By Matthew Boudreau, Contributing Columnist
When I set out to start covering food and culture for Parkview News, I knew there was a variety of topics, cultures, and eateries that could be featured. I certainly intend to discover new places and bring some of my old favourites to our readers. Having co-owned a recently shuttered brewery for three years, I intimately know the economic realities facing individuals, families, and businesses. As I journey down this path to represent and highlight our community, it will be important to be well informed and attuned to the challenges that we are collectively facing. As disposable income continues to diminish, the ability to eat out at restaurants or have a night out is a privilege. It certainly poses an interesting challenge knowing that the cost of food is a driving factor in our rising cost of living. While Nova Scotians have always embraced supporting locals, the opportunities to do so are shrinking from inflation and interest rates.
I live in Clayton Park and work in Fairview. I am fortunate that this route allows me to price shop at multiple grocery stores that I pass by daily. I recognize that this is not feasible for many in our community due to mobility, transportation, or economic reasons. Upon self-reflection, I realized that there was a handful of larger stores that I shopped at. I have always prided myself in supporting local farmers through markets and restaurants, but I admittedly failed at shopping locally for grocery items.
Growing up in Ottawa, my closest grocery store was independently owned until it was sold and converted to a Shopper’s Durgmart. The independent grocery store I worked at during high school has now been purchased by Metro. I think as a society, we need to consider how we let a handful of major corporations control the supply of our food. What I am asking of you today is, if you are able, to make the effort to go to a new local store you have not been to for some grocery items. For myself, that was Shahi Groceries at the Clayton Park Shopping Centre. My highlight find was a delicious chutney that has become a staple of dishes I have been cooking recently. Go out, shop somewhere new, and you too may find a surprising new favourite from your neighbourhood store.
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