What’s the difference between 'sustainable', 'organic' and 'clean'?
‘Certified organic’ farmers and producers eliminate known and perceived toxic chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers for at least three years prior to certification. No synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used in production.
‘Sustainable’ farmers also maintain the health of the water, land, and soil via farming methods. Transportation, packaging, and the overall environmental impact are also considered.
‘Clean’ food has not been processed or altered from its natural state. It contains no added chemicals, sugars or fats.
Whether certified organic or not, all of our farmers use sustainable farming methods to produce clean food. For our farmers, sustainability is not a trend. This is their lifestyle, their belief, and their passion. It is why we choose to support them.
What does 'no chemicals' mean?
We believe in total transparency. We bring you the cleanest food our region has to offer. Our food does not go through fungicidal baths, finishing waxes, and is never subjected to the general sprays most conventional farms use.
Organic and sustainable farms do use naturally occurring chemicals such as elemental sulphur to benefit their crops. If ever a questionable substance is used, we will disclose it to you.
We do our best to source food in it’s purest form, which means there are no preservatives, no additives, no artificial colours, flavours, or artificial sweeteners.
Are all of your products organic?
All of our farmers use ‘sustainable’ farming methods, and many are certified organic. All of our products are ‘clean’ and meet our very high standards. When we don’t know the farmer or producer personally, we order ‘certified organic’ goods. We believe in the right to know where your food comes from and how it is grown. If you have questions or concerns about a producer or product, do not hesitate to ask.
Is it more expensive because it's organic?
We strive to bring you the best our region has to offer at affordable prices. We believe that fresh food should be accessible to all households. Many items cost the same or less than conventional food markets because we buy direct from the farmer or wholesaler.
Is there a membership fee?
Not now, not ever. It’s just not what we’re about. We believe fresh and healthy food should be accessible to everyone.
What do you do with leftover food?
The Sustainable Market is committed to being a zero food waste operation, and nothing is thrown away. Occasionally we will have ‘extras’ but generally we bring in only what was ordered. Any unclaimed items will be donated to local charities.
Are the markets inspected?
Yes. We are all Certified Food Handlers. Public health authorities inspect all of our locations.
Are you accepting new farmers/producers?
Yes! We welcome farmers or food producers to contact us. Please note that we are not zoned to sell non-food items.
Are you hiring?
We are happy to accept resumes. They can be submitted by e-mail to email@example.com.
Ordering & Pickup
When and where do I pick up my order?
Guelph pick-up is at St. George’s Anglican Church 99 Woolwich St. from 3 pm- 6 pm on Fridays.
Kitchener- Waterloo pick-up is at Parkminster United Church, 275 Erb St. E from 3 pm- 6 pm on Fridays.
Do I need to sign up, or can I just pop in?
The Sustainable Market operates on a pre-order format. While we do occasionally have extra items for sale, we cannot guarantee availability. We strongly encourage you to order ahead.
Is there a minimum order?
Of course not! The Sustainable Market is proud to be a zero food waste operation, and therefore encourage you to order only what you’ll eat.
What types of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, and offer credit card payment. Unfortunately we are unable to process debit card payments or accept cheques.
Do you deliver?
At this time we are unable to deliver, however it’s something we certainly hope to offer in the future!
Can I create a standing order?
You won’t want to! Our product list will constantly change throughout the growing season. We strongly encourage everyone to taste all that our region has to offer. Most importantly, ordering each week encourages us to tailor our orders to how much we can or cannot consume, which aids in our mission to produce zero food waste.
I don't have time to collect my order!
No problem! We’ll happily gather your items and set them aside for you for a $5 fee. Just add Xpress Checkout when you place your order – you’ll find this service at the bottom of the form.
Can I send someone else to pick up my order?
Yes, of course. But remember that they’ll need to pay for your purchase.
What if I miss the pick up time?
While we do not charge a late fee, we expect all customers to claim and pay for their order. We do not offer refrigeration for late comers. In the event that the order is not collected within 24 hours, the order amount will be added to your next order and the food will be donated to charity.
A product I ordered didn't come in – now what?
Sometimes the weather doesn’t co-operate, causing food to not ripen in time for market, or our farmers to lose certain crops. If an item did not make it to market, you will not be charged.
Do you have a return or exchange policy?
We ask that you contact us within 24 hours of noticing a discrepancy with your order, or if you are not satisfied with something you purchased. Simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help you!
Is the food fresh?
Absolutely! Our farms and producers only pick or prepare what has been ordered, which means that your food is as fresh as possible.
The product I want is sold out, now what?
We actively monitor our sales! If something is “Sold Out” please check back in a few hours, or the following day, as we do our very best to replenish items. You can also send us an email advising us about a product you are looking for, and we will do our best to find it for you!
Are the ingredients listed on baked goods?
All of the ingredients for baked goods are listed on our Ingredients page. Each producer is responsible for their own labeling.
What if I’m not happy with a product?
Please let us know within 24 hours. Call or e-mail us if you aren’t happy with something received at any of our locations. Your satisfaction is important to us!
You don't have the size or quantity I am looking for.
Looking for a larger volume of products – like a bushel of cucumbers instead of a basket? Just ask! In most cases (and with enough notice), we are able to accommodate your requests.
Can I go to the farms myself?
Most of our farmers are small, family run operations that do not sell directly to the public, and therefore do not welcome surprise visitors.
All Things Tea, Colour Paradise, Elora Bread Trading Company, Walker’s Blueberries, Apple Top Farm, Warner’s Farm, Weir’s Lane Lavender & Apiary, and Snyders Heritage Farm sell to the public. Check their websites for hours and locations.