*Update November 2012* – Please note that FEAST in Banff is now closed.
Hungry for locally sourced and organic ingredients in Banff?
Banff’s new artisan grocer, FEAST, located at 208 Bear Street, is a dream come true for the conscious eater. Previously, finding local and organic ingredients in Banff, Alberta, was about as rare as seeing a wolverine. Now locals and visitors alike can choose from a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, locally handcrafted products and regional cheeses and charcuterie.
I paid an impromptu visit to FEAST today to check it out and meet the mind behind it. Turns out the store was recently opened by Baker Creek Bistro chef and owner, Shelley Robinson, a passionate advocate for locally and regionally sourced foods and the Slow Food Movement. Her goal is to ensure that items at FEAST are as local as possible, though she acknowledges that certain items cannot be found in Alberta. In these cases, she widens the circle slightly in order to acquire them.
Robinson also ensures that items she acquires to sell are of the utmost quality. For her cheeses, she seeks out Canadian suppliers that use only traditional methods. Charcuterie also must be prepared using methods that are sustainable and humane towards animals. In some cases, she can control the quality in preparation herself. Some of the items for sale at FEAST, for instance, she prepares at Baker Creek Bistro and offers as take-home dinners.
FEAST also offers cheese and charcuterie platters, catering and gift baskets for Christmas and all occasions. In the summertime, they will be offering boxed lunches as well. Many of their items are great grabs for a dinner party or a picnic in the park.
“FEAST is somewhat out of the norm for a retail shop,” Robinson explained. Her goal is that the store becomes a community hub where you get to know your neighbours. As well, the shop will be a place where people can find information on ‘eating local.’ This is all part of her food philosophy.
If you’re conscious of reducing your impact on the environment and supporting local suppliers, pay a visit to FEAST.
Your stomach – and the Earth – will thank you.
© Meghan J. Ward, 2010.