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Get the Lowdown on Épicerie Fardoche, the Wild New Project From Société-Orignal

Alex Cruz talks about the new wave Rosemont grocery store.

Alex Cruz
Alex Cruz
In The Weeds

Société-Orignal, the Montreal-based company that supplies the likes of Joe Beef, Maison Publique, Lawrence, Bouillon Bilk, Myriade, Pikolo, and Dispatch with curated Quebec products, is getting ready for the opening of its newest project: Épicerie Fardoche. "Fardoche was a character from a children’s TV show, Passe-Partout, but you also say it’s fardoche when you look at a field and it’s wild and natural, an eclectic, wild field," says co-owner Alex Cruz.

It’s going to be very nomad.

Cruz and business partner Cyril Gonzales have been working tirelessly on renovating their new Rosemont grocery store. The official opening party is slated for Monday, July 13 but Fardoche opens in earnest Thursday, July 9. Along with a selection of the company’s local products, Cruz and Gonzales are stocking the store with everyday items and offering prêt-à-manger and prêt-à-cuisinier food prepared by in-house chef Jean-Paul Girouard. Girouard left Ursa in Toronto last year and made the move to Montreal to work with the Société team. "It’s going to be very nomad," Cruz explains. "You go in, you have a little bite."

Look for a daily soup and revisited classics like shrimp and cabbage guédilles (Québécois shrimp dogs). The idea is to go back to the basics and consider the store and the food with a simplistic approach, and of course, use what’s in season. "We have access to super good ingredients, so we are making them accessible to everyone. We’re very interested in the future of independent grocers for local food."

Will people be interested in wild sea parsley?

From wild catfish to dandelions, fresh algae to rabbit, Fardoche wants to highlight the same terroir fundamentals as Société-Orignal, creating not only awareness, but also an open dialogue about Quebec farmers and their products. "Will people be interested in wild sea parsley?," Cruz asks. "Who knows? But if it’s not available, we’ll never know! It’s going to be hit or miss but we’ll learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward."

Status: Épicerie Fardoche, 3436 Dandurand, corner Lafond, (514) 886-5664. Open daily as of July 9 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Disclosure: the author of this post previously worked at Société-Orignal.

Outside the new Épicerie Fardoche [Photo: Xavier Girard Lachaîne]