Open for Business

bottlesWe are thankful to be part of the community of Welland! May 15 at noon, we put out a Facebook post asking if anyone had old windows.  Multiple people responded. Before closing that day someone had dropped off 4 windows. Combined with the windows we had, we were able to create safe shopping alterations to The Pantry. The Tuesday after Victoria Day we reopened our door to in-store shopping. For your safety and that of our staff, one customer (group) may shop at one time. It is wonderful to hear voices in the store again! Thank you to all the people who offered windows!

We are still offering our “front porch sales” and curbside. It is our goal to not just make you feel safe but to provide multiple safe shopping options. We continue to do frequent sanitizing sweeps of touch points.

We also would like you to see the Welland “July 25, 1858” commemorative bricks we are making. These bricks came out of our house which was made by a bricklayer called Roach from recycled materials in 1916. The bricks were handmade in the 1800s and must have come from a local Welland farmhouse that was torn down. Each brick is unique and tells its own tale through the chips and scratches on its surface. Welland was known for its brickyards, the most famous being the Hooker brickworks. I would like to think that our bricks were made here in Welland. If anyone has an authenticated Hooker brick it would be fascinating to compare it to our bricks. Regardless, as I handle each brick I can imagine the time consuming work that was was required to make each of these by hands. If you have ever seen how they were made you will know what a labour intensive job it was.

We had a special “postmark” stencil cut to commemorate the date Welland became a town. We are offering these bricks for $10.00 each while they last.

Looking forward to seeing you all again!!

Covid-19 Safe Shopping Measures

We continue to respond to the changing conditions of the Covid-19 health crisis. As a grocery store we are considered an essential service and therefore will remain open. However, we are taking the following measures to provide safe access to food for our customers. We are now serving our customers through the front door. Please protect yourself and everyone who is part of  The European Pantry community by doing the following when you come:

  • Ring the bell
  • Step back.
  • Tell us your order through the screen door window. We will do our best to provide the product info you need.
  • We will bag your order to hand out to you. Keep your distance when we do that.
  • Pay through the door.  Tap is recommended and usually works through the window. Our debit machine will reach outside.

After you leave I will bleach any surfaces that you may have touched.

We are asking customers who receive their groceries by delivery to have their lists ready to hand out when we come. We will bag up your groceries and bring them to your door. We do this to keep you and everyone safe.

We are making PDF shopping lists to help you access our products better. Below you will find a list for Dutch groceries compiled especially for our customers, many seniors, who receive their groceries via our delivery network because they are unable to come to the store. We will continue to add new lists. We also hope to release a new version of our website in the beginning of April that will allow you to view products and order by email.  

Feel free to call in your shopping list at 905-732-3222 or email us at europeanpantry@gmail.com. 

If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact us.

General delivery Dutch product list.PDF

General Hungarian Shopping list

General Italian Shopping List

General Cheese List

Bring Home the Colour!

Michelle's quiltIn the past, I have tended to choose safe colours as I decorated my home. A few years ago, our daughter-in-law, Michelle, made us this beautiful quilt using the colours she perceived made me happy. When I chose my shirt that morning I had no idea we would be receiving this beautiful gift. Clearly, Michelle knows me very well! Her gift pushed me out of my comfort zone into my joy zone.

So when I started renovating our kitchen in 2016,  Michelle’s quilt became my inspiration.  Instead of fabric, the pattern of our new kitchen is made up of old bricks, dark beams, reclaimed cedar shelves and pale wood cabinets. I was a bit scared when I started to paint the cabinet cases red but no regrets. To balance the red, I brought in some greens. This was my first test of Fusion Mineral Paint products. I guess the fact that we now sell Fusion paints shows that I am a solid convert.

The faux distressed plaster wall was so much fun to make! With several coats of FMP Tough Coat it has stood the test as a back splash for food prep. The cedar shelves attached to that wall are an extra point of pride. Who would have thought the original 100 year old painted window sill could become so beautiful! It is amazing what hemp oil can do…after some strenuous stripping.

78511578-E633-4545-9439-9A8D9BB2357B

Our kitchen floor is another example of deconstruction beauty. Layers of old flooring were removed to expose the old floor boards. There were a lot of holes and wide cracks to fill but paint covers a multitude of imperfections.  I used a 50-50 blend of FMP colours “Lichen” and “Plaster” for the base colour. Then I highlighted the cracks and knots with “Lichen”. I wanted the floor to look like old planks without worrying about vacuuming crumbs out of the cracks. A couple coats of FMP Tough Coat finished off the job for extra durability.

Maybe you can’t  make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear but you can make a warm inviting room with some very raw materials, elbow grease and excellent paint.

Bringing colour home is all about discovering your own joy zone. What attracted me to being a FMP product distributor was the prospect of helping other people discover the palate of their joy zones. When you visit The European Pantry you not only can bring home the bacon….and cheese, chocolate, teas, seasonings, etc…. you can also bring home your joy colours. Come for a visit and let us help you discover your joy zone.

You can read more about our kitchen renovation here: The Year of the Kitchen

 

Unique Summer Thirst Quenchers

C829C504-DFBA-4C2D-B701-55B716A52214

Our summer supply of alternative non-alcoholic low calorie European beverages has arrived! You can wow your guests with unique quenchers but once you taste them you might not want to share…. these are delicious refreshing drinks!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our classic soda pops may have more typical calorie ratings but their taste is anything but ordinary.

