Rising Thymes has replaced Organic Times on Bobcaygeon Road in Minden.

Owner Yuki Renel said she’s keen to “keep the traditions” of the wholefoods shop, while adding new local food and snack options too.

Rising Thymes’ shoppers can expect to find local olives, dozens of bulk food bins, kombucha, fresh sprouts, fairtrade coffee, organic soy sauce and more.

Renel hosted a grand opening May 7. She worked for previous owner Deborah Lyons in 2020. Lyons now operates the Organic Times Emporium in Haliburton, but has helped Renel with the transition as she expands the store’s food offerings.

Also operating Rising Sun Gardens, an organic farm, Renel said she brings a deep appreciation for local produce to the store.

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“I couldn’t find the vegetables I used to eat in Japan, so I started to grow my own,” she said.

“I truly believe vegetables from the soil have the best nutritional value and taste.”

Whether sweet potatoes from Kinmount or artichokes from her own garden, Renel said it’s important to know where and how food is grown.

Her partner Sebastian Renel, who has been helping around the store, said much of their produce “comes from local people, from their heart.”

She hopes to bring in more local producers too, perhaps adding fridge space.

“I was hoping to put my vegetables in a store, but it was not easy,” she said. “I didn’t expect to be the one to provide the space to others.”

Renel said she’s gotten support from customers, many of whom have been longtime regulars.

Alongside organic food, the store has become a destination for gluten-free and lactose-free products.

Sebastian said, “we’ve made some very nice connections through this. It’s great, you get the feedback from the community.”

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