Stratford News

Open by Chance Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday, November 24th

we are going to be OPEN from:

12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Hope to see you here!

Christmas in downtown Stratford


Thank you for shopping locally!

A Wind In The Willows Christmas – December 2013

FRONT Flyer Wind

Performance dates and times:

Saturday, December 14 – 2 pm & 7 pm

Sunday, December 15 – 2 pm

Wednesday, December 18 – 7 pm

Thursday, December 19 – 7 pm

Friday, December 20 – 7 pm

Saturday, December 21 – 2 pm & 7 pm

Sunday, December 22 – 2 pm & 7 pm

Friday, December 27 – 7 pm

Saturday, December 28 – 2 pm & 7 pm

Sunday, December 29 – 2 pm – Closing


Adults – $20 + hst + handling

Children – $15 + hst + handling (includes mouse mask!)

Available at:

Stratford Tourism Alliance

47 Downie Street, Stratford.


or available at the door (cash only)

Less Than Two Months ’til Christmas!

"Santa's Hanger" is a 400 piece FAMILY PUZZLE, available at The Book Vault Inc., Stratford, ON.

“Santa’s Hanger” is a 400 piece FAMILY PUZZLE by Cobble Hill, available at The Book Vault Inc., Stratford, ON.


101+ Nativities – November 29 & 30, 2013 – Parkview United Church, Stratford

101+ Nativities, Parkview United Church, Stratford, ON.

101+ Nativities, Parkview United Church, Stratford, ON.

Celebrate Christmas

Come View



November 29

 November 30

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.


Free Admission

Door Prizes

Bethlehem Café Available



Saturday Lunch (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)


Parkview United Church

470 Ontario St Stratford ON



Congratulations Alice Munro!


The Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 was awarded to the Canadian author

Alice Munro

master of the contemporary short story”.

We’re so pleased that Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature. After selling out within a day of the announcement, we have limited quantities of her work back in stock. They’re selling quick, so pick yours up soon!

Of loss and remembrance – a recital for peace – Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013.

Four outstanding musicians join with the Mother Courage Collective to create this opportunity for a community to celebrate and heal at this time of remembrance. Historical artifacts, curated and presented by the Stratford Perth Museum, will be illuminated by poetry and song, ranging from popular, classical and operatic, to folk and traditional.

Scott Woods Country Christmas – Sunday, December 15 – Parkview United Church, Stratford.


The Scott Woods Band travels extensively throughout Canada each year helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for churches, charities and other community organizations. The show changes twice every year to a brand new theme so there’s always something new to see.

Scott combines his masterful playing ability, a wonderful sense of humour and an incredibly talented group of musicians and puts it all together into a top notch fiddle variety show that is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

Bring your family and friends and join us for some toe-tapping fun, lots of laughs and some good old tunes. We’ll put a song in your heart, a bounce in your step and a smile on your face. Get your tickets early though as many of the shows sell out well in advance of the concert date.

Thanks for stopping by and we hope to see you at a show real soon!

Monforte Dairy to use $75,000 prize from Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence to open cheese making school

Monforte Dairy’s innovative capital-building plan which allowed the cheesemaker to establish a new plant on Griffith Rd. has been recognized with a Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.

Donal O'ConnorBy Donal O’Connor, The Beacon Herald,

The Monforte Dairy in Stratford.<br /><br /><br />
(SCOTT WISHART The Beacon Herald)

The Monforte Dairy in Stratford. (SCOTT WISHART The Beacon Herald).

The $75,000 award was presented to company owner Ruth Klahsen Monday morning in Toronto by Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Monforte implemented a community shared agriculture micro-financing model four years ago to raise capital for the plant, essentially pre-selling cheese to subscribers.

Daniel Szoller, Klahsen’s son and a cheesemaker, said the award will be used to establish a cheese making school at the Stratford plant and the plan is to begin with about eight students this winter.

“We’ve been looking for money for years to do a cheese making school, to set up a curriculum, to hire a teacher, and we want to run a small class of students. My mom has always said we don’t know enough as cheesemakers in Ontario right now, that we don’t have enough knowledge to make great cheese. And we need to make safe cheese as well.”

“This is an incredible opportunity for us to open a school where we can teach people,” said Szoller.

Klahsen has been in touch with the provincial government about funding, said Szoller, but he couldn’t say whether the award is tied to the plan for the school.

Monforte Dairy employs about 20 people in all, at least 15 of them in Stratford at the dairy and at Monforte restaurant on Wellington St.

There’s a Toronto restaurant as well.

The company is about to pay back, with interest, the last of the more than $460,000 raised through its community shared agriculture model.

Szoller said Monforte would like to buy a farm to have some of its own animals and grow vegetables and is looking at re-issuing the same financing model to do that.

