Our slogan, “…Because food is one of life’s greatest pleasures” reinforces the importance of price, quality and the enjoyment of food in our everyday lives.

The Vince's Market Uxbridge team celebrates their 5 year anniversary.

The Vince’s Market Uxbridge team celebrates their 5 year anniversary.

Why offer organic poultry?
Vince’s Market has always focused on offering the highest quality, most nutritious products available. In the last few years, customers have been asking that Vince’s offer more organic options, especially when it comes to poultry. We have a strong Facebook following and are fortunate to get important feedback from customers though social media or directly in store. Customers have expressed their concerns with conventional growing practices and their desire for more organic meat options.

Why did you choose to work with Yorkshire Valley Farms?
Yorkshire Valley Farms was one of the first to offer a full range of fresh organic chicken products. And as YVF expands, we have been able to provide our customers with more choices. We’ve just added the YVF frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts to our offering.

We have to ask…what’s your favourite chicken dish?
Chicken fajitas! I love the spices and all the flavours.

What’s next for Vince’s Market?
We are working on major renovations to the Newmarket store and then next will be the Sharon location. We think it’s important to continue to invest to make an even better store experience for our customers. Because we are an independent, we can react to customer feedback, so we’re always working to source new products that better suit our customers’ needs. For example, we’ve received a lot of feedback around the need for better gluten-free choices, so we’ve introduced a whole new section of gluten-free products.

To learn more about Vince’s Market, visit http://vincesmarket.ca/