Archive for the ‘local foods producers’ Category

The CFI Donation Station addresses Athens County’s most immediate food security issue-access to healthy fresh foods for all. We receive both food and monetary donations each week at the Athens Farmers Market from market customers and vendors and local community gardeners. The monetary donations are used to purchase fresh foods from the market vendors. Additional funds allow us to purchase food from the Chesterhill Produce Auction.

All of the food collected is distributed weekly to local food pantries and social service agencies. In 2012, over 44,300 pounds of produce and local food products were distributed!


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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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So hard to decide which truffle...so I usually pick three.

Stacy Peters has a knack for chocolate and timing. A few years ago she and a friend decided to make some truffles for the Christmas holidays and the Village Bakery agreed to sell them. The chocolate orbs flew out the door and O’Chocolate was born. For the last few years she’s been selling her sweet treats at the Athens Farmers Market where the Saturday crowd (I can report from first hand experience) hovers around her display, anxious to make their chocolate purchases.

Open for business at O'Chocolate

Gearing up for Valentine’s Day (when national chocolate sales are projected to be just shy of one billion dollars), Stacy began looking at options for a ‘pop up’ store for the month of February. When she found a longer term sweet deal, she couldn’t resist and, today, she opened her retail business at 5 North Court Street in Athens. With Kinko’s and FedEx upstairs, O’Chocolate is on the street level, just inside the lobby and is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 am to 2pm and 5 to 8pm and on Saturdays from 11 am to 8pm.

Eye catching packaging envelopes smooth chocolate pleasure...

Her chocolate offerings include ten kinds of truffles (my favorites are Chili Pepper, Espresso and Champagne) and five fabulous chocolate bars (so hard to decide…Mint? Organic Pecan with Smoked Sea Salt? or the Dark Chocolate Orange that Stacy describes as “a smooth bar with citrus tones that wake up the taste buds. Cayenne is added and lightly dances on the back of your tongue.”) She also offers barks and other darkly delicious confections. All are made with organic and Fair Trade chocolate. Vegans can indulge in truffles made with organic coconut milk.

A reason to head Uptown

Stacy is passionate about supporting other local enterprises and sources many of her ingredients within the 30 mile region. These include Snowville Creamery‘s cream, Sticky Pete’s maple syrup, Silverbridge Coffee, Ancient Roots lavender extract, and amaranth from Shagbark Seed & Mill Company. She also buys spirits for her truffles locally, supporting the Undercover Market (red wine) and Bella Vino (champagne). By March, the shop will include a display of locally made products available for purchase.

Another happy customer

As V Day approaches, Stacy invites you to attend her O’Chocolate’s Soiree on February 11 (Saturday) from 7 to 8:30 pm – grab your sweetie and enjoy some free chocolate! And for the love in your life (hey, it’s okay if it is you), fill up a red box with truffles!

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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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