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more local finds…

December 30, 2008

I drove around the city today in a hunt for free range chicken.  No, one did not jump out at me on the road, but I finally discovered one in the depths of southwest suburbia at Careit Urban Deli.

Now, Careit is in a brand new strip mall, sandwiched between a Mac’s and Pizza 73.  The easiest way to get there is to take the Anthony Henday, and instead of turning north on Lessard Road, turn south and follow 199 street.  This place has a cute concept (Careit/Carrot – get it?) and little carrot light fixtures hang in the space.  Careit does all sorts of things:  premade dinners, Elixir drinks, paninis, a bit of deli, a bit of butchery, a bit of baking.  The butcher bit was what I was after.  The display case is small and a bit woeful, but ask the staff to help you out to look for something specific.  They are friendly and accommodating.

In my case, I was looking for a free-range, local chicken.  And he had two in the back, ‘from a farm in Ponoka’.  I took this to heart and purchased them, along with some  honey from Dewar Apiaries in Lethbridge.

careit1Do you know how hard it is to buy free-range roast chickens in Edmonton?  Since Cameron Meats closed down, it is nearly impossible.  Green Eggs and Ham also distribute their hens and ducks through Ocean Odyssey Inland, but unfortunately they are closed Mondays.  I found that out the hard way.  I really love the folks at Green Eggs and Ham –  I’ve encountered them at the City Market downtown, and Mary Ellen was very helpful via email when I asked her about retail outlets.  (Yes, I know I can also go to the Strathcona Farmers Market, but it was closed this week.  Hence my freaking out about chicken for a dinner party we are having on Friday).

I am probably the only mom on earth who takes her precious respite time to drive around the city sourcing local food products.  Most people would probably go to the spa or coffee shop or something.

prairiemill1I continued on my way to Terwilligar, where I stopped in at Prairie Mill Bread Company.  Now, this place just opened a couple of weeks ago, and is originally from Calgary.  Owen Petersen is the owner of the Edmonton franchise, and also the baker.  He wasn’t in (these bakers keep notoriously early hours) but the young lady at the counter was very enthusiastic and helpful.  When I asked what they specialized in, she said:  bread.    And sure enough, there was a dwindling supply of fresh bread on the racks – baked that very morning.   There’s traditional bread like Spelt and Nine Grain, and specialty bread like Cranberry Orange and White Chocolate Cranberry.  If you call the day before, they will make any of their breads into buns. I snagged some honey white bread and cinnamon raisin.  The bread is very heavy.  Very heavy, but tasty…with tinges of honey and no preservatives or oils.

I am extremely pleased that we have some local entrepreneurs sticking their necks out in Edmonton to open food shops.  Now we just have to frequent them as consumers…I’m trying to put my money where my mouth is as far as supporting local businesses. 

Next up:  the IGA down the street from me has just closed.   The poor University area is under serviced by grocery shops – I dream of a butcher, baker, deli and coffee shop opening there.  I could walk there. 

A girl can dream, can’t she?

 Careit Urban Deli
5236 199 Street
Edmonton, AB

Prairie Mill Bread Co.
14253 23 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2008 8:52 am

    You’re right… Garneau/University really is lacking when it comes to good food shops (you’d think it would be the opposite in this area). Really, there is just Tree Stone Bakery on 99th and Cally’s teas next door, but other than that…

    I was also upset when the Farmers’ Market was closed this Saturday. We always take the bus there Saturday mornings (for carrots and spiced vegetable pie), and weren’t really sure where to go after we discovered it was closed. Eventually we always seem to end up at Planet Organic on 104th because it’s the only thing close enough.

  2. December 30, 2008 8:55 am

    Yes, we are a bit south and west of the university and there is nothing here. Unless you count shopping at PetroCan.

    Millcreek has Wild Earth (lucky sods)…have you checked out the new Sobey’s in College Plaza? I have not – parking around there is a nightmare…

  3. December 30, 2008 9:39 am

    Too true. Wild Earth is really good… mmm. I haven’t been there since last year, but I now have a craving for their spanikopita and rum balls. And Mill Creek Cafe makes amazing soups and sandwiches. Mill Creek has all the bakeries and cool stops.

    We are moving to an apartment that’s about a 2 minute walk away from the College Plaza Sobey’s, and have been over to scope out the situation a couple times. It’s mostly frozen prepared food that caters to students. There is a very limited fruit/vegetable section, but lots of freezers, as well as the salad bar, and take home food/”bistro” section. It really is unfortunate that Organic Roots had to leave this location. I heard the building pushed up the rent because Sobey’s wanted the location and would pay for it… Organic Roots just couldn’t.

    We have been using the Jasper Sobey’s downtown as our main shop since it opened (it’s closest to our condo), and it would definitely be more worth the effort to hunt for parking for the downtown location vs. the College Plaza one.

  4. December 30, 2008 9:50 am

    The Safeway at Garneau is horrid as far as selection, too. I think these stores look at the demographics and think: University students – ichiban, Kraft dinner, but I think that is a myth and there are plenty of students who are interested in eating organic, local, seasonal…

    Plus, that neighbourhood has lots of hospital workers and professors too – I don’t get it.

    At least you will have Sugar Bowl and Leva nearby! Maybe you can just eat there all the time (ha).

  5. January 17, 2009 5:30 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to mention our deli. We strive to be as natural as possible and use local ingredient when the season offers.

    I am also writing to let you know that we are building a Careit Urban Deli where Cameron Meats once stood in the Crestwood Centre. So if that is closer for you we are scheduled to open March 01st.

    As a result of this new location we will have a lot more room to showcase local butcher meats and poultry as well as some local ‘Farmers Market’ type products.

  6. Grace Wong permalink
    May 26, 2009 8:23 pm

    Probably a bit late, but Sherwood Meats on Broadmoor Boulevard in Sherwood Park specializes in free-range meats of all types (chicken, beef, bison, elk) … all of their sourcing is local, and the prices are actually quite good …


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