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Haldimand County: Caffeine Fueled Adventures Down Rambling Roads – Part 1

A cup of frothy coffee

Give me a hot coffee, a tasty treat and a rambling road — and I’ll show you the sights. Even if I’m not exactly sure where those rambling roads are taking us. This is where I should point out that my gas tank is full and I have a gps system in the car, just in case I get too far gone that I’m not quite sure which way is home. 

I moved to Haldimand County 10 years ago. Before that (long before that) I used to come out to the shores of Lake Erie with my mom and family to stay at my grandparent’s cottage just outside of Selkirk. My mother hardly ever drove the same route to the cottage twice. She just followed her sense of direction, stopping off at little shops, sights and roadside stands all along the way. Sooner or later though, I would ask the age-old question one too many times, “are we there yet?”, and she’d give in and we’d arrive. 

It was always an adventure driving with my mom and I carry that tradition on to this day. 

So, join me and my dog Otis, as we hit the open road.

First stop… Baejj in downtown Hagersville and then off to Hewitt’s Dairy Bar for coffee, an absolute must. You’ll find that I’ll stop for coffee quite a bit. Mmm, coffee.

Baejj sits right next door to the legion and still offers up the same bulk goods as Nuts N’ Bulk before, just with a new name. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their baked goods. Check out their Facebook page to see what might be in store or, like me, let it be a surprise. The surprise that awaits me today, a Skor Bit Chocolate Fudge Brownie. I can’t wait to get back to my car so I can devour it. But first, I need to pick up a few things for my at home cooking and baking needs. Namely, Gluten Free Flour, and Baejj has the best blend I’ve found anywhere and for an excellent price too. I love that I can buy this flour so close to home. No need to order online (though they do offer curbside pickup) or travel into the city to find it.

Hewitt’s Dairy Bar is an institution in Hagersville that began all the way back in 1887 when James Hewitt would deliver milk to residents in a horse drawn wagon. Today the dairy bar, located just outside of town on the way to Caledonia, is a great place to stop by for breakfast, lunch, dinner, an ice cream cone or to purchase a number of dairy delights to take home. Forefront on my mind though; coffee to go made with Hewitt’s cream. Coffee, coffee, coffee. It’s a treat for me, I rarely have cream or milk in my coffee anymore. 

Now that I’m caffeinated, and my sweet tooth is satisfied it’s time to head off for Caledonia where I’ll stop at Wally Parr Sausage, Escape in Caledonia and Bella Coop Boutique. I’m going to start with Wally Parr Sausage on Highway 6, just the other side of Caledonia, heading toward Hamilton. On my way, a special shout out to Rustic & Reclaimed. They’re open and (double check their Facebook page and website for exact days/times) selling, “…beautiful, reclaimed barn materials for all your unique home projects.” Want a charcuterie board, a cute sign for your front entrance or a custom piece for your home? They’ve got it, can make it or can provide you with what you’ll need to make it yourself.

Wally Parr Sausage has been at their Hwy 6 location since 1969. It’s not just a family tradition for the Parr family but for many other families too. Including mine, as we made our trek to the family cottage oh so many years ago. There’s nothing better than a Wally Parr Sausage cooked on the BBQ and served on one of their fresh baked buns. In fact, you can pick up a sausage on a bun while you’re there if you like, many do. Today though, I’m going to pick-up a box of frozen honey sausage (my favourite) and a few other items to stock up my freezer. Wally Parr isn’t just about sausages. They have so much, from complete frozen meals, tasty sides, gluten free and vegan/vegetarian options and baked goods. Check them out for sure, if you haven’t already.

With my frozen goods tucked away nicely in the car, out of Otis’s reach (though I did get him a pepperoni stick or two), it’s time for more shopping, just not of the food variety. More like the, *comforts that inspire my soul variety*. But first, a little exercise with Otis along the Caledonia Kinsmen Park Walkway (just .3km) and back again. It’s a scenic trail that travels along the Grand River with lovely views of the mill, dam, the Caledonia Bridge and town. Following that and with Otis happy, I make a quick stop to pick up a gift card at Escape in Caledonia located at 55 Argyle St. N, Unit 1. It will be the perfect gift for my family. Games night is always something we love, this will just take it to a new level.

And I couldn’t come downtown without a stop at Jones Bakery! I’m just looking, I promise… oh, who am I kidding. I bought a box of Belgian cookies to take home to share.

Now, I’m off to Bella & Coop.

Bella & Coop opened their doors in Caledonia three years ago. Since then, they’ve opened a second location in Grimsby and a pop-up location in Cayuga. If you’re in need of a unique gift, household décor item, fashion or jewelry, or some delicious chocolate (they sell chocolate made by My Sweet Sweet World based out of Hagersville, that’s seriously delicious), this is the place. I love it here. It speaks to me, sometimes quite literally. Well, at least in my head as I read their collection of mugs with cute and cheeky sayings and quotes decorating the sides. I do my best not to laugh too loud. Personal favs include but are not limited too; “She’s Whiskey in a teacup”, “me & my dog talk $#!* about you.” and the ever classic, “Fresh out of *Fox*”. 😉 

With my wallet a little lighter, I’m feeling the need for more coffee and perhaps lunch. It’s a good thing a leisurely drive along the Grand River to Cayuga is next on my list. 

Join me next time as I explore the sights and flavours of Cayuga, Fisherville and Selkirk!

Happy and safe travels!

Haldimand County gratefully acknowledges the support of FedDev Ontario for tourism businesses in Southwest Ontario.

Travel only when it is safe to do so. Follow recommendations of your regional Department of Public Health as well as your destination’s Department of Public Health.