It is open! The new Farm Boy in Waterloo, Ontario, opened January 7, 2021 and I finally got to check out one of their locations for myself. I have heard so many amazing things about it and was most excited by my foodie friend who said that it was the Canadian version of Trader Joe’s… Damn!!! You know I love Trader Joe’s.
Last week I had heard there was a possibility of a state of emergency being declared in Ontario. I took the opportunity to stock up on fresh produce and meat and also be a detective before there was a huge run on food.
The first thing I noticed was the not-real swinging monkey in the store! As well as the glorious-looking produce but seriously? You gotta watch him swing to the song Come On Eileen:
@suziethefoodieYay!! A Farm Boy opened in Waterloo and has a swinging monkey!!! ##farmboy ##waterloo ##shopping ##canada♬ original sound – suziethefoodie
Is that not the coolest?!!! OMG I felt totally at home!
OK, wow! The produce beamed with rainbow beauty at me! Look at these jewels! First a swinging monkey and then these outstandingly beautiful vegetables. Focus Suzie. Focus!
You will notice in the above photo for kale (that I did actually buy for two recipes) that the sign says 2/$5 or $2.50 each. Um… Needless to say I bought just one and felt fine about it since there was no actual deal for buying more. I had heard they tend to highlight local produce but at this location, I noticed the focus was more on organic which I honestly do not care about. I hope they change to the other model soon because I really do care about supporting local farmers.
Because I dragged my sorry insomniac ass out of bed early in the morning I did get a ton of discounted apples and oranges en mass for around $6! Some of them were going bad but I just composted them and kept the rest. A totally amazing deal.
Spices And Other Goodies
Oh I wish I knew about their spices earlier! After moving and moving and trying to set up my pantry I have spent a fortune on spices. Here you can buy small quantities of herbs and spices for less cost. Yes!
I actually rejected a recipe I was going to make because it required Herbes de Provence and I thought, I am NEVER going to find THAT! Well, I did, for only $1.99.
They have their own products of course but you can find some specialty items like Covered Bridge’s Storm Chips! I have heard so much about these! You get Creamy Dill, Homestyle Ketchup, Smokin’ BBQ and Salt & Vinegar all in one bag. I do NOT need all those chips so I did not purchase them but they have haunted me since I left the store. Let me know if they are worth the calories and the expense.
Meat & Fish
We were going to stop by a butcher shop for meat so I did not buy a lot but I did get a small piece of salmon (currently jammed in my tiny mini fridge’s freezer) for under $4 and a piece of Kielbasa. I like that I could purchase the amount I wanted at the deli counter which saved me a couple of bucks. I paid just over $5 for about the same size that would cost me $7-8 dollars at my local grocer. This way I got exactly the amount I wanted and needed for my recipe (see photo at end of post).
My friend Michelle got a giant piece of cod that was around a pound for under $15 which she used in a seafood stew which worked beautifully.
Focus On The Sales
My friend Kelly told me about their sour dough bread in the baking section and I got a loaf for 30% off! Seriously, work the sales. It was already a pretty decent price for an organic loaf of sour dough bread for $3.99 so this was a score.
At the end of this new Farm Boy store is a section of ready-to-go food which I heard is amazing. We had many places to check out next so I did not pick up anything at their Chef’s Market but it all looked great. Absolutely genius idea to be able to have a hot meal when you get home after shopping there.
One of their products I did purchase was their fresh pasta. I bought their ravioli and three cheese tortellini. I had the tortellini in my Magic Soup and it was fantastic. That $5.99 package will also be used in two other dishes so it will go a long way.
The Only Problem?
Oh there was so much to explore! But we had to get other supplies elsewhere and that is part of the problem with Farm Boy. It is packed with food and you can really find some fantastic deals if you go looking early but… you can not get other supplies at the same time. For pandemic shopping, this is NOT a one-stop store. This is for food ONLY.
That said I bought all this food for under $70 which surprised the hell out of me. This is the biggest shop I have done since I moved back to Ontario (I will share my creative storage ideas for people with small kitchens like me soon) and I thought for sure it was going to cost me closer to $100. FYI I was a killer contestant in my family room watching The Price Is Right as a kid. As an adult, it is very rare I leave a store paying less than I was expecting.
I had a BLAST at Farm Boy! I was so stressed about, well, getting everything and the world shutting down again. The fact that I could walk in masked and super worried and yet immediately laugh at a swinging monkey… Let’s just say this store is for me. I wanted to spend a ton of time pouring over everything this location had to offer and can not wait to go back and check it out further.
I would not say the store is the cheapest place to buy food and you will have to get other supplies for the apocalypse somewhere else but when it comes to food, the quality is excellent and go early to check out the deals. I am so very glad I got to visit there and will definitely be going back.
Thank you for the laughter and all the fabulous food Farm Boy!!! It is rare a place is worth losing a night’s sleep over but I will do it again.