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Grocery Stores

Creme Fraiche Market Cafe

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on August 1, 2012

creme fraiche market cafe torontoCreme Fraiche Market Cafe is pretty much an indoor year-round farmers' market. Scaled down some, of course, but with plenty of artisan and all-natural goodies readily on offer.

creme fraiche market cafe torontoThe new shop is located in the heart of Annette Village, and is the realization of a labour of love for Constance Dykun and Rachel Silva. The last time I caught up with the women they were in the midst of a zoning battle with the City of Toronto, but when I stop by on a bright summer afternoon it's clear that such struggles are well in the past.

creme fraiche market cafe torontoThough only open for the past month or so, Creme Fraiche looks as though it has been on the block for ages. Not in a "well worn" sort of respect, but rather, in the way its external visage seems to effortlessly blend with neighbouring homes and shops. There's the Creme Fraiche yellow cheese bike parked out front, which hints at the type of cottage kitsch you'll find inside.

Rachel and Constance are at a market on the particular afternoon I stop in, but I chat with Christopher as he cleans the shop's espresso machine and tells me a bit about the goods in store.

creme fraiche market cafe toronto"The cheeses, obviously, are our big thing," he says, referring to Creme Fraiche's collection of Monforte Dairy cheese. "People kept asking [Rachel and Constance] where they could get some outside of the farmers' market. At that time, unless you wanted to drive out to Stratford, there really weren't a lot of options."

creme fraiche torontoSo Rachel and Constance, who had and have been doing the farmers' market circuit for some time, decided to give the cheese a permanent Toronto home. Their shop now hosts an assortment that includes aged sheep's milk Piacere cheese made with rosemary, juniper, and chillies ($4.29/100g), raw goat's milk Tomme ($5/100g), sheep's milk cheddar ($3.25/100g) and Christopher's pick, the Waltzing Matilda buffalo milk cheese with ash rind ($5/100g). I sample the later and its creamy texture and mellow flavour certainly lives up to Christopher's recommendation.

creme fraiche torontoBut Creme Fraiche offers much more than just cheese. With Merchants of Green espresso and freshly pressed lemonade available in abundance, shoppers can indulge in their favourite farmers' market picks all in one place. There's ChoSol chocolate, fresh cinnamon buns ($2.00), full quiches ($15.00) and more from Allie's Baked goods, an assortment of St. John's breads, and rows of preserves from From These Roots.

creme fraiche torontoYou'll also find fresh produce from Bizjak Farms and others. It's quite a lot under one roof, but the convenience factor is unparalleled. Did I mention the gluten free options and daily menu of hot eats, such as grilled cheese sandwiches ($5.25) or fresh green salads ($4.50)? Yeah; it's a lot.

creme fraiche market cafe torontoEven more, Christopher tells me that Creme Fraiche also hosts a weekly farmers' market on Wednesday afternoons (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.), where local vendors convene and sell right in front of the shop. And, of course, for those who can't make it, Creme Fraiche is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Photos by Stephani Buchman

Discussion

13 Comments

Mt / August 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm
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uh, this is a derail but I really need to know… has anyone else noticed the high pitched ringing noise at the intersection of Annette and Windermere, just a block from this store? how long has it been like that? do the residents mind?
The CJM / August 1, 2012 at 01:03 pm
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I heard that noise last night while pedalling down Annette! It was like the noise an old cathode ray tube tv would generate, but louder.
Meredith replying to a comment from Mt / August 1, 2012 at 01:06 pm
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YES. What the hell is that?
Meredith / August 1, 2012 at 01:07 pm
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Can't wait to visit.
Jon / August 1, 2012 at 01:09 pm
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Absolutely love Montforte cheese! Can't wait to go try this place out. Although I thought the cheese was already available year round at that market on Dundas @ Bathurst?
Maureen / August 1, 2012 at 01:35 pm
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Real nice place, I can't wait to go but, what's with the two gals in the last photo yammering on while the poor dog gets ignored. Teasing canines with goodies is a heinous crime, grrrls!
Randy Marsh / August 1, 2012 at 01:38 pm
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ru6SBOh-lEg
sjean / August 1, 2012 at 01:56 pm
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Correction needed:

the name of the store is 'Crème Fraîche' not 'Creme Fraiche'

accents should be in the article title!
A / August 1, 2012 at 02:04 pm
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Awesome place. Great cheese, produce and coffee. A super staff to boot!

Maureen -- Maybe that dog doesn't belong to those two 'gals'. Maybe the owner is inside the store purchasing some goodies.... I'm sure the dog would not appreciate coffee.
Christopher Sinopoli / August 1, 2012 at 06:27 pm
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Correction. The Goat Tomme is not made with raw milk. All of Monforte Dairy's Cheeses are made with Pasturized Milk.
Benedict / August 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm
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AT'S RIGHT DAN THA STRAIGHT FRAM MAH HASSSSSSSSS
Carolyn replying to a comment from sjean / August 2, 2012 at 02:26 am
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oh c'mon..not everyone has their keyboard set to French..
this isnt Montreal with the language police and TG for that!
John replying to a comment from Meredith / August 2, 2012 at 08:11 am
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It's the drilling noise from Mexican drug tunnels.

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