Feed the Need: In Search of Hunger Heroes!

Get Involved, Learn More, Molly Stepanski, Stories

In Michigan, 1,369,250 people are struggling with hunger – and of them, 345,130 are children. In fact, according to the Feeding America network’s 2017 study, people facing hunger in Michigan are estimated to report needing $652,838,000 more per year to meet their food needs.

Eating Like a Local in Alpena, Part 2 of 3

Eat Local, Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski

With summer (finally) under way on the Sunrise Side, the quaint, small town of Alpena is abound with tourists seeking the best local food and libation experiences for that warm weather bucket list. Overlooking the beautiful Thunder Bay of Lake Huron, this city truly provides a warm and friendly port for all that visit. Luckily for the locals, they get to appreciate this city’s burgeoning food scene year-round.

In this second part of our three part series, I’ll detail some of the locals’ favorite haunts, so you can also find the best locally-sourced cuisine during your travels.  (See part 1 here.)

Eating Like a Local in Alpena, Part 1 of 3

Eat Local, Event, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski

One of the best parts about traveling across the Mitt during the summer is discovering new, locally-sourced farmers markets, restaurants, breweries, wineries, and all the events in between! There’s one city in particular that keeps popping up on our radar, and for good reason. Located right on Lake Huron, the “Sanctuary of the Great Lakes,” Alpena offers countless shipwrecks to explore, 100 miles of hiking and biking trails, three Dark Sky Preserve Parks, seven lighthouses in the area to clamber, and over 300,000 acres of fishing and boating opportunities. You’d think it couldn’t get much better.

But with a growing local food scene beckoning growers and producers alike to this area, the cuisine competition is challenging chefs and event planners in the area to up their game and source more locally. We are doing a three part series on Alpena. Here you’ll find the best places to find your locally-sourced grub while you’re visiting this spectacular Lake Huron haunt during the height of the season.  

Toasting and Tasting Michigan’s Finest

Drinks, Event, farm-to-table, Find Local Food, Local Ingredients, Molly Stepanski

The months that produce the most diversity of fruits and vegetables in our dear Mitt include August, September, and October. October almost seems to embody a last-grab month of seasonal bounty before the long hunkered-down winter of root and storage vegetables begins. So what better time of the year to treat yourself to an extraordinarily fresh and local dining experience, paired with some of Michigan’s finest wines at Thunder Bay Winery?

There’s a New Chef in Town

Economy, Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski, Restaurant

Michael Timmins was initiated into the world of food at a young age. His parents owned three bakeries in metro Detroit.  And since that time, although Timmins has traveled the world and garnered gastronomic knowledge from the best of the best, from Japan to Germany to Israel, he sticks to his Michigan roots.

March Maple Madness

Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski, Specialty Producers

This year marked the 6th Annual Michigan Maple Weekend (March 24th-25th in NE Michigan), although the weather didn’t want to cooperate. There’s a pattern of freezing and thawing once spring hits, which builds up pressure within the trees and causes sap to flow. It was bitterly cold as I walked around 4D Acre Maple to check out their set up.

The Coolest Thing About My Job

Economy, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Learn More, Molly Stepanski, Stories

I’m not bragging, but there are a lot of cool things about my job as the NE Local Food Coordinator with Taste the Local Difference. I get to hang out with other local farmers, producers, and small business owners; I get to eat the food they’ve grown or created; drink the libations they’ve conceived; partake of their businesses’ inventions; help put on events celebrating their work; and tell everybody how great this region of Michigan is because of these people and their labors of love. It’s a pretty sweet deal.