OTMO was founded in 2008 by Jeff Pastorius, a then-recent grad of Huron University College's Global Studies and Philosophy Program. A pervasive concern with sustainable food politics soon had him obsessively seeking out local organic farms. With a passion for sustainability, food sovereignty and local small scale farming, Jeff was on the turbulent but rewarding path of produce!
OTMO's first incarnation was as a small outdoor market booth offering a selection of local organic food. Soon after, we established a home delivery system (read: Jeff and his mom Jeanette filled boxes and delivered them in his friend`s tiny car. Many thanks to Jeanette for your years of help!). That fall, we secured a permanent retail location on the main floor of The Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market, run by Jeff's sister Jen. In the spring of 2010, we built a dual-use space on the second floor of the market, where we assembled our home delivery boxes out of the custom built walk-in cooler (we used old doors, air conditioners, bike parts, and lots and lots of insulation!). The booth also features a beautiful, community-designed and built organic juice bar. In June of 2011, Joel Pastorius came on board the OTMO team followed by Aaron Lawrence in August and have both become core members.
In the summer of 2012 we moved our operations into a renovated warehouse space at 623 Dundas Street, after nearly a full year of planning, demolition, and rebuilding (THANK YOU to all our handy friends who helped every step of the way!). With the beautiful old winery storefront in the front of the warehouse as a venue, what better project to add than an organic cafe and bakery? In April, Ellie Cook joined the team followed by artisan baker Max Collin to run The Root Cellar Organic Cafe.
Six years have flown by and we are ever-grateful to our families, friends, community, and of course our customers for keeping us busy and constantly reminding us of our love for healthy, local, organic food.