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.
Living Water Gardens
Owned by the Klingbeil family, Living Water Gardens is located roughly 100 miles southwest of the Twin Cities. They grow 7,000 tomato plants and other annual vegetables using hydroponics in an acre-sized greenhouse. This growing method uses nutrient-rich water instead of soil and allows them to extend Minnesota’s short growing season. In the winter, they use recycled wooden shipping pallets (that would otherwise end up in a landfill) to heat the greenhouse. This agricultural system means they’re able to deliver a variety of fresh, ripe tomatoes grown locally to the co-op from April through December each year.
Mali & Co.
Mali Kouanchao was born in Laos, and many of her childhood memories revolve around food. She remembers her mother preparing traditional Laotian dishes from scratch, such as sai oua (Lao pork sausage). These flavors and techniques inspired her Taste of Laos turkey sausages. Her hope is to share the food she fell in love with as a child and the culture and history of Laotian people. Mali & Co.’s Taste of Laos sausages are made with local Ferndale Market turkey and fresh lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and basil.
Mama C’s Salsa
St. Paul, MN
East Side maker Mama C’s Salsa is a family-run labor of love. Owner Juan Cervantes and his sisters, daughters, and their significant others all pitch in to make salsa inspired by a family recipe from the Jalisco region of Mexico. Jalapenos are hand-roasted over an open flame, then peeled, sliced, and added to diced tomatoes with freshly squeezed lime juice, garlic, and salt. The resulting salsa is packed full of flavor. No preservatives or additives are used, and most ingredients are locally sourced.
Marieke was born and raised in the Netherlands where she grew up on her parents’ 60 cow dairy farm. After moving to the U.S., she started a 350 cow dairy farm and began producing authentic Dutch Gouda in Thorp, Wisconsin. In 2015, Marieke was the first woman to win the Wisconsin outstanding young farmer award. The equipment, cultures, herbs and spices she uses are all imported from Holland. Milk for Marieke’s Gouda is rBGH-free and comes from nearby Penterman Farm cows, directly from the first milking of the day.
Milton Creamery is the result of a dream – a dream of doing something to help others in the agricultural world and beyond, adding value to milk for dairy farmers, creating jobs in the local community, and bringing you a product created with art and passion from Southeast Iowa.
Mustard Seed Farm
Marine on St. Croix, MN
This local, family-run farm, located just over 30 miles from Saint Paul in Marine on St. Croix, raises grass-fed, pasture-raised lambs. In 2015, Mississippi Market developed a strong relationship with the farm and started purchasing Mustard Seed lamb for sale in our stores, enabling them to offer it year-round, available exclusively at our co-op.
Organic Valley is a farmer-owned co-op that supports rural communities by protecting the health of family farms while working toward economic and environmental sustainability. Founded over 25 years ago in Wisconsin’s Coulee Region at a time when small farmers were given the message to get big or get out, seven farmers came together on a mission to change the way people thought about food. Today, their co-op has grown to include over 1,800 family farms that produce some of the highest-quality local dairy products available.
Pastures A Plenty
Pastures A Plenty is a grazing-based farm that uses a holistic agricultural management model focused on environmental, community, and long-term farm sustainability. They specifically raise breeds of hogs that love to be outside. Their hogs are fed primarily on pasture and never receive hormones or antibiotics to promote growth.
Since 1996, Peace Coffee has been firmly rooted in the business of responsible and sustainable partnerships with each link in the journey that beautiful coffees take. They purchase only organic, fair trade coffees from small-scale grower cooperatives that invest in their farmers to combat unstable markets and shifting climates. They deliver by bike, hand label, and taste each of their coffees to make sure each batch is just right.
Red Barn Family Farms
Red Barn Family Farms was founded in 2008 with a mission to preserve small family owned and operated farms by paying fair and sustainable wages based on humane, ethical animal care. The farmers excel at individualized, humane animal care, which results in excellent animal health and can ultimately be seen in the quality of milk their cows produce. These practices result in high-quality milk that is used to craft the most delicious cheese!