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Buy Local Series: Keeping it fresh

Buy Local Series: Keeping it fresh

As I continue to dig deeper and deeper into the world of Yukon-made, I’m always surprised by how easy it really is to buy locally. Yukoners pride themselves on being self sufficient and are kicking butt at it! Here are a few, from my loooong list of favourites. (in alphabetical order)

Bullet Hole Bagels (121- 1116 Front St)

Not only a breakfast food, Bullet Hole Bagels are delicious for any meal. With six different bagel varieties, sandwich options and a weekly special sandwich, it might be tough to choose your meal. The bagels and sandwiches are made fresh throughout the day- right in front of you. You choose the bagel flavour, the sandwich you want and in moments you will be biting into a match made in heaven. Co-owned by Adrian Burrill and Alena Puskas, bagel producing was independently thought of by each owner and came to light over a dinner with their significant others. What are the chances they both had the same idea? They shared their idea back in the winter of 2015/2016 and spent that whole winter perfecting their bagels. They began selling them weekly out of their Association Franco-Yukonnaise kitchen and that summer, they branched out to selling bagels at the weekly Fireweed Community Market. From there they upgraded to a larger kitchen in the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre and started baking three times weekly; commencing their bagel supply to Wykes Your Independent Grocer that fall. With business moving so quickly, they began making plans for their own permanent home. All their determination and hard work paid off in August 2018 when they found their home in the Horwood’s Mall. Bullet Hole Bagels is located one block up from our office, just down Main Street, only steps away from the Yukon River. A great place to enjoy your bagel is on the wharf just outside their doors. Take in the mountain views as the mighty Yukon River flows below. You can grab bagels to-go at their shop or at Wykes Your Independent Grocer (WYIG). Thanks to a partnership with Icycle Sports, Bullet Hole Bagels now has an e-bike to use for their deliveries to WYIG. The e-bike has the ability to carry two large crates on it’s rack and to also pull a trailer full! Many of the local restaurants are serving up Bullet Hole Bagels and ColdAcre offers a bagel delivery with their weekly greens-delivery (stay tuned to learn more about ColdAcre). Bullet Hole Bagels also uses ColdAcre’s greens and mushrooms for their sandwiches and cheeses from Cultured Fine Cheese. In the summer months, they work with various local farms and producers to use their local products. Adrian’s favourite part of making bagels is rolling them out by hand. Bullet Hole Bagels make traditional Montreal-style bagels. Each bagel is rolled out by hand and boiled in honey water before being baked. While waiting for your sandwich, enjoy watching the bagel makers at work. When I asked Adrian what he munches most often, he replied “ I love all bagels equally, but our classic BLT on a fresh out of the oven sesame seed bagel just can't be beaten as far as I'm concerned!” My personal go-to is their Smoked Salmon sandwich on a sesame seed bagel, but I enjoy switching it up to their weekly special once in a while. Of course, I always grab some bagels to go. For more information, please see their website: Bullet Hole Bagel

ColdAcre Food Systems (103-114 Titanium Way)

ColdAcre Food Systems Inc. (ColdAcre) focuses on year-round indoor growing- a great solution to our long northern winters. ColdAcre not only grows leafy greens, herbs, microgreens and mushrooms, they also fabricate growing units and custom systems for northerners, businesses and communities for the continual growth of their own produce. ColdAcre started out as an exploration of sustainable community infrastructure as part of the Solvest Group, using retrofitted shipping container units for hydroponic year-round growing. With initial success and opportunity, the business took off. Many local restaurants and food processors use ColdAcre products in their own creations. ColdAcre’s produce can be found at Riverside Grocery, Wykes Your Independent Grocer, Copper Ridge Bigway and Porter Creek Super A. Every Wednesday, they deliver fresh greens right to your door with their weekly membership subscription box. I have personally been a WinterHarvest subscription member since we first arrived in the Yukon, about a year ago. It’s a great service and all the produce is very fresh, as it was only harvested that day. A few months back, ColdAcre began a collaboration with a few other local food producers and offers their products as add-ons to the weekly delivery as well. You can add on eggs (by the carton) produced by Little Red Hen and/or a pack of four Bullet Hole Bagels. ColdAcre also gives you the option to add more of their produce too. You can add on extra microgreens, additional greens, oyster mushrooms and/or fresh catnip. There’s also the option to give them a call directly and see what they are harvesting this week- perfect for the traveller in town. They are expanding their growing facilities, which will allow for more than triple the production of produce for sales in Whitehorse and across Yukon. This effort will also include expanded commercial-scale oyster mushroom cultivation. ColdAcre loves their community and it shows in their recent projects. They provided Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation (NNDDC) with their own producing facility and have fabricated a small demo hydroponic growing unit at Mayo Foods. Coming this spring, Kluane Lake Research Centre will begin operating their off-the-grid year-round growing facility- commissioned by ColdAcre. The Kluane Lake Research Centre is excited for the opportunity to distribute their produce to their neighbours in Silver City, Haines Junction and Burwash Landing area. Not only helping their own territory eat fresh, ColdAcre will be helping Northwest Territories this spring. They will be travelling to Inuvik to deliver and commission a year-round hydroponic growing facility as part of a new initiative for the Inuvik Community Greenhouse Group. When I asked CEO, Carl Burgess, what he felt the best part about producing was, he said “Harvesting and delivering as-fresh-as-it-gets tasty herbs (basil, marjoram), crunchy lettuces (oakleaf, butters, mizuna), and savoury smooth mushrooms on a dark -42 January morning is pretty cool and enjoyed by many.” When I asked what product he finds himself munching on the most, he replied “Each staff has a different favourite. I like a thick layer of crunchy sweet pea microgreens to make my version of a BLT or rather BMT Bacon-MicroGreens-Tomato…but I must say a nice moose steak with sautéed oyster mushrooms is hard to beat.” My personal favourites are making pesto out of their delicious basil and crunching on a fresh arugula salad. Yum! For more information, please see their website: ColdAcre

