Return to the Grove

Dufferin Grove Park


We are very excited to welcome familiar and new vendors and customers to the park this week. I hope there won’t be any lost souls wandering around the construction site that used to be our home. We will return there another year, but this season you will find us down by the wading pool and along the path which Gladstone Avenue becomes when it enters the park.


It is hard to decide whether to tell you about returning vendors or new ones…I think I will introduce a few of the folks who are joining us for the first time, so you can greet them with a warm Dufferin welcome along with all the friendly and familiar vendors you already know.

There are over 100 years and 5 generations of bakers in Yoni Kamil’s family. Together with his wife, Samantha April, he operates Lev Bakery, turning out traditional Jewish baked goods including Challah, Chocolate Babka,and Potato Buns, oh yum! With no park food programs underway, Lev Bakery and Robinson Bread will keep you in delicious bread each week!

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Incoming Ice Pops

In the depth of winter, we received not one, but two requests to join the market from ice pop makers.

The first was Jiggy Popz, the business of Karim Jivan and Jess Birkhoff. They pretty much had me at the name, but as we read more, we were truly impressed with their commitment to sourcing organic ingredients, their volunteer work at FoodShare’s Waterfront Good Food market, and their delicious flavours: how about Chocolate Coconut Avocado Fudgezicles, and Niagara Peach Pops later this summer?

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Then a sweet note arrived from Melanie Loyer, who runs Freshpops with her 11 year old daughter, Ava. Here is some of her story:

“The reason we started this business is because I was unemployed one summer and could not afford daycare on minimum wage, which is what most jobs I was applying for paid. I was looking for a job where I could bring Ava to work with me. The popsicle business was actually her idea (She was about 6 years old then). She first pitched me a lemonade stand, then we saw an ice cream truck pass us by and thought how fun it could be to roll around the city in an ice cream truck together….

We do everything together, from purchasing fruit, blending, freezing, taste testing, packaging, setting up at markets and selling our ice pops. We have had many failed events, and more recently, many successful ones. Regardless of sales, through this business I have been able to spend quality time with my daughter and teach her about working hard, entrepreneurship, customer service, math, money, sales, problem solving and most importantly that if you want something in life, you have to work hard and keep trying. You can succeed. Having other women support us on our journey has been the driving force behind our business and we have reached a level of success that I never expected. We are still growing and learning….”

Both Freshpops and Jiggy Popz will be at the market on opening day, and then they will alternate weeks.

Anatomy of a Delivery

We have lots of rotating vendors this year, so every week will be a little different. Have fun investigating the many wonderful products our farmers and vendors bring, and plan to stay for a picnic in the park!

If you can’t make it to the market, remember that we can still deliver it to you! We will continue to accept delivery orders on from Saturday noon until Tuesday noon, for dropoff late afternoon or early evening.

a toonie

Hey Kids!
Welcome to the
Toonie Treats Table!
One $2 Ticket Per Treat!

A note to Kids and their Grownups:

Usually there are pizzas and cookies and other food from the Park Kitchens to keep you from going crazy with hunger when you are playing in the sandpit or jumping in the wading pool, but not this year.

So the market is setting up a special selection of snacks from the vendors at our new TOONIE TREATS TABLE. You can buy tickets for $2 each and trade them for tasty things to eat!