Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Toronto's St. Lawrence Market ranked best in world

Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market has been ranked as the world’s best food market.

The National Geographic book "Food Journeys of a Lifetime" gave the popular downtown market the rating.

The market emporium, operating since 1803, rules over others in New York City, London and Singapore — to name a few.

“We are excited to be recognized on an international scale. The locals always knew this,” said market spokesman Rebecca Grima.

“There are a number of factors. The vendors are passionate about food and the level of service. The vendors know the customers’ names. The products are diverse and we have every different nationality working behind the counter selling local and international products.”

Whitehouse Meats — one of the unique 120 vendors ­— sells buffalo, camel, kangaroo, wild boar and muskox.

“We have a huge selection because our customers want something different. We have more than anyone could want. We have all kinds of animals in all price ranges coming from all over the world,” said Leila Batten, owner of Whitehouse.

Alex Farm Products boasts an assortment of gourmet cheeses from the greatest pastures of the world.

“I’m happy about being number one. It is good for our reputation. We have people here from different countries with different perspectives,” said Alaisher Uzbekistan with Alex Farm.

Murray Graziano, owner of Golden Orchard Fine Food, is up at 2:30 a.m. every day to fetch the best organic fruits and vegetables from a food terminal.

“I knew we were the best for years because of the quality of our product. There is a rich heritage of merchants in this building, but the people who shop here make the market special. I have been here 35 years but my family has been here for over 50,” Graziano said.

Rube Marcus, 91, says he has been running Rube’s Rice forever.

“I’m too young to stop and I’m making money hand over fist. I think we won because we have a bigger variety than anyone,” Marcus said.

Barrie resident Adam Ryan goes to the market every time he is in Toronto.

“I have been to several markets and I would agree this is the best,” Ryan said.

Kelly Laplante, who works in Toronto, shops in the market on Fridays.

“I come here and pick things up before I take the train home to Newmarket,” Laplante said.

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