Archive for the ‘30 Mile Meal Project’ Category

O’Chocolate located in Athens, Ohio uses only Certified Fair Trade Organic Chocolate to produce their gourmet chocolate bars. Not only is their chocolate certified fair trade organic, but they also source many of the other ingredients used in their chocolates locally. They source Lavender Extracts and Vanilla Sea Salt from Ancient Roots, Popped Amaranth from Shagbark Seed and Mill, Sticky Pete’s Maple Syrup, and Scotty McHotty Hot Pepper Blend from a local farmer outside of Columbus that grows and dries organic chili peppers especially for O’Chocolate that they use in a few of their gourmet chocolate bars including their delicious Cayenne Truffle. O’Chocolate also sources Ridge Runner Coffee, Silver Ridge Coffee, and wines from Shade Winery to produce their Peace O Luv, Fur Peace Ranch Bar, Espresso gourmet chocolate bars, and red wine for their red wine truffles. Not only are the ingredients sourced locally, but they also source the art used for their new logo and packaging from local web designers and local graphic designers. O’Chocolate does not only produce local gourmet chocolate bars, but Stacy Peters, owner and creator, strives as hard as possible to source most of their ingredients locally in order to keep with the common theme of the Athens Locavore Movement!


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Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery is the only Brewpub in Athens! With live entertainment and 38 different beers on tap, including a wide variety of neo-traditionally crafted artisan brews, you won’t want to miss out on the good brew & Live Entertainment!! Jackie O’s prides itself on working with our surrounding community to foster and promote sustainability and local initiatives. Their in house menu consists of their most popular items including local Burgers, Sandwiches, and Appetizers. They have also begun offering daily specials to enlighten their consumer’s taste buds, support local organizations and pursue different culinary favorites in their kitchen. Jackie O’s also serves fantastic pizza with gluten free crust and locally sourced veggie and meat pizza toppings. Their pizzas are prepared with spent grains from their brewing process, giving the pizza a truly authentic flavor. Nearly all of the ingredients utilized in their food preparation adhere to the 100 mile rule, meaning your food is prepared with only the freshest ingredients found within 100 miles of Athens. This is a bit beyond the 30 Mile Meal, but the entire concept behind Jackie O’s is to tie the community together as a whole and have as much local support as possible. Jackie O’s has far more than reached this goal and will only continue to grow and prosper as one of our most successful Athens 30 Mile Meal Partners!

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Crumbs Bakery is a staple of the Athens, Ohio community, offering a wide range of breads, pastries, and other baked goods. They take pride in traditional baking craftsmanship and strive to make only the most high quality and wholesome products. They value all-natural and organic food production, responsible sourcing, and community building. At Crumbs they rise early in the day to handcraft a wide assortment of breaks and treats for local vendors and faraway fans. Their specialties include Artisan breads, cookies, pastries, pasta, bagels, crackers, granola, muffins, croutons, and custom made cupcakes. From their popular Birdseed Bread to their decadent Chocolate Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies, Crumbs provides taste with a conscience…great to the last Crumb. Crumbs has been in business since the 1970’s and still continues to serve Athens as a proud partner of the 30 Mile Meal always providing the community with locally sourced and fresh items daily

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Check out Frog Ranch bottling their salsa at the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) kitchen. Frog Ranch Foods proudly offers a line of wholesome, high quality, great tasting All-Natural Salsas and Pickles. Selling at a rate of one jar per minute, Frog Ranch products are available in grocery and specialty food stores throughout the greater Midwest, including Kroger, Meijer, Outpst Natural Foods, Copps, Rainbow, Sendik’s, Jungle Jim’s, Pick-N-Save and online. The best part about Frog ranch is that it is as local as it can get when it comes to the Athens 30 Mile Meal because it is made right in the heart of Athens! Grab some Frog Ranch salsa off the store shelves today and enjoy the taste of truly local food!

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The Famacy located on Stimson in Athens, Ohio is about as local as local can get! They are a “small, independent, but full-service, natural foods grocery store. They feature a wide selection of ethnic, vegetarian, organic, and special dietary-needs foods.” The Farmacy was one of the first establishments in Athens to focus on the locavore movement and truly gives the community options when it comes to sourcing locally in ones own kitchen. They provide ingredients in bulk in order to use in ones everyday cooking. The Farmacy locally sources anything from herbs & spices, gourmet coffees, dairy products, fruits vegetables along with serving many customers on a day to day basic in their natural foods deli. Green Edge Gardens, Shade River Farms, Snowville Creamery, Herbal Sage Tea Company are only a select few of the many farmers, CSA’s and food producers that the Farmacy locally sources from. The Farmacy is proud to have served the Athens community since 1971 and their main mission is continue the Loacavore movement and continue giving the community a place where they have no other option other than sourcing locally giving back to their own community.