And don’t forget mineral water from natural springs in Romania!

C54819B8-6B5A-4DF4-BFB1-DA17B8B90C9D

The Kitchens We Love

BCE92475-0FB0-45BA-A537-0868D878337CThere are those kitchens where more memories are made than any other place on earth. I remember when my Oma and Opa moved to Fruitland, Ontario. There was an apricot tree there. Oma baked the most delicious sand cakes filled with apricot jam. Years later I realized that this must have been a new recipe she developed or borrowed to use up an abundance of fruit that year. This in itself might appear unexceptional if not for the fact that she was quite elderly already. As young persons we do not always pause to really observe and understand the elderly. They are often merely part of the backdrop of our lives. As a teenager I saw nothing of myself in my Oma’s wrinkled face. She has been gone for almost 30 years now but the memory of her readiness to innovate with new ingredients whispers through the years to me as I cook and experiment in my kitchen.  It tells me that I am very much her grandchild.

E200517D-CC1C-49B5-A590-7E056A95E22EKitchens are often the hearts of our homes. Being greeted by the aromas of supper cooking after a long day at work makes our labour so much more worthwhile. Special conversations happen over a cup of tea and a slice of our favourite cake.  Bruised knees and feelings are comforted by a sweet treat. At the heart of these kitchens, however, are the cooks who make these places special.  These are the people we celebrate with more of our “Handmade Kitchen” signs. Whether you call her Gramma, Nana, Nagymama, Mom or something totally different you can honour the special cook who is making memories for your family by commissioning a personalized sign at The European Pantry.

The Year of the Kitchen

Usually this is my forum to share about foods and products I am excited about.  I confess though that I have been rather quiet this past year. This is why…

You may have heard that last year was the Chinese year of the rooster but for me and my family, 2017 was the year of the kitchen.  We have lived in our century home for over 25 years. In spite of raising a relatively large brood of children… five, in case you were wondering….our 8 by 10 foot kitchen was adequate during most of those years. For larger baking or canning projects I always appropriated the dining room table.

But children grow up. They bring home friends, spouses and then grandchildren. Suddenly, that adequate kitchen feels too snug for two generations of cooks sharing the space during family gatherings. Kitchen cabinets take a beating over 25 years of use. It was finally time to get to work and realize some dreams.

We are a family of avid do-it-yourself-ers. My neighbours are never surprised to see me up on a roof or creating something with my table saw on the front driveway. Yes, you read correctly. My table saw. My husband, John, prefers his circular saw.  So there never was any doubt that this would be a do-it-yourself kitchen…or that the “yourself” would be me with the exception of plumbing and electrical. I gladly deferred those elements of the reconstruction to more able persons.

To be honest, the year of the kitchen actually started August of 2016 but before I get ahead of myself let me give you a tour of the “before.”

 

 

The kitchen was a solid fortress of double brick walls that once formed what was most likely a workshop addition on the back of a tradesman’s two story house.   The early inhabitants of our street were the families of men who worked at the nearby steel plant that was torn down a decade ago. Back in the 1990’s we added a family room and the exterior brick walls were absorbed into the house. The windows came out but the old sill remained as a shelf in the pass through. The entrance way became a hall; the coat closet, a pantry. The plan was to remove the bricks under that window sill to floor level so we could push the cabinets out and enlarge the  kitchen’s square footage. I also planned to remove multiple layers of wall coverings to expose the brick of the original back of the house.

IMG_6948Before I was ready to install new cabinets, over 400 bricks were removed.  There are always surprises when you take apart an old house. The original builder, a bricklayer by the name of Roach, constructed the house in 1916 using reclaimed bricks half of which were handmade. On walls that were to be covered, Roach used less than perfect bricks and his mortar was left rough.  His fine craftsmanship was evident on the walls that once formed the back of the house, however, the mortar had become crumbly over time.  So I learned how to repoint mortar and rebuild a brick wall.  Plaster board covered a tongue and groove wood ceiling. Two old stove pipe holes were revealed.

 

One of those holes went through a joist which had to be reinforced once all the wood boards came off the ceiling.  As I removed layers of history, I got a glimpse of the people who had inhabited the house over the years.

This process took months because frequently I only had a few hours each week to invest into the project. During the busy Christmas season here at The European Pantry all work went on hold.  Finally a year after I started demolition, it was time for the new kitchen to take shape.

 

The kitchen isn’t complete yet. There is a dishwasher to come and it still needs some finishing touches, however, you can check our update in a more recent post: Bring Home the Colour Now that it is mostly done I can shift my focus to cooking for enjoyment again…and sharing tips and new ideas with you!European Pantry cooking

However, this project has taught me a lot of what makes a good kitchen…ideas I  will be happy to pass on to anyone who is starting their own “year of the kitchen.”

The “Kist”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When I was a child, my best friend Debbie used to get a Christmas box from her grandparents who still lived in The Netherlands. In those days we called a box like that a “kist“.  That translates as “crate”.  When the kist arrived for Debbie’s family I wished my Opas and Omas still lived in Holland.  Oh the wonderful things that could arrive in a kist!

But that kist couldn’t contain all the goodies that arrive at The Pantry at this time of year. We have already started unpacking crates of treats. More is coming in each week! Here is a peek at the Christmas products available at The Pantry this season:

Christmas flyer 8.5 X 11

Christmas flyer 11 X 14