What went down at Toronto Life and Foodiepages’ third annual Foodie Holiday Market

What went down at Toronto Life and Foodiepages’ third annual Foodie Holiday Market

’Twas the week before Christmas and countless frazzled Torontonians elbowed their way through crowded downtown malls, trying to find last-minute gifts, only to wait in snaking lines, all the while sweating under winter layers and humming insanely to holiday Musak.

Meanwhile, at the Toronto Botanical Garden, a handful of smart shoppers attended our third annual Holiday Foodie Market. While there, they browsed artisanal goods from more than 40 local makers and wandered the beautifully manicured grounds—all while crossing off the food lovers on their lists. Sounds downright idyllic, doesn’t it? Tickets to the market also included parking (that’s half the battle right there), complimentary snacks (because nothing good ever comes out of hangry shopping) and drinks (yes, the boozy kind), maker-led workshops, and activities for the kiddos. Here, a closer look at one of the city’s most stress-free shopping experiences.

No bad shopping experience ever started with a croissant:


David’s Tea and Jimmy’s Coffee were on hand to caffeinate customers:


These butter tarts made with maple syrup aged in whisky barrels probably never made it to the gift-wrapped stage:


Same goes for these colourful chocolates from Chocolat de Kat:


The only thing bitter at this market? These bitters from Prince Edward County’s Kinsip:


Shopping can make you hungry. Good thing there were a bunch of free samples available, like these ones from Tropic Thunder:


This “urban” honey from Alvéole would make a sweet gift:


Same goes for the jars and candles from Gibbs Honey:


False Ox served samples of their shrubs, non-alcoholic sweet-tart syrups in flavours like grapefruit-rosemary that can be mixed with soda for a non-boozy tipple. (Note: Can also be mixed with booze.)


Another drink for designated drivers (or a delightful mixer for everyone else) from Just Craft Soda:


Pickled veggies, and flavoured vinegars and salts, from Wild Muskoka Botanicals were probably stuffed in some stockings:


Here are a couple of (smiling!) holiday shoppers right now:


And a satisfied pint-size customer:


Preservation Society sold cookbooks, as well as jars of jam, marmalade and…T-shirts:


For the person who already has all the artisanal food they need, a handmade tray to serve it on: