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Artisan Cheese

Our FAB Region has the infrastructure to support artisan cheese-making

Artisan Foods

Condiments, flours, artisan cheeses, charcuterie...

Craft Beer, Ciders, Distilling, Beverages

Distilling, brewing, cider making...

Congratulations to Empire Cheese, Maple Dale and Black River who all had a great showing at this years Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

Cheddar Competition Results:

Cheddar – aged 24 months or longer
#3. Empire Cheese
#4. Maple Dale
#5. Black River

Cheddar – aged 12-24 months
#3. Maple Dale
#5. Empire
#6. Black River

Med Cheddar – aged 6-8 months
#3. Empire Cheese
#6. Maple Dale
#7. Black River

Mild Cheddar – aged 2-4 months
#3. Maple Dale
#4. Black River
#5. Empire Cheese

Extra Mild Cheddar – aged 1-2 months
#2. Maple Dale
#4. Black River
#5. Empire Cheese

Marble Cheddar – any age
#1. Empire Cheese
#4. Black River
#5. Maple Dale
#6. Empire

Stilton Shaped Cheddar
#1. Maple Dale

Variety Cheese Competition

Firm Cheeses
#3. Black River – Edwardsburg (a washed cheese)

Flavored Cheese
#17. Black River garlic and pepper cheddar


The Toronto Star today posted a story about Sophia Pantazi and Peter Stroz who spend their days tending the body, as radiologists in Toronto-area hospitals, and on weekends, they tend the spirit, as creators of boutique vodkas, gins and shochu, the Japanese liquor here in our FAB Region.

Check-out the full story here.

You too can live the dream!  Contact us today!

Henderson Farms of Wolfe Island Wins Big at Royal Agricultural Winter Fair


Robert Henderson had another great showing this year at the 2012 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. Henderson Farms received top honors as Grand Champion Jam and Jelly Maker and won the Judges Choice Award for his Raspberry and Pear Jam. Robert Henderson of Henderson Farms has been making jams for the past 25 years. His market career began at his hometown market in Kingston Ontario and his reputation quickly grew from the high quality of his all-natural products, with a number of ingredients grown organically by Robert himself on the family farm on Wolfe Island. His select variety of products includes not only jams and jellies, but distinct mustards, marmalades and chutneys.

Henderson Farms has been showing at The Royal since 2000 with great success and has been named the Grand Champion Jelly and Jam Maker two years in a row for 2006 and 2007and won the Judges Choice Award in 2008 for his Pear and Quince Jam. In this year’s Competition Henderson Farms had an outstanding showing, Robert won Grand Champion Jam and Jelly Maker 2012 and Judges Choice Award for his Raspberry and Pear Jam. He also placed:

  • Jams & Jelly Competition:
    • 1st – Blueberry Jam competition
    • 1st – Mixed Fruit competition, Raspberry & Pear Jam
    • 1st – Marmalade competition, Orange and Lemon Marmalade
    • 1st – Spirited Jelly competition, Wild Dandelion Wine Jelly
    • 1st – Single Berry Fruit Jam, Elderberry
    • 2nd – Single or Mixed Fruit Conserve or Preserve, Fig & Rhubarb Conserve
    • 2nd – Single Tree Fruit Jam, Qunice Jam
    • 4th – Raspberry Jam competition
  • Pickling Competition:
    • 4th – Misc. Savory Pickles, Beet Pickle
  • Maple Syrup Competition
    • 4th – Maple Jelly

Henderson Farms products are available at select fine food shows and a growing number of gourmet shops and specialty gift stores. Some of their flavors like Maple Syrup Jelly or Elderberry Jam are seasonal, but most are made year round. A few of their newest offerings include: Garlic Scape Jelly, Rhubarb & Fig Marmalade, Cranberry & Apple Jelly, Seville Marmalade and Lime Jelly. They fit complimentary with his legendary Red Pepper jelly, Wild Dandelion Wine Jelly, Pear Jam, Apricot-Jalapeno Jelly, Cranberry-Jalapeno Jelly and Pink Peppercorn Mustard.

For a full list of products offered by Henderson Farms and where to buy them visit their website www.hendersonfarms.on.ca

You can also visit them at:

–      The Ottawa Signatures Show Nov. 14-18 at the Ottawa Convention Centre (Booth 418)

–      The Toronto One Of a Kind Show Nov. 22 – Dec 2 at the Direct Energy Centre (Booth G-19)

–      The Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Sale Dec. 6-16 at the CE Centre (Booth 721)

–      Salon Des Metiers d’Art Montreal Dec. 7 – 22

Hastings County Beer Fest a Success!


On October 13, 2012, our FAB Region played host to the 2nd Annual Hastings County Beer Festival.  A larger crowd than last year enjoyed sampling craft beer from more than 20 Ontario brewers paired with food grown and prepared right here in our FAB Region.

Here are some photos taken at the event.

If you or anyone you know wants to get on board with the growing craft brewing momentum, get in touch with us today and we can help.


2012 Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards Winners
6th Annual Verona Lions Garlic Festival

VERONA, ON – Garlic lovers took over the Verona Lions Centre on the Labour Day weekend to celebrate garlic at the 6th Annual Verona Lions Garlic Festival and the Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards. Started in 1997 the Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards are the official competition for the best garlic produced in the region. “I am very pleased that the Verona Lions have undertaken to host these Awards at the Verona Lions Garlic Festival,” says Paul Pospisil, founder of the Awards. “Verona is central to the Eastern Ontario Region, providing an opportunity for growers from all over the region to participate. This year’s participants give an indication of the wide-spread interest.”

