The original plan for our second day at Harrison Hot Springs was to check out the Lakeside Cafe for their buffet breakfast. However, we were too busy relaxing in the hot tub to make it before the breakfast ended. We ended up going on the self-guided Circle Farm Tour but due to many places not being open during the middle of the week, we only ended up at 2 places. The first was Farmhouse Cheese, which we had sampled the day before with our "welcome" cheese & fruit plate. We weren't able to get a tour though. Undeterred, we headed into Chilliwack to visit Hofstede's Country Barn.
Initially, we were a bit skeptical about a grocery store being on the tour. However, after over an hour with owner, Richard, we fell in love with his place. Little did we know that Hofstede's is not an ordinary grocery store. In direct contrast to the big box stores, Hofstede's focuses primarily on local produce and unique products. Some of which are non-spray meaning that they are pesticide- free. We were able to sample various fruits and veggies that really showcased what Hofstede's is about. Personally, I've never seen produce that nice in a big box store. Sure, prices are higher, but worth it in my opinion.
As for the dry goods, there were items I've never seen before. Many are local, but a lot are imported from Europe. Think of Hofstede's as a more rustic down-to-Earth Capers or Whole Foods. There is even an in-house coffee shop that features house-made soups and sandwiches. We didn't get to sample any since we were still full from lunch, but next time I'm in Chilliwack... And hey, if you're out in Chilliwack, it's worth giving them a look.
- Quality, local produce
- Friendly staff
- Rare, hard-to-find imported dry goods
- Costs more
- With some of the non-spray produce, it degrades really fast