I moved up from Chicago to Traverse City in the spring of 2017, bringing with me the desire to connect to the local landscape and growing community as much as possible. I found a good fit when first interviewing with Simon Joseph, Chef/Owner of Just In Time Hospitality, listening to his description of the noodles they use at Gaijin. The foundation of any ramen shop is its noodles, and beyond the homework done on the technique, what stood out to me was the commitment to using 100% non-GMO, local wheats from Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.
As pet parents, we want to provide our furry family members with their best possible life. When it comes to choosing the best diet for our dogs, we research excessively and get advice from our trusted veterinarians, however, sometimes the treats we purchase lack proper attention when it comes to ingredients. Pet parents tend to grab any box off the shelf at the grocery or pet store without taking the time to read the ingredient label. Many treats contain artificial ingredients and are not fit for human consumption, so why would we feed these to our family members? If you can’t eat them yourself, your dog most likely shouldn’t either.
Walk through any Leelanau County or Traverse City farmers market and it’s hard to miss how much things have grown. For the past 15 years, these markets and farm stands have been the source of produce and locally produced products for our business, Epicure Catering & Cherry Basket Farm.
Community can often be a word people just toss around, but when the community literally owns your business, there is no taking it lightly. Oryana Community Co-op was an idea devised on the back porch of a home in Traverse City. It came from a small group of passionate community members looking to start a buying club and have control over where their food came from. That buying club started in 1973, and is now a 10,000 square foot, $17 million-a-year business that still lives by the founding principles of quality, accountability, sustainability, and localism.
“All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves.” – Amelia Barr
I’ve worked in a few kitchens over the years. The work is hot, messy, and involves long hours in close quarters with others. Unless you’re a celebrity chef with a TV show, there is no corner office with a view of the bay. You work in the trenches alongside all of your teammates. Frankly, who would want it any other way? This is food after all!
After winding down from a jam-packed summer of Certified Local Food Events, we are preparing for an exciting new fall event that highlights the Grand Traverse Region, and its enthusiasm for locally grown food!
Oryana has been a proponent of local food since its inception in 1973. As farmer Jim Schwantes of Sweeter Song Farm said, “Before there was a local food movement, they were the local food movement.” And Oryana takes it an important step further by prioritizing organic, local food. At this time of year, our produce department is bursting with local, organic vegetables and fruits and one of our favorites is zucchini.
Breakaway Cafe just celebrated its first birthday, and as any parents of new babies would tell you – I’m exhausted. But as those same parents would tell you – I wouldn’t trade it for the world.