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our roots

In 2016 Chef Charlie launched Ello Gov’na - Niagara’s British food truck. Ello Gov’na was inspired by Charlie’s upbringing in England. Born and raised in Southampton, she learned to cook from her Nan. Years later, traveling across the world, Charlie found herself cooking in kitchens learning more techniques and adapting her childhood grandma style cooking for the masses. Ello Gov’nas mission was ‘to squash the frumpy and bland stereotype to British food in Canada’ . In 2017 with her then soon to be husband Steve, they opened MASON - the restaurant service within The Silversmith Brewery Company. Mason was Charlie’s grandfather (are we seeing a theme yet?) a person who has influenced Charlie’s character from way back as a wee baby. Mason travelled during the war and told many tales of intrigue and wit, his quirkiness is a family trait. MASON’s menu at Silversmith is a simple one but a worldly adventure.

Now, in 2019 Charlie & Steve are opening The Grove, a small independent farm shop in Niagara on the Lake. Alongside them is the whole family crew. Phil (Father) is prep cook, morale officer and Silversmith Brewery’s own Quiz Master (the best trivia!!). Then there’s Samantha (Sister) - General Manager of The Grove and efficiency sergeant, Sam slaps everyone back into the task at hand, not a minute to waste larking about! And then Hannah (Sister) first job/fruit packer extraordinaire who doesn’t know what she’s signed up for yet. Above all, there’s the wonderful staff team who put up with all that family drama, Cory & Joe the makers of awesome food through MASON are just as weird and wonderful as the rest.

The Grove is our home in Niagara, a physical place for the whole family to come together after the past few years of mobile operation. A place for us to offer thoughtfully curated Canadian products, support local farms and small processors, and a place to get modern home cooked meals with convenience.

We will source things you might not have tried, things you’ve never heard of and things you already love. Thats what we’re here for! Expand your culinary corners, do it with confidence knowing we’ll be there to explain what ingredient goes best with what. What’s Sous Vide you ask?! We’ll tell you! AND you can pick up ready to go sous vide meals right from our freezer.

We’re excited to be part of the neighbourhood and extremely grateful to have the opportunity to continue the legacy of The Fruit Shack (except…and we know you wont like it..we don’t have THE Buttertarts… help us tell Steve Pohorly of the Fruit Shack just how much you love them, who knows..maybe we can get him to do them again ;) - Join our Pretty Please Steve! petition in store!)

Charlie x

 
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before us

the business here before us, the family we are grateful to

THE HISTORY OF THE FRUIT SHACK & THE POHORLY FAMILY FARM

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For over 80 years, the Pohorly family have been dedicated stewards of the land, growing and sharing the best of Ontario's bounty.  To the Pohorlys, Local and Sustainable have never just been buzz words, simply put, its part of their DNA.

Their story begins in the 1940's when new immigrants John & Mary Pohorly landed in Canada.  They began working for a family farm in Vineland and eventually earned enough money to purchase a small parcel of land on East & West Line in Niagara-On-The-Lake.
Each year John would gather his ax, shovel, ox and some TNT and would clear a little more of this virgin land and plant strawberries.  This land was so fertile that after a few years, the big beautiful strawberries earned them enough money to be able to take a chance on a larger, working farm.
It was in the 50's that they bought the property that is now The Grove and was The Fruit Shack
Decades later, the 4th generation of Pohorly's are now learning to care for the many varieties of crops they grow,  to care for the environment and the small town values to which we still subscribe.