Fresh local vegetables, fruits, meats, baked goods, honey, maple syrup, locally roasted coffee, eggs, what do these all have in common? They can all be found at Maitland Market. Maitland Market is a year round local market owned and operated by the Schiltuis family. The market is located conveniently just outside of Goderich on Highway 8, 79988 Porter's Hill Line, to be exact. The market operates out of what used to be a veterinary office years ago, and has now been transformed into a quaint and perfectly situated indoor market. It's open six days a week all year long and offers all of the local produce and products you could hope to find at a local Farmer's market, the difference is this one is available you everyday except Sunday.
Erika Schiltuis, owner, operator, and a producer as well, says she feels this stability of hours and year round operation sets the Market up for success in many ways. She says she finds people often coming in to the store to pick up local produce if they missed their local farmer's market day, or to make it in between markets. It's so great to see many customers choosing to buy local first, then complete their shopping at the super market after stocking up at the Maitland.
As the market is a four season and local focused shop, you see their inventory change often throughout the year. In Spring you see herbs, seedlings, greens, Winter veg, and lots of preserves. In Summer you find all the Summer bounty of vegetable, fruit, corn on the cob and even firewood. In Autumn the pumpkins and mums take over the show, and the lawn, bringing people in off the busy highway. Winter sees Christmas trees take over the front of the store with all the potatoes, local meat, cheese, and winter vegetables you could ever need for your holiday feasting. Yes, this market knows how to keep you happy all year long.
Maitland Market produces approximately 20% of it's wares itself, and brings in the other 80% from local producers and suppliers. Erika and her family have sourced amazing product from close to home, and a bit farther afield (when necessary). As a true family run operation every member of the family contributes. As I pulled up to the market on this visit I found young Micah, son to Erika and Dennis, very competently mowing the lawn and grinning from ear to ear. I often pull up to the market and see older brother Sam helping to haul produce or firewood along with Micah and their Opa who also does the pick ups and drop offs for produce and shop inventory. Stephanie Schiltuis, or Oma, helps run the shop alongside Erika, she also bakes amazing pies and tarts, as well as preserves beautiful jams, pickles, sauces, veg, fruit and a lovely apple sauce, all sold in the market and baked on site. Pattering behind oma you often find the youngest Schilthuis ladies, Hannah and Lizzie. These spritely young lasses are often helping in the shop or kitchen. Dad Dennis has a full time construction business, but often finds time to pick up Blyth Farm cheese for the market's fridge and make repairs and renovations to the shop.
Maitland Market originally began back in 2014 as stall at the local farmer's market with Erika selling produce she had grown at her home garden and the gardens at her in-law's place out on Porter's Hill Line. By 2016 they had moved the entire operation out to the renovated building now housing the business and were able to sell directly from the shop beginning in June of 2016. Erika says she has seen the interest in their side-of-the-highway market grow and change in the last three busy Summers. She is finding her regulars, the locals who now know where to find their jack-o-lanterns and Christmas trees, as well as their fresh produce, grass fed beef and fresh baked pies.
As I was chatting with Erika, Stephanie brought in beautiful cucumbers from the greenhouse. I was again left in awe by the absolute bounty we are able to enjoy here in the County of Huron, and by the amazing producers and curators who work tirelessly to get this bounty from the ground, to the grocery bag, to our grumbling bellies. Thank you to Maitland Market for the lovely tour and the amazing food. I can't wait to come again soon.
To find out more about Maitland Market and see what they are up to follow them on Facebook. You can also find Maitland Market at https://www.tasteofhuron.com/Retail/Maitland-Market-and-Supply