The stalls have been thoughtfully laid out and several delightful companion shops face one another in the layout of the building. During our latest visit we enjoyed a Wincey lunch courtesy of the two facing shops, The Tipperary Bog and Florcita’s Classic Latin Foods stall.
At the Tipperary Bog, Jennie – who was a customer long before she became an employee – told us about their locally sourced produce, the sweets made by the Paris Bakery, and their main attraction – their cheese. Their most popular cheese, a Bella Vitano, is a Merlot Parmesan-Cheddar blend. They also carry a Truffle Brie as well as a British import with mustard seed and pale ale. Apparently the mustard seeds pop in your mouth. Worth a taste!
The Tipperary Bog is one of the few stores, along with the Blue Dog and Trends on the Grand, that is open in the Wincey outside of Thursday to Saturday. This Saturday, they will do a draw for one lucky customer to win a cheese plate, a promotion celebrating their six-year anniversary. Stop by and put your name in the ballot box!
Just across the way from Tipperary’s stall, Florcita’s enticed us with familiar Latin American names: tamales, tortillas and empanadas, and simpler foods too like rice and bean burritos which our toddler gobbled up. Alongside classic chicken and beef options were the ever-welcome vegetarian versions, paired with alluring homemade tortilla chips and dips. Frozen food cases were full to the brim with tortilla lasagna and various salsas – black bean, mango salsa and guacamole, which Flor – the owner and cofounder with her husband Roberto – told us is always made fresh that morning. Many of these foods are naturally gluten free, a bonus for lots of folks, and they even have healthy desserts –real fruit popsicles.
A long time ago, Cassie illustrated a children’s book written by her dad called Beto’s Burrito, a gentle book about a young boy waking up to sights and smells of his mother making him a breakfast burrito. Our family has a soft spot for Latin American cuisine yet we’ve found it woefully hard to come by in Canada. Even in Toronto, known for its abundance of international foods, we found the real stuff scarce. But we can vouch for Florcita’s. The portions are reasonably sized (and priced accordingly) which lets you sample a number of morsels within a single lunch budget.
We couldn’t be more pleased to have this stall so close to home. We’re grateful that Flor and Roberto, from El Salvador and Chile respectively, have traveled a long way to bring us these old family recipes and flavours. And while Florcita’s stall is only open during regular Wincey hours (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays), Flor and her husband can also be found at the Brantford farmers’ market.
For a nice afternoon, with guests or on your own, we recommend a quick bite to eat at Florcita’s and then a wander over to the Tipperary Bog for a delicious sweetie (many pink ones to choose from if you have an obsessed toddler like our own) or to sample a savoury cheese. There are plenty of places to sit and eat, whether at the dining tables when you first enter the Wincey or along the back walls at the bar looking out onto Mechanic Street through the building’s original windows.
We love the idea of visiting a couple stalls at a time, whether having lunch, shopping for gifts, or discovering something new, taking each business in a little at a time. What other interesting pairings of shops have you found at the Wincey? We have a few more ideas, but would love to hear about your experiences so far!