Many of the towns around Stratford and throughout Perth County appear to be very small. Sometimes there is a “Welcome to …” or sometimes there is just a blue sign that says the name of the village. Some of the signs announce the town and what they are famous for or some tell you about an upcoming event. For example, when you drive through Wellesley, the sign tells you what they are famous for – apple butter and cheese and they even have a fall festival based on these 2 items!
I must tell you that days later I was speaking to someone from Stratford and told them of our tour to Millbank and our visiting the Zehr’s market. So let me first say, that I don’t know if what I am about to tell you is all true or not, but it sure does make a great story.
My friend told me that Zehr’s was first opened in 1950 in Kitchener by Emory Zehr. Mr. Zehr offered good quality produce and meats, but with a strong emphasis on customer service. As business was doing well and having a good reputation with his customers, Mr. Zehr started opening more Zehrs markets around the area. However, in 1963, Loblaw Companies acquired the Zehrs Markets from Mr. Zehr and, therefore, the Zehr’s Market name continues to thrive – but as a major grocery store. Apparently, this little market in Millbank is one, if not the only, private little Zehrs market left and is currently run by Dave and Barb Zehr and family.
As you drive in and around the town of Millbank, you see many of the locals driving in their horse and buggies. It is such a quaint site to see the ladies and girls in their hats and long dresses, and the boys and men with their straw hats. They are a proud but private society that have their own values and lifestyles which we can admire. Please note that I never taken pictures of these people showing their faces. I wouldn’t like it if people stared and took pictures of me – I only want to admire their carriages and their beautiful horses. Some families have Clydesdale horses, but many families choose to use miniature horses to pull their carriages.
There is a small gift shop to browse through while you wait for a seat – and yes, chances are you will have to wait. You go to the front entrance inside the building and add your name to the list of people hungry for a good meal. It normally doesn’t take too long to get a table (but don’t go around 4 p.m. as I hear you can wait half an hour to get seated), but you can browse in the shop and go past the sign-in table and to the right, you can see locally made products as well as a great bakery to wet your whistle! They have great cookies and tarts (especially the peanut butter cookies and the walnut tarts), breads, buns, Chelsea loaves, Cinnamon buns, muffins and tea loaves, cheesecakes as well as fancy squares – and of course pies! They have soooooo many pies such as:
Apple (2 different types)
Raspberry (2 different kinds)
Shoofly (Mennonite specialty)
Rhubarb (2 different kinds)
Coconut or Chocolate Cream
They also have specialty seasonal pies and also offer 4 types of sugar-free pies. But go on their website and you can see all the baked goods they make – it will make your mouth water! As always, we have tried to test many of their baked goods on your behalf – but we really love their Lemon Meringue Pie! In fact, it was Mom's birthday this week and she said she didn't want a birthday cake, she wanted a Lemon Meringue pie. Quite a sight to see candles glowing on a lemon meringue pie! So we have decided that because we all love it so much, we have voted it the Best Ever Lemon Meringue Pie in Perth County!
Cheers for now!