It’s not always easy to find a tomato that tastes like a tomato. In summer, you may have to seek a farmer’s market to enjoy that field-ripened flavour.

Fiesta Farms, one of the few remaining independent grocers in Toronto, is like an indoor farmer’s market. Producers ship their beans, peaches, and sugar baby watermelons from small-scale farms — many just 100 kilometres away. The store’s philosophy is to focus on local organic produce while working closely with the community. Unlike big chains or tiny shops, the variety is huge: shoppers choose from heirloom, organic, conventional, or hydroponic varieties — and that’s just tomatoes.

Organics have been criticized as expensive, but prices are starting to come down as more and more customers understand the health and environmental benefits of eating food grown with less chemicals and shipped with as few food miles as possible. Short of growing food in your own backyard — something many Torontonians can’t do — Fiesta Farms is the next best thing.
And it’s not just the produce aisle. Shelves are stocked with local honey and jam made by artisans who live a five-minute walk from the Christie Street store.