Louise Earl Butcher: Quality & Community in West Michigan

Annaliese Brown, Eat Local, Find Local Food, Grand Rapids, Retail, Specialty Producers

The vast majority of chicken we purchase and consume in the United States is from a breed known as the Cornish Cross. The hybrid was first developed after World War II, carefully selected for the trait that has come to define it — its phenomenal rate of growth. Most Cornish Cross birds we eat are slaughtered at five to seven weeks of age. This rapid growth rate, combined with the disproportionate amount of white meat the bird produces, is precisely why the Cornish Cross is so ubiquitous. It dominates grocery store coolers, restaurant menus, and poultry barns across the country. 

Despite the economic advantages of the Cornish Cross, a butcher shop in Grand Rapids is working to bring customers something different. Husband-and-wife team Matt Smith and Cyndi Esch opened Louise Earl Butcher in January of 2012. Louise Earl is a full-service butcher shop that sells grass-fed and finished beef, heritage pork, and pastured lamb and chicken, alongside a variety of dry goods and specialty products. Smith and Esch are lifelong residents of Grand Rapids that first met working in the food and beverage industry in the 90’s, and have spent their time since building a community around food. 

Eat Small: Roasted Rabbit with Gravy

Alex Palzewicz, Eat Local, Environment, Find Local Food, Proteins, Recipes, Specialty Producers

In 2017, Tim & Naomi decided to start the Happy Hoppers Organic Rabbit Farm. They both grew up with rabbits so it was a natural fit. Originally, they decided to have rabbits for meat, pelts and compost. Rabbit compost is one of the only fresh composts you can put directly on your garden, without it burning your plants. Also, it’s high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which makes it perfect for great growth!

7 Warming Winter Food Events in Traverse City

Bailey Samp, Benefit, Drinks, Eat Local, Environment, Event, Find Local Food, Specialty Producers, Traverse City, Wine

Embrace the long Winter season with these local dinners, community events, and cooking classes in the Traverse City area! There’s plenty of opportunities for everyone to get out of the house on the frightful Winter days ahead.

Experience Gift Ideas for Hands On Fun this Holiday

Bailey Samp, Eat Local, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Specialty Producers, Traverse City

Looking for the perfect last-minute local gift idea? A cooking class makes a great gift and offers a hands on experience to improve skills in the kitchen, learn something new, and supports local producers throughout northern Michigan. Whether you want to plan a family event or treat your kids to something sweet, these classes offer something for everyone!

10 Ideas for Local Stocking Stuffers

Emma Beauchamp, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers

The countdown is dwindling til Christmas! These are last minute stocking stuffers that support local producers in your area. Find these treats at your local farmers market, co-op, or retail store. 

Warehouse Space Available in Saline

Get Involved, Kelly Wilson, Learn More, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers

Macon Creek Malt House is looking for a partner business to share their facility in Saline (20 min southwest of Ann Arbor). If you’re ready for a lower risk, affordable opportunity to scale up your food business (and work alongside some great people!), consider this option.

Get a Local Tree this Christmas!

Guest Post, Specialty Producers, Stories

The holidays are here and it is time to start the search for your real Christmas tree. The good news is, in Michigan you have several great options to choose from when looking for that perfect tree. Michigan growers produce a wide variety of tree species, in fact, more than any other state. When visiting a choose and cut farm or a retail lot, you may find trees that are soft to the touch like a Frasier Fir, blue in color like a Blue Spruce, or trees that smell like citrus called a Concolor Fir. So, whether you like a fir or a spruce, or and evergreen or citrus smell, we have you covered!

Move over Millet, Amaranth, and Bulgur: Teff is on the Scene

Claire Smith, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Health, Local Ingredients, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers

Teff, or eragrostis tef, is native to Ethiopia and is the world’s tiniest grain. It is about the size of a poppy seed but packs a huge nutritional punch. It is full of calcium, protein, iron and is also a great source of fiber so you stay full and are able to regularly “take care of business.” Teff is also naturally gluten free and is a resistant starch. Resistant starches are not digested in the small intestine but, instead, processed by bacteria in your colon. These bacteria turn it into molecules that help maintain good gut health and balance blood sugar.

Rove Estate & Winery: Part of Traverse City’s Iconic Wine Scene

Drinks, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Jeni Schmidt, Local Ingredients, Specialty Producers, Traverse City, Wine

What makes northern Michigan so iconic? One could argue that it’s the 105 miles of “fresh coast” surrounded by countless hiking trails, ski hills, lake life, and the world-renowned Sleeping Bear Dunes. Others would say it’s the dozens of festivals hosted throughout the year including the Cherry Festival, Film Festival, or Polka Festival. Some may say it’s simply the diverse foodie options served by that sweet midwestern hospitality. But, only one thing pairs well with all of these iconic experiences: wine. Rove Estate & Winery in northern Michigan is an absolute staple of all things Traverse City, therefore may be one of the most iconic locations of them all.