Strip Mall Gems is a series of Eating Niagara, my column that runs in the St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review and Welland Tribune.
It had all the makings of a Hollywood-scripted epiphany.
Steve Bonin was mopping the floor at De La Terre Kitchen when the sun shone through the front windows of the Grimsby bakery and sandwich shop, and the proverbial light went off.
Bonin, then a staffer, told himself he could work there forever.
Soon after, he became a partner in the operation, running the kitchen of the De La Terre sourdough bakery empire, and feeding people sammies that are worth the drive to Niagara’s most northwestern corner.
“I love this place. I love everything about,” Bonin said while taking a load off on a recent Thursday morning before the lunchtime rush. “The ideals are perfect, the location is perfect, Grimsby is perfect. The people here really love good food.”
The downside? “Parking can get sketchy” at this inconspicuous strip mall at the corner of Main Street and Bartlett Avenue. And understandably so.