Wondering to make for dinner? Want to eat more plant based meals? Where can you find soba? Gluten free, plant based baking? and plant based gelato? Well I’ve got the spot for you!
The brainchild of Jennifer Kelly and Frank Vatalaro, Rooted Plant Based Café & Market opened in 2020 amidst the pandemic. Rooted’s market has allowed them to stay open throughout as an essential service. After running a home-based prepared meal service for a couple of years, they felt it was time to stake their plot in the growing plant based market and opened their own café and market in Victoria Harbour.
The market has a great selection of frozen meals that you can take home, thaw, reheat and enjoy. Their focus is on whole foods and fresh ingredients, so it’s a great way to pick up a few plant based meals for the week or to try some ingredients that are new to your palate. A few of the options include Pad Thai, Cheese & Mac, and Mexican Stuffed Peppers. Their Red Lentil Loaf is delicious!
Fridges are stocked with café made soups, nacho sauce and fruit butter. You can also find plant milk, plant cheeses and other spreads, kombucha and even pickled fiddleheads. They have a great selection of frozen gluten free breads and if that is what you are after then make sure you try Jennifer’s own buckwheat gluten free bread. It’s my favorite gluten free bread ever!
Shelves are lined with plant based brands and local products that are a great addition to your expanding pantry. Their product selection is fully tried and tested as they are used in the café daily. You can find Neal Bros Tortillas, Luda gravy, every flavour of La Croix sparkling water, spices, buckwheat noodles, quinoa products, flax seed, flours and impressive collections of local mustards and oils on these shelves.
The glass front counter is filled with gluten free baked goodies that are tremendously hard to pass up! Chocolate, vanilla & cinnamon sugar doughnuts, lemon drizzled blueberry scones, brownies, blondies, cupcakes and my personal favorite strawberry vanilla muffins. Jennifer blends strawberries into the icing that makes them finger licking good! Rooted takes custom orders for cakes and other baked goods so you don’t need to try your hand at gluten free plant based baking.
The café serves up daily soup and lunch specials along with regular menu items including breakfast waffles, avocado toast, brekky plate, black bean burger, carrot dog, and even poutine! Tune into Rooted’s Facebook live feed to hear the daily specials and what’s happening in beautiful Victoria Harbour directly from Frank. Or you can dine in the café and chat with him while he prepares your meal in the open kitchen, it’s the kind of place where everybody knows your name.
One of the things I loved about traveling through Europe, is walking cobblestone streets in the Mediterranean sun, trying every plant based gelato I can find, it’s so refreshing and delicious. These memories came flooding back to me as I tried each of the flavours of DaVinci Gelato that’s carried by Rooted. On my last visit they had pistachio, blue coconut, maple apple crumble, hazelnut and my all-time favorite lemon. You can buy it by the scoop or if you are like me and want more you will find larger quantities in the freezer, so you can have a scoop or two to go and more for the freezer at home.
Rooted Plant Based Market and Café is located at 338 Park Street in Victoria Harbour. Find them online at www.rootedmidland.ca or call them at 705-506-3496 and they can package up your order for when you arrive.
Just east of Midland, Victoria Harbour is one of four villages in Tay Township along with Port McNicoll, Waubushene and Waverley. This village has seen lots of new housing development and with Tay Shores Public School in town, it is a family friendly community with easy access to the 400 and Hwy 11, even travel to Barrie or Orillia within ½ hour. If you are looking to live on Georgian Bay, then Robin’s Point Road may be the ideal spot to call home.