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Food market gets real

After years of running the Backerei Café on Main Street Whitehorse Matthias Lexow and Jonathon Peterson needed a break from the stress of…

After years of running the Backerei Café on Main Street Whitehorse Matthias Lexow and Jonathon Peterson needed a break from the stress of downtown.

Luckily, they didn’t have to go far.

The men are now enjoying the slower pace of their new Real Food Market in Porter Creek.

On Main Street, customers used to come in during their break from work and would always be in a rush, recalls Lexow.

But at the Porter Creek location, customers are more relaxed and have more time to chat.

The same people that ordered their morning coffee in a grumpy mood at the old café come into the new one more laid back, friendly and happy.

But the entrepreneurs didn’t just move the Backerei up the highway.

Aside from baked snacks and coffee, the new location will hold an organic restaurant and real food market.

What is a real food market?

As the organic food movement becomes increasingly popular, more food producers are trying to use the organic label to sell their products, said Lexow.

But that doesn’t mean that all of them are truly organic.

A lot of the so-called organic products still contain chemicals.

Just look at the labels, said Lexow.

You might be surprised to find the many scientifically named ingredients in your supposedly “natural” products at home.

Lexow and Peterson have been cooking organic food for years.

However, finding ingredients for this is not an easy task in Whitehorse.

There are a few locations that sell organic ingredients but much must still be ordered from Outside.

So, in a sense, the store serves as Lexow’s and Peterson’s pantry, which their customers get to enjoy as well.

With all the concern for healthy food, where does espresso and coffee fit in?

First of all, the café only uses organic coffee that hasn’t been grown using chemicals or pesticides, said Lexow.

And for the most part coffee is healthy.

It’s all those extras people put in their coffee that can make them feel sick.

White refined sugar, for example, is a big no no and the café only offers the unrefined, more natural variety.

Coffee is like anything else, said Lexow.

Everything in moderation — you can’t drink coffee like water or you’ll get dehydrated.

While already opened, the building is currently under renovation so that the back half can serve as an organic restaurant.

Once the renovation is complete, seating will be added and Peterson will put his culinary background to good use.

The pair is also planning to create a space in front of the building so that patrons can enjoy their food and drink in the sunshine.

This area may also be set up for local farmers to sell their produce.

What’s next for the two entrepreneurs, who, before the Backerei, maintained a bakery in Marsh Lake?

They’re enjoying their retreat from the stress of downtown Whitehorse so much that they plan to move even further.

Lexow and Peterson own property near Kluane National Park and are thinking of opening a bed and breakfast there.

But that’s more of a long-term plan.

For now, the view from the Real Food Market will have to do.

On the back wall of the restaurant is a large window that looks like it could be a landscape painting.

The window looks over a valley of trees and brush that lead off into a range of snow-capped mountains.

Contrasted with the view from their old café — shops, hotels and cars driving down a busy thoroughfare — most would agree that the move was a good decision.

The Real Food Market is located at 1500 Centennial Street, just off the Alaska Highway in the Porter Creek area.

Business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

More hours may be added as the days get longer and warmer and more staff is hired.