The billboard signage for the Mariposa Market in Orillia starts on highway 11 as you head north from Barrie; this is a destination location you don’t want to miss!
Family owned and operated; with a rich respect for the heritage of their place in the “Sunshine City”, Mariposa Market provides a history lesson to guests via a lovely brochure. I learnt the site has housed a bakery for over 150 years! It was originally George Vicks General Store, which opened in 1859, to this day there are structural remains of the original three large brick ovens.
Having grown up in a century home, I am charmed to learn of the quaint local history. My eye was drawn to the memorabilia throughout the market, this is more than tastefully placed décor items, many have been donated by longtime customers who want to add their piece of history to the market.
It supports the sincerity of the slogan of the Mariposa Market “to take a step back in time and enjoy a nice quiet, relaxing lunch and shopping experience with an old fashioned feel”.
Mariposa Market manager Judy McLaughlin shared with me “the Main Mariposa Market store was built in 1911 after the Vicks replaced the original structure. The store as it is now, first opened in 1987, the Scent shop followed in 1990, the Seasons shop in 1992”.
Bakery, Café, Seasons, Scent, Catering and gift baskets too, let me elaborate.
The Seasons shop is aptly named; this is where you will find gifts for the home or cottage fitting for all of our seasons.
My visit to Mariposa Market was timed to summer and the Seasons Shop was filled to bursting with BBQ bounty. Any grill chef would be thrilled with the wide selection of accoutrements available, a beer can chicken roaster would make a great hostess gift. I noticed colourful amusements for children, great for the car rides to the cottage! The name “The Scent Shop” simply doesn’t do justice to this room, as it is overflowing with gift options for those of the female persuasion. In this area of the Mariposa Market you will find a vast selection of Crabtree and Evelyn products, jewelry and clothing. Perhaps it is so named, because if you “follow your nose” you will certainly uncover the perfect gift to give or to treat yourself.
A wander downstairs will take you into Apple Annie’s territory; this is family space owned by the two sisters of Bob, the owner of Mariposa Market. Don’t let the depths fool you, it’s a sweet space made sweeter by the tempting fudge samples and oodles of giftware. The main event at the Mariposa Market is the café and baked goods; I asked the staff about signature items, the favorites that folks are drawn to, and while they recommended the ginormous Texas donuts, they were simply too huge for my appetite.
I choose the apple fritter, chunk full of apple bites it was squishy fresh fritter perfection. A package of cheddar cheese tea biscuits came home with me; they made sweet mini sandwiches for lunch the next day. A multitude of flavours of breads, buns and rolls are baked fresh daily, jams and jellies line the walls, the perfect complement. Tarts, squares, éclairs, chelsea buns, pies and loaves, sweets of every tooth desiring flavour, it is all here.
The café offers everything from morning pastries, lunch time salads, sandwiches, to dinner fare menu offerings of chicken pot pie or lasagna.
Wheat free options are available. Coffee, tea or espresso based drinks, both cold and hot are also on the menu.
Mariposa Market is known for their cakes, provides catering, and online product or gift card ordering.
The website is product extensive, showing listings, prices and great descriptions.
Judy McLaughlin shared that in the summer season over 2000 people will visit the market in a week! This is a phenomenally popular place in all seasons; cottage or ski hill bound customers stop by to stock up, bus tour drivers will often call ahead to bring their passengers in, boat tours, summer theatre goers, all recommend Mariposa Market.
Explore the historic Mariposa Market; make it your destination location!
109 Mississaga Street East
Orillia, Ontario L3V 1V6
Phone: (705) 325-8885
Fax: (705) 325-5606
During July & August, open weeknights until 8pm.
Closed only December 25 and 26
Photos © Celeste Morrow-Bailie – CMB Photography