Keeping It Fresh by Paul Seale
If you’re looking for fresh, delicious produce, just talk to Dave McCutchen at the Old East Village Grocer.
An hour before opening, Dave’s at the store making sure that your food is the best it can be. Located in the London Food Incubator at 630 Dundas St, the OEVG makes fresh food available seven days a week to the surrounding neighbourhoods of Woodfield, SoHo, and the Old East Village and to people throughout London who’ve embraced its mission. The OEVG is a social enterprise operated by ATN Access for Persons with Disabilities, and uses its revenues to train people facing barriers to meaningful employment.
Raised on a farm in Southwestern Ontario and trained as a social service worker, Dave is perfectly prepared to stock the store with fresh produce and to show others how to do the same. “The Old East Village Grocer is a special place,” Dave says. “We’re a grocery store, but we’re also more. There’s a sense of community here and a culture of support and encouragement.”
Showing genuine passion for his work, Dave examines every fruit and vegetable and stops at the Florida field peppers to explain his process. He turns each bright red pepper with care, making sure it will please the most discerning customer. “We take the time to do our job right,” he says. “We care about the produce and we care about the people who handle it.” A one-time client of ATN Access himself, he adds, “I take pride in my job as a staff member and as a job coach. The feeling of growing together is very satisfying.”