This article was written in collaboration with fellow foodie Somayyeh Montazer-Hojat.
On September 29, , a local gourmet food store in the New Edinburgh area, celebrated its 10th anniversary by doing what they do best: welcoming family, friends, and community members into their newly renovated store for a night filled with delicious food.
The welcoming spirit behind Jacobsons is immediately evident as soon as you enter the warm, well-lit store. The cozy space is filled wall-to-wall with colourful jars of everything from aromatic teas and lemon peels in lemon juice (for the fancy cocktail artist in you), to beetroot and orange chutneys, pickled walnuts, and all varieties of vinegars and oils. There are also displays filled to the brim with dried pastas of all shapes and sizes, gourmet gift baskets, adorable kitchenware – and my personal favourite – a rainbow wall of kitchen textiles.
Dominique Jacobson, the daughter of Susan Jacobson who is the owner of this family-run business, is enthusiastic about the store being a “destination for local artisans and small producers” as well as a “small corner… an escape” for the community. In keeping with this philosophy, many of Jacobsons’ vendors are friends and fellow food-lovers who share the same vision of gourmet food. These vendors were invited to the celebration to share samples and stories behind their creations.
One of the stars of the show was the supplier behind Jacobsons gourmet cheese counter – Ann-Marie Dyas of – who flew over from England armed with exclusive British cheeses just for this event. Our favourite was the 30% beer cheese (so aromatic and flavourful!), though the mild goat cheese was unbelievably smooth and creamy on the palette.
At the front of the store, Ross from was sampling a number of their salami products, including a punchy jalapeno blue cheese, genoa, and the fan favourite – chorizo! These salamis could complement a variety of cheeses and pickle-y bits on charcuterie platters, and they pair well with any beers and wines.
Beside Ross was Nat, from , a wholesale artisanal bread supplier in the Ottawa area. Some of the breads she featured include four seed, buttermilk potato, and pretzel bread, plus a gorgeous braided challah. Fun fact – Nat has a featured recipe in the Ottawa Cooks book!
After all the savoury delights, we were ready for dessert. We wandered over to , a local vendor who started her business seven years ago. She was serving ice cream floats (yes, my heart skipped a beat as well) made with two of her popular flavours: purple raspberry and chocolate sea salt ice creams. Pascale procures all her ingredients fresh from local farmers’ markets and creates many unique flavours such as toasted coconut and dark chocolate cashew (bonus – both are also vegan!).
Tucked away in the sweets and treats room at the back of the store was Karin from , a Toronto-based pastry shop that provides many of the desserts sold at Jacobsons. The chocolate brittles were just way too addictive!
All in all Jacobsons’ “late night market” 10-year anniversary party was a fantastically warm and joyful celebration of small producers of gourmet delights. Susan and Dominique Jacobson, and store manager Renee, looks forward to sharing their love of food with you soon!