With these warm temperatures we have been enjoying it is clear that summer is definitely here. That also means that already, some tasty locally grown fruits and vegetables are starting to come into season and farmers are starting to sell the fruits of their labour to local businesses.
One of the businesses that has benefited from this boom of produce is St. Leon Gardens.
Started in 1979 as a small youth entrepreneurial project, St. Leon Gardens has been proudly selling primarily local Manitoba goods. Over the years it has established itself as successful Winnipeg landmark located at 419 St. Mary’s Road.
One of the items that has started to come into season is Manitoba Strawberries, and Co-Owner of St. Leon Garden Colin Rémillard could not be more excited. “Strawberries almost act as a trigger indicating the start of summer for a lot of customers and for us as well. It's also a genuinely delicious product!" says Rémillard.
These tasty, juicy, and delicious berries are picked from around the Portage La Prairie and Steinbach areas, and are collected with care each morning and brought to St. Leon’s every day. As Rémillard explains, “Manitoba strawberries are not really comparable to a strawberry you see at a grocery store. It’s a strawberry that basically lasts on the shelf for one day. They are harvested in the morning…we go out and pick them up in the Portage area every morning…we rally up all the strawberries that we can. We bring them back to the market at about 10:30 or 11:00 and that is when the fresh strawberries come in.” The shelf life may not be very long for the strawberries, but once you taste them, that won’t be an issue. Forget chocolate, ice cream or candy… these strawberries are nature’s candy. Once you taste one, you will want another…and then another; until the bin is empty. The supply that St. Leon gets every morning goes fast, so you won’t want to miss out!
St. Leon Garden is all about buying local. “It’s always been something that has been very important to us. Supporting local is good for local economy, it’s good for keeping small suppliers in business and the product is typically of a higher quality, it tastes better,” explains Rémillard.
Local not only applies to produce, but also goods such as meats, honeys, jams and baked goods. St. Leon Gardens has a full selection of most anything that you would find at a grocery store. The only difference is that the product simply tastes better! Local suppliers are more focused on flavour rather than shipping time and how long the item can sit on the shelf. Buying local equals a more enjoyable meal and the cost is comparable to what you would get at a larger grocery store.
Celebrate summer with some amazing strawberries from St. Leon Gardens, and while you are there pick up some other items that will make the summer more enjoyable and tasty!
St. Leon Gardens is located at 419 St. Mary’s Road. Just look for the Green and Yellow awnings and the big red tomato on the sign on the east side of St. Mary’s. They are open 9:00am to 9:00pm Monday to Saturday, and 9:00am to 6:00pm on Sundays and holidays.
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