Top 5 Organic Grocery Stores in Mississauga
Canadian regulations for organic food are world renowned and are applied to foods grown here on our own soil as well as those imported from other countries. These five stores -- all spread out across the city -- have got you covered when you want to make both a health and environmentally-conscious decision when buying your fruit and veg (or just have a really strong craving for kale chips).
Surrounded by some of Sauga's sizeable homes and shrouded in mature trees, Battaglia's Lorne Park Marketplace offers a combination of organic and conventional (aka non-organic) produce at affordable prices. The produce is basically Longo's quality on a Freshco budget.
What really stood out was the store's support for Canadian-grown fruits and vegetables. There's also ample signage making it abundantly clear that a lot of the products are domestic and from Ontario, including Mennonite products that are "Family oriented…and proudly Canadian." They also carry products from local vendors, including pies, gourmet spices and meal kits.
Fresh out the gate and through the front door of Whole Foods, organic heirloom tomatoes and asparagus hit you smack in the face (and that's after I ignored the sign about the special on cupcakes). Though most of the organic fare at the Square One location is imported (expect to see a lot from Mexico), they do still have Canadian grown products on offer as well.
Whole Foods aims to specialize in organic food, but also sells conventionally grown produce. However, there are a lot of organic products on the shelves that more than make up for this (like organic crackers to crumble into your organic soup). DIYers can blend their own fresh nut butters and grind their own fresh coffee beans. All of the bread is baked fresh in house and with the exception of Dufflet and Carol's Cheesecake products, the cakes and pastries are prepared in-house as well. Hungry yet?
All of the produce at Goodness Me (off of Bristol and Hurontario) is organic with a competitively priced selection that you would expect at your regular grocery store chain. They sell bulk herbs and spices and though there is less by way of meat and seafood than other stores, what they do have is consciously raised. The chicken, for example, was growth hormone and antiobiotic-free.
What sets Goodness Me apart from other organic grocery stores in Mississauga is its commitment to being a lifestyle brand and not just a place to get non-GMO grapes and apples. A Goodness Me! organic farm in Campbellville sells its produce exclusively to the nine Ontario locations. Founder Janet Jacks hosts a weekly Saturday morning radio show and will be releasing her second cookbook next month. Even more, you can attend cooking and lifestyle classes (many of which are complimentary) and learn more with the help of the mini library of cooking and lifestyle books displayed near the store's education centre near the entrance. This store can be a good resource for people wanting to not only shop organic, but learn about health and medicinal benefits of different foods as well.
2 - Healthy Planet
Healthy Planet is a chain of stores with 12 locations around the GTA. The very friendly staff at the Mississauga location on the corner of Dixie and Dundas welcomes you into the store that is literally split down the middle with organic and health foods on one side and lifestyle products on the other. This is a great place for a wide variety of organic food, but with more of a focus on shelved organic food products than fresh produce. For example, they carry a lot of juices, frozen foods (including my favourite frozen meatless "chik'n" tenders, for example), eggs and dairy. Dry goods on the shelves come in both bulk and prepackaged options for things like cacao nibs and white chia seeds, to name a couple.
The key take away about Healthy Planet: options. I enjoyed shopping in this store because it's clean, easy to navigate with clear signage and the variety of all the different products is expansive. Where else can you take your pick from upwards of 30 (I stopped counting after 26) different honeys including honey drops, honey packets and honey comb? They also carry wider ranges of familiar brands found in conventional grocery stores like Bob's Red Mill and would be a good place to check out if you're looking for a hard-to-find item from a particular health food product range.
Planet Organic in Port Credit has a dog hydration station and a cute covered cafe outside its entrance that would be really nice to take advantage of on warmer days. When will those be arriving, anyway? I digress. Back to organic food. All the produce is organic and although not everything on the shelves is, it comes close. Prepared food, vegan and gluten free pies, pastries and cookies are available. Bulletproof coffee fans can also find the illusive grass-fed butter to blend with their coffee to add some pep and healthy fats to their mornings.
The store also boasts lifestyle products like protein powders, supplements, cleanses, vitamins and the like. They also have an impressive display of body care, soaps and cosmetics. Gwyneth Paltrow would have a field day! With the amount of herbs and tonics I'd never heard of, it was almost overwhelming -- but the friendly and knowledgeable staff can point you in the right direction.