Klondike Kettle Corn (Currently no storefront)

Klondike Kettle Corn is a family-run business that began in 2010 with their sweet & salty kettle corn being sold at the Fireweed Community Market. Quickly becoming a hit, Katie and family began providing their kettle corn to numerous grocery stores (Wykes Your Independent, Save-On-Foods, Riverside Grocery and more), coffee shops (Caribou Crossing Coffee), tasting rooms (Winterlong Brewing Co.) and local shops (Unorthodox, Coast Mountain Sports, Cultured Fine Cheese and more) all across the territory. With over twenty different retailers carrying their products, it’s not hard to find that perfect snack. Also a good car tripping snack, you can find their kettle corn in Beaver Creek, Carcross, Dawson City, Haines Junction (Otter Falls Cutoff), Watson Lake and Whitehorse. Klondike Kettle Corn has stuck to its roots and continues to be present at the Fireweed Community Market every Thursday for the season. They also participated in the 12 Days of Christmas Market and Carlie Beads & Friends Market, during the holiday season. Klondike Kettle Corn has nine essential flavours and a rotation of specialty flavours based on the seasons. Tapping into the holidays and the different growing/producing seasons, there’s always a specialty flavour you need to try. They offer a monthly subscription box which can be either their Essentials Flavours Subscription (the same six flavours every month) or their Seasonal Flavours Subscription (six bags of popcorn from both the seasonal and essential collections). Klondike Kettle Corn has done collaborations with Yukon Chocolate Company, Cultured Fine Cheese, Free Pour Jenny’s and Uncle Berwyn’s Birch Syrup. The collaboration with Uncle Berwyn’s Birch Syrup has created Birch Caramel kettle corn- a major favourite for many and it’s available with summertime flavours. Need to refuel after a few runs at Mount Sima? Grab a bag of Klondike Kettle Corn at Mount Sima and all proceeds from the sales will stay at Mount Sima to help keep the local ski hill running. This year, Klondike Kettle Corn will be participating in their first fundraiser with Vanier grads. If all goes well, they hope to do more fundraising for the community. No strangers to helping the community, their products are often found on auctions (Yukon Quest) or helping to promote events (Available Light Film Festival). When I asked Katie what her favourite part about making delicious kettle corn is, she replied “Everyone is always happy to have freshly made popcorn! I don’t have to deal with very many unhappy customers.” My personal favourite is Front Street Mix, which is a combination of caramel corn and rich cheddar cheese- perfect for movie nights or Friday night Radio-Bingo snacking between dabs. Katie says “I can always eat our Movie Night popcorn. I like simple flavours and this one uses olive oil from Cultured Fine Cheese that is infused with different botanicals to make it taste like butter - so it’s dairy-free and totally delicious!” For more information, please see their website: Klondike Kettle Corn

Living north of 60 does not mean your taste buds have to suffer. Who would have thought that 4244 km away from Montreal you can still get delicious hand-rolled Montreal-style bagels? Or that you can get same-day freshly harvested greens, year-round- delivered to your doorstep? And that there’s the perfect popcorn snack, with so many varieties, found nearly everywhere! Just three more reasons to love this gorgeous territory.

Hero Picture- Bullet Hole Bagels (cinnamon raisin), ColdAcre (WinterHarvest delivery) and Klondike Kettle Corn (Sweet & Salty). Photo taken by me