The new face of the grocery store: The Knowlton Pantry is celebrating its 1st year!

Le nouveau visage de l’épicerie : La Pantry de Knowlton fête sa 1ère année!

In the heart of the village of Knowlton, La Pantry opened its doors a year ago, slowly revolutionizing the way villagers do their grocery shopping by offering a range of high quality artisanal products made with love by passionate local producers. The offer is also healthy, and the whole is impressive; among them, Quebec sea salt ( Sel St-Laurent ), year-round vegetables ( Urban freshness ), local meats (including Brome Lake Pastures ), fir honey , wines, ciders, and much more.

The project had been in the minds of the owners, Leila El Hamarneh and Benoit Morin, for a few years, but the pandemic accelerated the process. Between Dunham, Frelighsburg, Brome Lake and Sutton, the region was teeming with agri-food producers, many of whom were already friends (such as Les Jardins de la Grelinette ) and the idea was to offer a place where these producers could sell at a fair price and according to their available volume as small farms, offering another distribution avenue to customers than the summer market of Saturday.

It was also guided by a desire to participate in the revitalization of their region by creating more than a grocery store, but a place that we would frequent on a daily basis to stock our pantry while contributing to the local economy.

The Knowlton Pantry

The friendly couple also had the good idea of ​​making a café with benches to sit on and the place quickly became an essential stop and a social place for villagers to meet up.

The place is always lively, friendships are made, and tastings allow us to discover the food as well as the wines, ciders and non-alcoholic drinks. These are taking an exponential market share, and the Pantry keeps up with the trends with always new arrivals.

It was with a desire to showcase these products that the Pantry project was born, but also from an aspiration to participate in a profound change in cultures. We are increasingly aware of the imperatives of local food (see this episode Radical Ideas with Jean-Martin Fortier and his farm-to-table project with the Old Mill Space ) for the benefit of our ecology but also our livelihood.

Foods that must travel or come from industrial agriculture are fortunately less and less popular and are “expensive” to our planet, and La Pantry thus takes on an educational mission; that of demonstrating the importance of supporting local producers, eating food in season and practicing the circular economy by buying local.

When Leila is asked to comment on the first year of her business, she spontaneously exclaims “Happiness, happiness, happiness!” ". There is no shortage of challenges, but she sees the Knowlton Pantry as the logical culmination of more than 20 years of career and a return to her roots. DJ's, terrace and tastings were offered to customers as a thank you. Long live The Knowlton Pantry !

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