He said his mother always wanted the fundraising method to be seen as something viable for other companies.

“With this award I really hope it will raise awareness.”

In a speech at the Premier’s Summit on Agri-Food Innovation at Queen’s Park, Wynne challenged the agricultural sector to double its growth rate and create 120,000 new jobs in Ontario by 2020.

A total of 50 regional agri-food businesses were recognized under the innovation excellence program. Ontario’s agri-food sector contributes about $34 billion to the province’s economy and supports more than 740,000 jobs provincewide.

link to original article at The Beacon Herald

Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival draws praise

Cupcakes and Saucers is a 1000 piece puzzle from Cobble Hills, and it is available at the Book Vault.

Cupcakes and Saucers is a 1000 piece puzzle from Cobble Hills, and it is available at the Book Vault.

Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival draws praise

Credit: Mike Beitz, The Beacon Herald

Monday, September 23, 2013 5:23:53 EDT PM

Organizers are still crunching the numbers on the Savour Stratford Perth County culinary festival, but they came away feeling fairly full of positive feedback.

“We’re pretty excited about the success of the weekend,” said Stratford Tourism Alliance executive director Eugene Zakreski Monday, after the dust had settled on the sixth annual event.

He based that on a flood of complimentary tweets and glowing reviews from many of participants, presenters and guests who took part in the two-and-a-half days of sipping, sampling and savouring.

“Everyone appeared to be very pleased with the theme of the event, the organization of the event, and the overall quality of the things we were offering,” he said.

The Taste of Ontario artisan alley, where visitors could sample a selection of new VQA wines, craft beers, cask beers and artisanal cheeses, the Sunday tasting, which paired local chefs and area food producers, and the culinary presentations were among the highlights, said Zakreski.

Entertaining cooking demos by superstar Canadian chefs and Food TV personalities Vikram Vij and Roger Mooking were particularly well attended, he said.

Both of them reinforced this year’s theme of “globally inspired, locally grown,” and Savour Stratford’s overall goal of promoting and highlighting local food, and the farmers, producers and chefs behind it.

“Regardless of what your international tastes may be or your culture may be, there’s such an abundance of local produce and local creativity with the restaurant chefs themselves to be able to adapt or use that as being just another creative source,” Zakreski said.

He said he was happy with the turnout on the weekend, despite a rainy start to the event, and cool and somewhat blustery conditions throughout.

While the final numbers will take a few days to calculate, Zakreski said attendance appeared to be roughly on par with last year’s Savour Stratford, which drew an estimated 27,000 food lovers.


Stratford chefs nearly swept the podium at the Savour Stratford Perth County tasting Sunday.

The event, considered the highlight of the weekend culinary festival, paired 30 local chefs with area food producers to create some tasty tidbits.

Here are the winners:

People’s choice

Fresh peach salsa with roasted jalapeno chevre, created by Molly Blooms Irish Pub chef Chris Huggins paired with Brendon Lyoness of Caveman Crops

Best meat dish

A taste of wild boar — braised boar cheek on walnut cranberry sourdough bread with pickled shallots, created by Mercer Hall chefs Tim Larsen and Sean Collins paired with Fred and Ingrid de Martines of Perth Pork Products

Best vegetarian dish

Ontario grains arancini — barley, wild rice, quinoa and sunflowers seeds stuffed with hot pepper brick cheese, created by Canadian Grub to Go chef Robert Rose paired with Oak Grove Cheese

Best dessert

Harvest moon cookie, a fall twist on the Bengali desert rasgulla, created by Your Local Market Co-op chefs Tyson Everitt and Katelyn Vere paired with Local Dairy Products

Most creative dish

Blueberry cured salmon with pickled blueberries on bannock toast, created by Aboriginal Culinary Concepts chef Richard Francis paired with Sheldon Berries

Best alcohol beverage

Cafe con piquete, Revolution blend cold-extracted ice coffee with espresso-infused Harry’s Hurricane spiced rum, garnished with a fair-trade dark chocolate-covered Revolution coffee bean and rimmed with caramel and espresso sugar, created by Revel Caffe’s Anne Campion paired with coffee roasters Las Chicas Del Cafe

Best beverage

Digestif fire tonic, created by Tea Leaves Tea Tasting Bar tea sommelier Karen Hartwick paired with local forager Peter Blush of Puck’s Plenty

The Savour Stratford tasting winners were selected by celebrity judges Francisco Alejandri of Agave y Aguacate; Naomi Duguid, award-winning author of Burma: Rivers of Flavour; Alison Fryer, The Cookbook Store; Mara Salles, Brazilian chef/owner of Tordesilhas; Claire Tansey, food director of Chatelaine; and Vikram Vij, chef/owner Vij’s Restaurant and Vij’s Rangoli.

Stratford Beacon Herald article