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The Village Bakery and Café is not only your typical bakery, but also an undercover market for many locally produced food items right inside of the restaurant itself. They offer menu items such as soups, salads, sandwiches, baked goods and more. The Village Bakery and café is fortunate to be a part of a developing complex sustainable food system and source from many local distributors such as Starline Organics, Green Edge Gardens, Shade River Farm, Harmony Hollow, Snowville Creamery, Laurel Valley Creamery, Sassafras Farms, King Family Farms, and Ridge Runner Coffee whom roasts their coffee about 500 feet away from the establishment itself; you can’t get more local than that! The list goes on and on making The Village Bakery and Café one of the most locally sourced restaurants within the Athens area.” As a restaurant, we feel privileged to feed our community in a manner that not only nourishes our neighbors, but that also has a net positive effect on our global village.

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Integration Acres' Chris Chmiel speaks to crowd

At least one hundred people, representing every node (from farmer to consumer) along our food value chain turned out for Monday night’s Local Foods Town Hall meeting at the Athens Community Center.

Organized by ACEnet‘s Leslie Schaller, and supported by partners 30 Mile Meal Project, Rural Action, Athens Food Policy Council, Athens City/County Health Department, Live Healthy AppalachiaAthens Farmers Market and Community Food Initiatives, the event was the first of many conversations to showcase the economic, environmental, and health benefits and potential of our vibrant food system.

Kurt Belser

About 40 people offered commentary on their local foods needs, struggles and successes. Many stressed the need for greater investment in shared infrastructure and individual enterprises. Kurt Belser, co-owner of Athen’s newest food processing enterprise, The Wingnuttery, described his path from student to farmer at Green Edge Gardens and a stint at CFI, before he and his partner Marie DeMange launched this new enterprise. The Wingnuttery will process an abundance of local nuts (no implied comment on the local foods community meant), including walnut, hazelnut, Shagbark hickory, chestnut and beechnut. Kurt added that he was the youngest producer in the room, but was quickly followed by a man one year younger, demonstrating that our system includes a hopeful crop of young farmers!

Matt Starline

Becky Rondy

We also heard from Matt Starline, co-owner of Starline Organics, Becky Rondy of Green Edge Gardens, and Warren Fussner, an Amish farmer who sells his crops at the Chesterhill Produce Auction where he serves as an Advisory board member.

Kip Parker

Kip Parker, manager of the Athens Farmers Market, noted that 2012 marks the 40th year of operation for this highly regarded public market and that the AFM generates significant income for its farmers and other food vendors.

Michelle Wasserman

Local food entrepreneurs also spoke about the importance of our food-producing community in keeping their enterprises growing. Michelle Wasserman, Casa Nueva‘s food coordinator, underscored Casa’s commitment to support local farmers and producers. Their website lists nearly 40 Ohio sources, most of them within 30 miles of Athens.

Jessica Kopelwitz, co-owner of Fluff Bakery, expressed her appreciation to the farmers and food producers who provide many of her menu ingredients. Just a year old, Fluff has already created seven jobs.

Christine Hughes, co-owner of Village Bakery and two other eateries that extensively use local ingredients, urged attendees to oppose hydrofracking operations in Athens and surrounding counties.  Hughes stated that farming and fracking cannot coexist without damaging our local foods economy. She cited instances in New York State where major purchasers of regional foods, concerned about groundwater supplies and crops and animals tainted by the chemical brine used in this industrial process, are terminating contracts with farmers near fracking operations.

Connie Davidson

Local foods remain a draw for visitors to the region. Connie Davidson, owner of Sand Ridge B&B, said her guests enjoy her locally sourced breakfast menus that are prepared with foods from King Family Farm, Integration Acres, Sticky Pete’s, Crumbs Bakery, several produce vendors and Bircher Retreat Farm.

Larry Payne

Representatives of county government also spoke, with Athens County Commissioners Lenny Eliason and Larry Payne acknowledging the personal and public benefits of local food production.

Several members of the Athens Food Policy Council – including Mary Nally, Bob Fedyski, and Larry Burmeister – spoke about their involvement in promoting a healthy, equitable and sustainable food system.

Warren Taylor

The last speaker of the evening was Warren Taylor, co-owner of Snowville Creamery and one of several regional farmers and producers that have launched a food distribution center in Columbus to increase local foods market opportunities. While known for his often lengthy treaties on food sovereignty, Warren was upbeat and the only person to speak for the allotted time of 90 seconds!

John Gutekanst

Local foods – of course – also made an appearance – corn chips from Shagbark Seed & Mill Co. and Frog Ranch salsa. John Gutekanst, owner of Avalanche Pizza, brought in armfuls of delicious thick pizzas for the crowd. During his turn at the podium, he said that his business will use two tons of King Family Farm sausage on their pizzas this year, a delicious example of the economic impact of choosing foods produced within our community.

For more on this event, read Brenda Evan’s Town Hall Trumpets Local Food Economy story.

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