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Let's Eat: Green Acre Variety serves up deliciousness in rural setting

Green Acre Variety is located on Highway 595, where they also operate an ice cream food truck and snack shack

Chris Matson & Krista Silvaggio have been dedicated to developing and improving Green Acre Variety, with a focus on local needs and customer feedback. The property has been active as a general store for decades.

“It was originally from around the 1950s,” Silvaggio says. “In 1992 it was incorporated to be named Green Acre Variety. We purchased it in November of 2011 and we’ve been the owners/operators ever since.”

Green Acre Variety has been gradually expanding their services. 

“In 2019 we got the LCBO and Beer, in 2018 we started making our homemade food. In 2017 we started taking empties.”

The store is an important hub for locals and tourists as it fills a large gap in services. 

“We started doing live bait in around 2015, minnows, worms and leeches and tackle.” 

The demand for snacks and easy dinners for travellers making their way to camp became an essential part of the business. It has expanded outside the main store, where they’ve established the popular food truck. 

“We set up our ice cream truck — Lickety Splitz — and the Snack Shack. Our first year running Lickety Splitz was 2021.” They offer ice cream, banana splits, sundaes, floats, milkshakes and more. The Snack Shack focuses on savoury options like poutine, burgers, pogos, hotdogs and grilled cheese. Their full menu is online. 

The Snack Shack and Lickety Splitz usually open May long weekend and operate until Labour Day weekend. Lickety Splitz is staffed entirely by teenagers. In spring they are open weekends, then daily when school is out for summer.

“We provide jobs for teenagers in the area who often don’t have opportunities to go to the city of Thunder Bay to work.”

Green Acres Variety offers great food options all year round with easy dinner pick up on the way to the lake.

“During the summer, when we get a lot of campers coming through, we sell a lot of lasagna and shepard’s pie because they’re in little tins, so they can often put them on the fire or heat them up on the barbecue.”

They’ve been expanding their menu over the years to meet the demand, offering pizzas, panzos, nachos and always adding more based on customer feedback. Their pizzas have been the most popular choice for hungry travellers.

“We do ‘The Works’ Pizza, that has everything on it including green olives and banana peppers,” Silvaggio says. “Customers love our sub sandwiches and our salads, we make our own dressing — Caesar salad and Greek salad dressings.”

The staff have their stand-outs too, like the barbecue chicken pizza and the panzerotti.

Matson and Silvaggio have invested back into their business, maintaining the property and expanding their use of the space. They are constantly participating in local events, charities and supporting other small businesses in the area. 

“We do a lot of retail collaborations. People will approach us to see if we can sell their products in our store. In the kitchen we use Tarrymore Farm eggs, we sell Misty Creek Farm beef, Sprucedale Farms Fudge, Jay’s Funny Farm brings in their honey, Wolfhead Coffee from Thunder Bay, Sleeping Giant Biscotti, and something we brought in new this year was Root Cellar Garden Seeds.”

Green Acre Variety is a fun oasis with a patio furniture, a skeeter vac to deter bugs, and peaceful outdoor green space to enjoy your ice cream and burger. Located at 1226 Highway 595, in Kakabeka Falls, it’s a perfect rest stop to fill up your cooler, your stomach and your tank. Check Green Acres website for more information and their Facebook page for updates, don’t miss out on their pop-up coney days!

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