The competition is open to all exhibitors, both home gardeners and commercial growers. The aim of the competition is to encourage growers to strive for excellence in the quality of garlic grown in the Eastern Ontario region as well as recognizing such excellence by public awards.

Congratulations to the 2012 winners:

 Champion Garlic Growers 2012
Forest Farm, Godfrey Ontario (David Hahn & Marion Watkins)

Reserve Champion Garlic Grower 2012
Kevin Craigen, Napanee Ontario

Runners Up, tied for 3rd place standing
Dave Cornell, Ashton Station Ontario
Wayne Davey, New Liskeard Ontario

Judging of exhibits was done by Wilma Kenny, OHA judge. Paul Pospisil, founder of the Garlic Awards presented the Woodman and Woodman 2 trophies to the Champion and Reserve Champion. Dianne Dowling, President of Local 316 of the National Farmers Union (NFU) was on hand to present the $100.00 prize to the Champions, David Hahn & Marion Watkins. Diane also made the presentation of the $50.00 prize on behalf of Kim Perry of Local Family Farms to the Reserve Champion.

The Verona Lions will host the 2013 competition again at the festival to be held on Saturday September 7, 2013.




For more information about the Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards please contact:


Paul Pospisil

Founder, Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards




Craft Beer Festival Coming Soon!!!


Our FAB Region is pleased to be home to the Hastings County Beer Festival!  Coming soon on October 13, your admission ticket will provide you with all the food, beer, wine, cheese, cider and more… …all the samples you can handle!  There will also be expert brewing demonstrations and live entertainment from some Juno Award winning musicians.  That’s a steal for only $40!!!

It’s held at the Farmtown Park again in Stirling (formerly the Agricultural Museum at the Fairgrounds). Those who attended last year were ecstatic and can’t wait for this year’s rendition.

Get your tickets now while they’re available and bring your friends! Join the event page on Facebook too.

For those who live in the Belleville area, shuttle buses will be available as per the poster at left (click poster to enlarge).

As always, visit www.hastingsbeerfestival.ca for the latest information and to purchase your tickets online.

Water Buffalo Food!


While the rain poured and the wind blew, hundreds came out to enjoy another edition of the Stirling Water Buffalo Food Festival on September 8.

Several chefs and restaurants competed for the prize of best meal using either meat or cheese sourced from Water Buffalo.  The results in terms of who won were not ready as of the time of this post.

But a great article appeared in the EMC News providing a great deal more information about how it all went.

STIRLING, ON – It’s all about the cheese – whether it’s water buffalo ricotta cannoli, shaved buffalo roast with smoked cheddar or sinful Belgian chocolate truffles with ricotta – the Stirling-Rawdon BIA’s “Water Buffalo Food Festival” is sure to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Now in its fourth year, the “Go Buff” festival showcases the creative talkents of regional chefs and locally owned businesses, while playing tribute to the success of the first water buffalo milking farm in eastern Canada, the Ontario Water Buffalo Co., located in Stirling. Vendors have created a range of dishes featuring Mozzarella di Bufala, ricotta and scamorza cheeses.

New to the event this year is Bio Essential Botanicals, a Stirling-based company that will be serving a “Way Better” tortilla chip with mozzarella and cheddar. Also featured this year are beef sliders, caprese salad, ricotta fritters, Italian sodas and lattes, as well as local craft beer, wine and cider that offer a taste of what’s to come at the Hastings Beer Festival in October.

“Our event has become a destination for food lovers both inside and outside our region,” says Elisha Maguire, Economic Development Officer for the Township of Stirling-Rawdon. “The festival is a great way to spend a Saturday with family and friends tasting specially created recipes featuring local foods and ingredients.” The event will be held on Saturday, September 8, 2012 from 11 am to 4 pm.

As in past years, Mill Street will be closed to allow for visitors to amble along the street, sampling foods and local beverages along the way. Tickets, priced at $20 in advance and $25 at the gate, are available online at www.gobuff.ca and at Rustic Routes in Stirling. Ticket prices include festival souvenir and 10 taste tickets.

Maguire adds that they have launched a Facebook ticket contest this year. “We are giving away free tickets to this year’s Water Buffalo Festival. For every 50 likes, two tickets will be given away until the day of the festival. The first set of tickets have been given away and we are well on our way to the next set.”

To be eligible and entered into the draw to win tickets, one must first “like” the Water Buffalo Festival Facebook Page. In addition, regular updates are posted on the festival’s Twitter feed, @WaterBuffFest, and event details and recipes are available at www.gobuff.ca.

Stirling-Rawdon is located in Hastings County, a member of a unique economic development partnership – called the Food and Beverage (FAB) Region – with the counties of Lennox and Addington, Prince Edward County and the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC) Its goal is to help entrepreneurs establish an artisan food or beverage business in the region.

For more information:
Elisha Maguire
Economic Development Officer, Township of Stirling-Rawdon

Ontario East hosting: Learn about the new rules for exporting food product to the United States info session

September 7th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at Innovation Park, 945 Princess St. Kingston ON

If you are currently exporting food products to the US, or plan to in the future, this informative session is for you! you will learn how to comply with new US Food and Drug Administration regulations.

These new policies require food facilities to maintain stricter preventive control measures to ensure food safety. As this session, experts will explain what that means for your current food processing operation, and what steps you may have to take to comply with the FDA regulations.

Register for this FREE session now by emailing info@ontarioeast.ca