Elsa’s berries, bagels and more!

Those who visited QB’s Farmers Market in years past will be thrilled to know that they can still get the fabulous baked goods, produce and flowers that used to grace Elsa’s market stall. Elsa’s Artisan Bakery, along with Ric and Elsa’s Farm Stand, is open at their farm.

Their strawberries, still available now, are luscious, fully red, fragrant and unbelievably flavourful. Elsa says they got a new variety of ever-bearing strawberries a couple of years ago that is far superior to the variety more commonly grown here. A taste of one berry confirms that.

It’s hard to choose just one thing that Elsa Heeps is “legendary” for — her baking, her produce, her flowers… Or her sunny, bemused disposition. Elsa has the chops though. Trained as a chef at the Culinary Institute of Canada, she also studied agriculture at McGill University.

Elsa’s bagels are made the authentic way — boiled and baked on burlap boards in a wood fired oven. Chewy on the outside, ethereally soft on the inside, and liberally sprinkled with salt and sesame seeds. To die for! as they would say in Montreal.

But that’s not all. Here are just some of the other items listed on Elsa’s weekly “shopping list” for taking orders:

  • chocolate nut brownies
  • GF chocolate strawberry scones
  • honey pecan tart
  • sugar-free blueberry almond flour muffins
  • tart au citron
  • ‘take and bake’ jumbo breakfast cookies
  • hummus (Elsa’s famous)
  • savoury galette with pesto, spinach, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes

Elsa’s Artisan Bakery is located at 2910 Olympic Road, ten minutes north of Qualicum Beach just off Horne Lake Road. Want to get on Elsa’s shopping list? Here’s how.

Never ones to rest on their laurels, Ric and Elsa have a fairly major home renovation project underway this summer, building a verandah. Ric, an expert builder and finishing carpenter, says that the “hippies who built the house in the sixties” didn’t always know what they were doing. The house has a stone foundation, but the original verandah eventually succumbed to rot. Not content to just replace the original, Ric is building a verandah around all four sides of their house. Ric’s artisanship is evident in the Farm Stand building at the roadside.