by Marshall Ward
Country Style Products has been a favourite destination for countless visitors to the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market for more than 40 years.
“We’ve been vendors here since 1977 when my mom started, we’re third-generation vendors,” says Rhonda Grubb, carefully filling a customer’s bag with their delicious focaccia bread, baby gherkins, square pumpkin tarts, bumbleberry jam, and flaky cherry strudel.
“When we started at the farmers’ market there was actually a giant stockyards here, and there was just an outside row of vendors,” Rhonda recalls. “I would have been probably five or six years old — getting into the pickup truck with my mom in the morning, coming here and she’d set up, I’d go around and play.”
Now Rhonda serves up mouthwatering treats in the main market building (and outdoors during the summer) at Country Style Products: old-fashioned date squares, sticky cinnamon buns, tangy lemon tarts, jumbo garlic dills, pickled beets, fresh sauerkraut, chunky cheddar bread…you get the point.
“At Country Style Products, we use our mom’s secret recipes, which have been handed down for three generations,” Rhonda says.
The Grubb family packs up their truck in Wellesley at 3 AM every market day, arriving alongside dozens of other vendors; by 6:30, things are in full swing, and the smells of fresh foods are wafting through the air.
The delectable treats at Country Style Products are made with locally sourced fruits and vegetables purchased from farmers at the market.
Those fresh ingredients go into every fruit jam, pie, chutney, relish, salsa, horseradish, and their famous red pepper jelly. “We say famous all over the world,” Rhonda chuckles. “We really appreciate our customers, and we need them to keep supporting local. If you haven’t yet, come try our famous red pepper jelly!”