Back to our Roots


Fred and I met at the Stone Crock Restaurant in Elmira. The Crock" was the biggest, funnest employer for Elmira high school students in the late 70s. The St Jacob's Stone Crock closed permanently this year but... you can still find some of their tastiest take home items in the new building at the @StJacobsFarmer'sMarket. We highly recommend their cheeseballs.

Waterloo County was our home turf and it still has our hearts. There are so many beautiful drives, backroads to cycle and fun spots to swim. Our dating life consisted of exploring the region on our bikes. It took about an hour to cycle from Elmira to the market where we would pick up our favourite foods and find a romantic spot to picnic.

Fred's Uncle Jim managed the St Jacob's market back then and Grandpa Wideman took $10 cash from vendors and lead them to their spot for the day. When Fred's parents had extra pullets in their capon flock, we'd take a few dozen in a pick up truck and sell them at the market super "Cheep".

We have so many great memories swimming at the quarry in Elora, rescuing an escaped buggy horse in the rain near Wagner's Corners, picking up fresh cut flowers at the end of a farmer's lane, splitting one of everything at the @ElmiraMapleSyrupFestival @NewHamburgMennoniteReliefSale and the @WesleyAppleButterandCheeseFestival or announcing our engagement over schnitzel and sauerkraut at the @HeidelbergHouse.

Over the years we've shared our finds by bringing our kids or friends to the festivals we attend; celebrating our former business's 5th anniversary with our staff at Octoberfest, the Stratford Festival and the market; filling our vehicle with anyone and everyone from the neighbourhood who wanted to join us at @TenThousandVillages and the @MennoniteReliefStore during the big fundraiser each May.

We're often surprised when folks from London tell us that they've never heard of these wonderful places and events. It seems like such a short drive to us... 1-2 hours tops. The backroads are fabulous with their red barns, hanging laundry, sap buckets, horse and buggies, vegetable gardens and roadside veggie and flower stands, quilts and summer sausage "for sale" signs. Such fun!

For those of you who love a road trip and would enjoy a taste of a slower time and place, we've put together a little travel blog to share some of our favourite spots. We hope you'll enjoy this gift of sharing with someone you love and that you'll stop by our new booth at Colony House to tell us all about your special back road adventure (preferably over baked goods and fresh coffee).

@MadMatters St Jacob's venue opens Thursday, April 28 (soft opening). We'll be there for the season each Thursday (8 am to 3 pm) and Saturday (7 am to 3:30 pm). The market is also open on Tuesdays (8 am to 3 pm) from June 14 to the end of August.

PHOTO: "Engagement Party" Heidelberg Haus. Hallowe'en 1983.


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