With politicians and health experts warning Canadians to stay home whenever possible, going to the local store for food and groceries can be a stressful event. It can be hard to decide the best location to buy the food and products you require to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Thankfully, the Huntsville and Lake of Bays communities have multiple options available to you, from small intimate shops to full-service mainstream grocers. You can be sure that all of the stores listed here are doing their utmost to ensure the safety of customers and staff. Whether you are looking for food for the week or a pre-made meal for tonight, the following guide will point you in the right direction.
It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list of every business in the region selling food and groceries. Rather, the businesses featured in this content are members of the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce. Your local Chamber of Commerce is a voice and an advocate for our hundreds of local businesses, working tirelessly behind the scenes to create and maintain a strong local economy and to market the region for continued growth. In our current economic situation, know that the Chamber is working collaboratively with community partners on a recovery plan to help our members and the region as a whole. Chamber members are the backbone of our local economy and it is vitally important in our current situation to support them as best we can, to ensure that when it is safe to once again reopen our community these crucial businesses will be able to return strong and healthy. Working together, we can all rebound after this crisis with a strategy to bring customers back into our businesses and get revenue flowing once more.
Located in Huntsville on Highway #60, Farmer’s Daughter is open Wednesday to Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm. Farmer’s Daughter has always offered a unique and intimate shopping experience. This has allowed them transition into a safe space where shoppers can fill all their needs in one trip. Farmer’s Daughter has removed their indoor seating area and are using this newfound space to increase their food and grocery options. They now have a full complement of fresh produce with multiple deliveries throughout the week. The store has a wide variety of pre-made menu items, many of which are produced in-house. A few signature offerings include apple and brie stuffed chicken breast, potato crusted cod and coffee-salted roasts. Shoppers can order and pick up an entire meal, with an entrée pre-packaged for four plus a salad and dessert. A core focus for Farmer’s Daughter is their commitment to sourcing and selling products from local businesses. The store provides small independent producers the opportunity to be sold in a retail space that would normally be unattainable. Farmer’s Daughter has launched an online shopping portal where you can order all of their products for either delivery or pick up. You can also call them at 705-789-5700 or email an order to [email protected]. Farmer’s Daughter is also offering a private shopping experience. Customers can call ahead and book a 15 minute private shopping time where one or two people can have the store to themselves and shop in a relaxed, intimate setting.
The Great Vine is located on Main Street in downtown Huntsville and is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9:00am – 3:00pm. The store is known for being a full-service source for all your health and wellness needs. During the COVID-19 lockdown the store has increased supplies of produce with multiple deliveries throughout the week including greens from Eat Local Muskoka. You can also purchase local, organic fresh meat and other food items such as flour, whole grains and yeast. The Great Vine is also a trusted source for health products and unique items that can be hard to find such as Wild Muskoka Botanical’s elderberry syrup which is often used as an aid to boost the immune system. The store has multiple methods for shopping and delivery convenience. The Main Street location is currently allowing one person in the store at a time, with staff doing the shopping for you. You can call the store at 705-789-3737 to place an order or send them a Facebook message. The Great Vine has also created an online order form to make ordering even easier. The store offers free delivery within the Huntsville and Port Sydney area. If you place your order by phone or Facebook by 12:00pm you should be able to pick up or receive your order the same day, while the online form may take 24-48 hours.
The Muskoka North Good Food Co-op’s Huntsville location is currently closed, but you can place an order for curbside pickup by calling them at 705-789-0020 or online by emailing your order to [email protected]. The Co-op is a not-for-profit, member-driven social enterprise with the mission to provide access to the best regional sustainable foods where members and non-members alike are encouraged to place orders. With a reputation for the quality and freshness of their offerings, the Co-op receives fresh deliveries daily of fruits, vegetables, meats including fresh fish as well as harder to source items such as freshly milled flour. You can purchase bulk, dry and canned items alongside juices, kombucha and other drinks. They also have a large selection of “fridge” items including vegan cheeses, ready-made soups, organic creams, hummus and more. With their assortment of pre-made freezer meals, you can pair a delicious frozen entrée with a salad of fresh greens and a dessert made from locally sourced ingredients. They even have natural soaps and cleaners for washing and disinfecting. By shopping at the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op you are supporting more than 100 regional businesses and you can feel confident that you are getting only the freshest products procured as close to home as possible.
Bullock’s Your Independent Grocer in Huntsville is open to the general public 8:00am – 8:00pm, with the hour between 7:00am – 8:00 am reserved for seniors and those with compromised immune systems. The store limits the number of shoppers within the building and has implemented numerous social distancing measures including one-way aisles and only opening every other check-out lane. The store has a pharmacy on-site and offers online shopping through their website so you can order and have your groceries brought out to your car. In addition to being a full, mainstream grocery outlet, Bullock’s also offers clothing from Joe Fresh and beer and wine sales. They also have a pre-made and hot food section where ready-to-serve meals can be purchased.
