To celebrate our wedding anniversary, the hubby and I decide to take a weekend trip to Stratford. We take in a show on the Friday, and after breakfast on Saturday, we hop in the car and meander our way along quiet country roads until we reach one of my favourite little western Ontario towns: St Jacobs.
There are a few quirky yet sincere reasons to love St Jacobs:
- Amazing farmer’s market – biggest I’ve ever seen with baskets upon baskets of fresh produce and countless food stalls
- The broom shop, where you can watch the brooms being cut and tied together in traditional Mennonite fashion
- One-of-a-kind finds – butcher’s chopping block, original 1950s wonder bra ad posters, ridiculously large collections of vintage Nancy Drew novels
- The Stone Crock Bakery, of course!
Located smack dab in the middle of the main street, The Stone Crock Bakery is hard to miss. If you don’t notice the sign right away, you will almost certainly be drawn in by the constant hustle and bustle that is the never-closed-for-long front door.
As far as bakery floor space goes, the Stone Crock is huge. Lots of room to observe the squares and tarts, snugly in the their cases, hum and haw over large selections of pie flavours and bread choices, and examine the shelf dedicated to local jams.
And if that’s not enough to pique your interest, the kitchen is massive and open concept, so you can see the staff hard at work, lining up the next tray of goodies to be rolled out.
There’s nothing too earth shattering about the flavours and items on tap here: squares, cupcakes, butter tarts, pies, cannoli, etc. We did manage to find this little guy –
– a strawberry and cream roll up for $2.50, and an orange tea cake. $1.50. We also picked up a nice selection of tarts (raspberry, cherry, maple, butter tart) to bring home to my sister, aka Felix’s babysitter, as a peace offering for any questionable behaviour she may have endured:
The strawberry and cream roll up was fantastic. Layers of light and airy phyllo pastry, surrounding a not-too-sweet jam and real whipped cream filling. Heavenly.
The tea cake was nice, although I think the name is appropriate, meaning that it would go best with a cup of tea, which we did not have handy. Without the tea, it was a bit heavy, but the flavour was nice and again, not too sweet.
The tarts were served after dinner that night. Two little nephew testers were out in full force for this one. When asked how the cherry or maple or butter tarts were, the answers came back swift and certain: “Good”.
From an adult point of view, we enjoyed the tarts as well, although the butter tart pastry seemed better than the fruit tart pastry – strange, but true. But all in all, the boys were right. The tarts were good.
If you’re in the neighborhood, check it out: