At the co-op, local is at the heart of what we do.
We define “local” as food and products grown, produced, or processed within a five-state area that includes Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. We know our local farmers and locally-owned businesses personally – we visit their kitchens and farms and love seeing exactly where our food comes from and how it’s grown, raised, and made. When you choose local, not only does it taste better (thanks to shorter travel distances!) but more of your food dollars stay in our local community.
Bryan Deane Bertsch began brewing kombucha using traditional techniques in 2006. Today, Deane’s Kombucha is still brewed in small batches with the original well-cared for culture. Deane’s Kombucha is the only Minnesota commercial kombucha brewed in 30 gallon oak barrels that is fermented with whole, organic fruit. Each batch contains 100% organic ingredients, including kombucha culture, gunpowder green tea, cane sugar, and whole fruits and herbs for individual flavors.
Deer Creek Cheese
Deer Creek brings the very best and most consistent cheeses to marketplace by hand selecting outstanding specialty vats and working with some of the very best cheese makers in Wisconsin. They develop and handcraft superb unique originals and renovate classic heritage varieties to share the simple pleasure of enjoying an exceptional piece of cheese with cheese lovers everywhere.
East African Bakery
St. Paul, MN
Francesco O’Ryan grew up eating the traditional breads of his region, watching his mother painstakingly labor over a smoky fire to create the spongy injera bread as a staple for their daily meals. O’Ryan immigrated to the United States in his 20s, landing in Minnesota where he worked his way through school, ultimately earning a diploma in machining and working for a company that allowed employees to tinker with their own projects on off hours. For more than two years, O’Ryan and his friend Jerome Guettler toyed with different designs and constructions, finally landing on a machine that provides exactly what he was hoping for: Soft, sour-tinged injera and savory/sweet hambasha that even his mother approved of.
Farmer to Farmer
Glenwood City, WI
Farmer to Farmer (FTF) is a primarily volunteer-run nonprofit that supports international peace, mutually-beneficial friendships, and cross-cultural understanding among rural farmers. They are a Wisconsin-based organization that successfully operates a fair-trade coffee business, mainly collaborating with Guatemalan and Honduran farmers and their families to bring ethically traded, environmentally responsible, locally roasted coffee to the Upper Midwest. FTF has established an organic Honduran coffee cooperative to combat the commodity market’s focus on quantity over quality.
Featherstone Farm produces over 40 different fresh crops for delivery to food co-ops and other Midwest food outlets. They also operate a successful Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. This farm’s philosophy is rooted in the belief that the freshest, best-tasting, most nutritious fruits and vegetables come from holistic, sustainable production systems.
Cannon Falls, MN
Ferndale Market, a third-generation turkey farm named after farmer John Peterson’s grandparents Fern and Dale, raises all-natural, free-range turkeys. Each turkey grows at a natural pace, without the use of antibiotics or artificial growth promotants. They enjoy access to fresh air and a natural diet of grains and seeds with a custom-blended mix of vitamins and minerals.
For over 74 years, the Peterson family has maintained a passion for caring for the land and their turkeys. Their commitment to local communities, farmers, and healthy, high-quality products showcases why they’re one of our trusted Local Champions.
Glacial Ridge Growers
Glacial Ridge Growers has been using sustainable greenhouse management practices for over 40 years to grow a huge variety of certified organic vegetables and herbs. In addition to a large array of native plants, they also grow and supply Mississippi Market with beautiful annuals, hardy perennials, and an array of organic vegetables and herbs. All of their plants are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or other harmful chemicals.
Graise Farm is located just 45 minutes south of St. Paul. Farmers Tiffany & Andy are passionate about raising animals humanely and eating healthful, locally-grown food. Their ducks are free range and fed certified organic grains, resulting in the most delicious eggs.
Green Earth Growers
Prior Lake, MN
Since 2004, owners Jenny Hotz and Jolea Gress have been committed to producing an extensive selection of high-quality flowering annuals and vegetables. In the past, we’ve carried their exceptional collection of organic tomatoes including Brad’s Atomic Grape, Dark Galaxy, and Berkeley Tie Die, along with a selection of unusual and tasty vegetables like Mexican Gherkin, Malabar Spinach, and Alpine Strawberries, during our annual spring Plant Sale. All of their plants are grown in accordance with the national organic standards.
Vermillion Township, MN
The Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) is a member-based organization started and led by local Hmong-American farmers. HAFA works to uplift immigrant farmer voices and build wealth in the local Hmong-American community. Each member is their own autonomous business, farming plots of HAFA’s 155-acre farmland. Their farmers grow over 160 different kinds of produce, from carrots and kale to ground cherries and lemon grass. When in season, we carry their delicious, locally-grown ground cherries, purple sweet potatoes, snap peas, Brussels sprouts, and Thai eggplant.