M & M Food Market Huntsville is located on King William Street. The store is open for in-person shopping Monday to Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 6:00pm. You can place an order by phone at 705-789-4502 or online through their website. The store offers a wide selection of frozen meats, vegetables, entrees and appetizers. They have a full line of barbecue ready products and a delicious line of dessert options to complement any meal. M&M Meats also has a vast selection of pre-made foods and meals, including their “shortcut suppers” and “superb soups.” Their single serve menu provides options for one and they even have kitchen essentials such including dinnerware and serving utensils.
Metro is a mainstream grocery store in the Huntsville Place Mall on King William Street. The store is open 8:00am – 8:00pm, with the hour between 7:00am – 8:00 am reserved for seniors and vulnerable shoppers. The store has instituted a maximum occupancy of 50 customers and has put in place multiple measures for social distancing including floor stickers to remind customers to respect one another and staff. They have also increased their Visa and Mastercard tap limits to $250 to limit the amount of physical contact with terminals during check-out. Metro has all your food and grocery needs, including beer and wine sales. They also have a pre-made and hot food section including their extremely popular pizzas.
Shopper’s Drug Mart is located on King William Street in Huntsville. They are open 8:00am – 8:00pm, 7 days a week, with the first hour reserved for seniors and vulnerable customers. The store has a freezer section with items including frozen meats, fruit, vegetables, pizza and other prepared items. They also have dairy items in their refrigerated section and a selection of other groceries including cans and paper products. Shopper’s Drug Mart also has a full-service pharmacy, beauty section and a postal outlet that operates on weekdays.
Lake of Bays Groceries
The Dwight Market and Pharmacy is located directly on Highway #60 in the heart of Dwight. They are open Monday to Saturday from 9:00am – 6:00pm and closed Sundays. The store has a reputation for their AAA quality meats including beef tenderloin and striploin, veal, lamb, chicken as well as shrimp, salmon and other fish. They also receive multiple weekly deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables, deli meats, cheeses and dairy products from Kawartha Dairy. The store has a wide selection of pre-made items including meat and vegetable lasagna, meat pies and tourtières that can be paired with breads and home-baked dessert pies to create a ready-to-eat meal. Dwight Market and Pharmacy also has regular grocery items including cans and paper products as well as firewood, ice and other convenience items. As their name suggests, they also have an on-site, full-service pharmacy. Starting May 1, they will also have an on-site bakery offering fresh breads and pastries. You can stop by the store in person or email an order to [email protected]. Customers can pay over the phone and, depending upon the size, most orders can be filled the same day for curbside pickup.
Robinson’s General Store has been operated by the same family in the heart of Dorset since 1921. The store is open Tuesday to Thursday and Saturdays 8:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm. Mondays an Fridays they open at 9:00 to enable them to provide personal shopping services for people in need. Email your list by Friday at noon for Monday pick up and Tuesday at noon for Friday pick up. Then you can simply arrive in the parking lot no later than 8:30am to pick up and pay for your order. The store has all the food and grocery items of a mainstream store, including fresh fruit, vegetables and meats as well as dairy products. Robinson’s also has a hardware section, clothing, footwear and giftware, making it a true “one stop shop.”
Webster’s Beacon in Dwight is located at the corner of Highways #60 and #35. While it may look like a convenience store from the outside, inside you will find a fully stocked store with fresh fruits and vegetables as well as grocery needs. The store offers pre-made meals such as meatloaf, lasagna and mac and cheese, as well as their 2-time award winning chili. The store’s posted hours are 9:00am – 1:00pm but is often open earlier and later to provide more options for customers. The store is currently taking orders, either by phone at 705-635-2403 or by email at [email protected]. Staff has been reduced from three to just the owner, who takes her safety responsibility as store owner very seriously and has been distancing herself outside of work to protect her customers. Webster’s Beacon is striving to keep prices low and competitive with major grocery outlets so Lake of Bays customers don’t have to make the trip to Huntsville or other larger centres for food.
Next time you need to go out for food and groceries, use this guide to help you choose the experience that is right for you. Consider going someplace new or using a different ordering method to make your trip more efficient and less stressful. The dedicated and caring owners and staff of the stores in this list are doing everything they can to provide the public with the best combination of safety and efficiency. Next time you are shopping, be sure to say some kind words of support and encouragement to the hard-working front-line staff who are risking their own health to ensure that we can have the food and grocery products we need to get through this pandemic.
Join the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce now to have your business featured in our directory, in future content, and to allow us to start working to help you grow and prosper in the future.