10 Things that make The Mustard Seed store Ultra-Local

DSC_4581Our soft launch is fast approaching with the countdown to opening day now in the single digits.  On your first visit to the store you’ll be able to pick up your member card and passport before wandering the aisles.

Our opening weekend hours will be:

  • Friday, January 24th        11am – 7pm
  • Saturday, January 25th     11am – 7pm
  • Sunday, January 26th      11am – 5pm
  • Monday, January 27th     CLOSED

On Tuesday, January 28th we will start normal operating hours.

Sourcing local products is of course one of The Mustard Seed’s top priorities. As we say, anything that can be local, will be local. And as we establish new relationships with individual farmers and producers, you’ll notice more local products each time you shop.

But it’s not just the food that will make the new Mustard Seed store distinctly local. Here’s a sneak peak at some other local things to look out for at the Co-op.

1. Photos of local farmers and producers

The Mustard Seed teamed up with Hamilton photographer Jeff Tessier to capture images of some of the local farmers and producers whose products you’ll find in store. A talented local artist, Jeff is also completing a series of over 100 portraits of Hamilton-based artists in their studios. He had a lot of fun meeting the producers and creating artistic shots that reveal their unique characters – if you see Jeff in the store, be sure to ask him about it!

2. Staff uniforms

Staff will be wearing Mustard Seed aprons fashioned by Hamilton seamstress Red Bow Tie and screen printed by Centre3. This makes the uniforms practically as local as the staff themselves.

3. Membership card and passport design

When you pick up your membership card and passport, you’ll notice the same striking designs from Factor[e] that appeared on our membership packages and gift bags. Located on Locke Street, Factor[e] has worked with many local businesses and organizations such as Cake & Loaf, Quatrefoil restaurant, Detour Coffee, the Bruce Trail Conservancy and Hamilton Economic Development.

Member passport proofs before cutting & binding designed by Factor[e]

Member passport proofs before cutting & binding designed by Factor[e]

4. Local music

We have put together some fun Hamilton-centric playlists, but we’re eager to put together more to play over our store’s sound system, designed by member Mark Hall at Wiredwerks. Do you know any great local musicians, or are you musician yourself? Send your ideas our way. We look forward to showcasing budding & seasoned local musicians.

5. Store renovation design

Mustard Seed co-founder Emma Cubitt envisioned the store’s design through her firm Invizij Architects, where she works her ‘other’ day job as an architect. Her goal was to follow our sourcing priorities with local products and trades, reduced waste, affordability, and being ecologically-conscious. Examples of this include re-using the old coolers doors from the former Korean grocery as interior windows and using salvaged wood (see below).  The result is our unique “rural chic” style for Hamilton’s terrior grocery store.


The old wood beams before they were made into cladding, doors, and counters in our store

6. Salvaged wood on exterior and interior of building

The salvaged wood cladding both inside and out comes from a factory conversion project Graham & Emma are working on. A 90 year-old Harvey Woods factory in Woodstock, Ontario, is being converted into affordable housing by Homestead Christian Care. Old wood was salvaged from a portion of the historic factory. Our members first de-nailed the wood, then pressure-washed, then ripped one direction, then ripped the other, then planed, then stained, cut, and installed. This wood is also used in the beautiful member and vanity sink counters made by member Ian Jongema and barn doors by John Terpstra (see below). The re-use of this wood represents hundreds of volunteer hours – a labour of love.

7. Barn doors

The barn doors in the store were created by award-winning Hamilton writer/poet, cabinet maker, and member John Terpstra. A work of art in their own right, we hope these doors will see much use in the coming years and will have their own stories to tell. Maybe they are the inspiration for another poem, John?


John Terpstra with The Mustard Seed’s barn doors ready to be assembled at his workshop on Locke St. North

8. Store lighting

After much deliberation and discussion, we chose linear pendants from Metalumen, a manufacturer in Guelph. These high-output T5 lamps are very energy efficient and give a warm, welcoming light in the store. New LED spotlights are installed in tracks donated by members, making the produce area sparkle, and the industrial pendants were given their mustard finish by the brush of member Cathy Tell.

9. Pedal-powered grocery delivery service from THAAT Co-op

The Mustard Seed will be partnering with fellow co-operative, The Hammer Active Alternative Transportation, Hamilton’s emissions-free urban delivery service. For an extra $5 payable at checkout, you can have your groceries delivered to your door. Several local businesses already use the service, such as Tastebuds, Mes Amis catering, Coffeecology and Cake and Loaf.

10. Our Kitchen

Our kitchen is under construction and won’t be operating by opening day, but this space will afford the opportunity for a lot of learning about local food. Is there something you would like to learn or teach? Let us know. Some ideas so far are canning workshops, cheese making, fermenting, or managing illness through nutrition.

We’ll celebrate our official grand opening later this spring as local harvests begin arriving. Meanwhile, we look forward to hearing from you as we develop our product line-up and store operations. Watch for opportunities to give your feedback in-store and online.

What makes us the most Local is our members. This photo is from a Tuesday night work bee with volunteers from New City Church

What makes us the most Local is our members. This photo is from a Tuesday night work bee with volunteers from New City Church

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