Fruitful 2016 Producer Profile – West End Food Co-op

Posted November 29, 2016 by: Jenna Hossack, Program Coordinator

Fruitful 2016 Producer Profile – West End Food Co-op

Fruitful is back! Not Far From the Tree’s artisan preserve collection is returning for 2016, and we’re proud to feature our producing partners here on the blog.

When you enter West End Food Co-op, it may seem like your average grocery store, but it is anything but. In fact, WEFC is one of our community’s greatest examples of a sustainable local co-op working to bring food social justice into practice.

a group of women crush grapes in sieves to get juice for jellyWEFC provides a co-operatively owned and operated grocery store where local food is close to home. It’s a multi-stakeholder, not-for-profit co-operative that includes eaters, producers, workers and community partners, working to build bridges between community members through common food security and sovereignty concerns, and by providing the platform to address these concerns. The WEFC opened its doors on October 6th 2012, led by a group of highly motivated community members with shared concerns about the current food system. Through the co-op store, the WEFC is able to directly address local food security by making good local food more accessible to Toronto’s west end. One way in which WEFC addresses does this is via their Co-op Cred program, where they partner with agencies to empower low-income members to take on positions in their kitchen, store, or nearby community gardens in exchange for food credit spent at WEFC. This program is designed to increase healthy food consumption and overall well-being of its marginalized participants.

glass jars of purple grape jelly on a green and white checked tablecloth

WEFC also works to create empowering ways for people to make good food choices by turning to community driven food initiatives, like the Co-op Kitchen. The Co-op Kitchen hosts a wide variety of workshops that teach hands-on fresh food preservation skills. We were able to use this very community program to make the grape jelly for our Fruitful Project! The Co-op Kitchen is simply one of the many community-based initiatives hosted by the WEFC and we are proud to call them our partner.

The West End Food Co-op is located at 1229 Queen Street West, at Dufferin. You can also find them at the Sorauren Farmers’ Market on Mondays, 3-7 PM all year round in Sorauren Park. Their Fruitful Grape Jelly was made with grapes picked, appropriately, in Toronto’s west end.

Fruitful provides you with your very own batch of handcrafted products and preserves. Each item in your 2016 Fruitful batch is artisanally produced by one of five local producers with fruit hand-picked this season with Not Far From The Tree.

Fruitful packs cost $60 and can be ordered online now, with pickup starting mid-November. Only 200 packs have been crafted, so order while supplies last! More information can be found at our shop.


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