Local Profile

by Susan Budig From farm-to-city takes on new meaning at the 31,000-square-foot structure in northeast Minneapolis known locally as the Food Building. A unique facility owned by Kieran Folliard, creator of the Irish pub scene in the Twin Cities, has opened its doors to farmborn artisanal food production. It’s now home to the Lone Grazer Creamery. Rueben Nilsson, co-owner and head cheese-maker, started the business because he wanted consumers to understand the connection from farm to table. “The idea was to create a place where people could come and see where their food is made,” he says. It’s a place to blend the art and science of cheesemaking crafted from the milk of Minnesota grass-fed herds. A Creamery in Urban Minneapolis Cows are not common in the Twin Cities except during the State Fair at the end of summer. Nilsson was attracted to the idea of making

by Susan Budig By common consensus, a cookie is a small, round, flat, sweet baked product. But what if you’ve bitten into a cookie that’s square as a box? You might be tempted to exclaim, “This isn’t a cookie, it’s a heavenly hunk,” which is exactly what Ellen Redmond’s nephew said upon devouring one of Redmond’s homemade cookies.   Not only are the contours of the cookie unique, but its ingredients boost the bar-like cookie to another level of deliciousness. “The secret batter is the foundation for the cookie, but its shape is something different,” says Redmond. Its square shape holds in the moisture so that everything stays soft and chewy. Redmond and her nephew, Casey Webber, co-own Ella’s Heavenly Hunks and produce these biscuits in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For thirty years, Redmond kept her recipe hushhush. She made them for family gatherings where they were always popular. When Webber attended college, she’d stir up a batch and mail them to him. Her parcels

by Susan Budig Think of the beehive as a singular animal, Dustin Vanasse co-owner with his spouse, Grace Vanasse, of Bare Honey tells me. The individual bee is like a cell of the body programmed to work its own specific task. As the bee ages, which is measured in days rather than years, its duty changes. The beehive is a complex, highly developed, social animal that brings us a wide variety of consumable honey, as well as pollen, beeswax, propolis and more. Bare Honey bees enjoy the luxury of the craftsmanship of a Warré hive, a stable habitat, and chemical-free living both in their food sources and living environment. These three features form the basis of Bare Honey’s distinctively nutritious product. Winnie-the-Pooh Hive Bare Honey bees live in a hive designed over a hundred years ago by French apiarist, Abbé Émile Warré. The hive mimics  a hollowed out tree, a common location for a beehive in nature. Vanasse likens its style

If you inquire with the Minnesota Secretary of State, you’ll learn that one person may cast one vote in one polling place. Those who disobey this law might be found guilty of ballot stuffing. Last week, however, I cast 95 votes at my local co-op with 86 of them in favor of the “Local Growers and Farmers Party.” That is, I voted with my dollars at the cash register and over 90 percent of my vote favored local growers and producers here in Minnesota and adjacent states. In the real world, the one-voter, one-vote rule applies to the citizens of Minnesota, as well as our nation. In fact, it also governs cooperatives where each membership equals one vote during the annual election for board directors. Consequently, as an owner at Valley Natural Foods, you have an opportunity to vote in a

The name Hidden Stream Farm belies the open-book policy of its owners Lisa and Eric Klein. Besides, the creek isn’t all that hidden, confesses Eric Klein. Lisa Klein spoke with “This is Living Naturally” from her home-office early one morning before any of their six children arose. She said callers are welcome anytime. They like to maintain a transparency in their farming methods so that their customers can pop in and no one will be surprised or dismayed. Pigs Live Like Pigs Likely, visitors who take the drive to the Elgin hamlet, not far from the bluffs of the Mississippi River, will encounter porcine squeals and rooting noises as a passel of naturally curious pigs digs in the dirt, wallows in the mud and plays in the straw. Purchased at six weeks old, the Kleins start a new drove of 100 feeder pigs each month for a total

We live in a world of chemicals. Our bodies’ compounds echo the building blocks of nature: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. So massaging more chemicals into our skin in the form of cosmetics shouldn’t be a problem, but it is. Six years ago, at age 50, Viktoriya Hopperstad found herself with itchy, flaky skin. Creams she usually used provided no relief. A doctor diagnosed her from a textbook, leaving her unimpressed and scratching her head. A trip to Hawaii and the introduction to macadamia nut oil—known for its creamy, indulgent qualities—flipped a switch for Viktoriya Hopperstad and brought her to a new understanding of skincare and the application of chemicals. From this experience, Vika’s Essentials began to germinate. Business Takes Root “Five years ago, I totally reconsidered what I was doing,” she recalled. “One day I decided, that’s enough.” Viktoriya Hopperstad, a 15-year

Open your pantry and pull out 11 ingredients from your shelves: oats, honey, applesauce, dry milk, bananas, raisins, orange juice, almonds, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix all together, pour into pan, bake, cut and refrigerate. Make enough for one thousand bars. Do your bars stand up to Five Friends Food Fresh Bar? It took twin brothers, Will Handke and Ross Pomeroy (different last names, but twins none-the-less), dozens and dozens of batches before they devised the right combination for flavor and texture. They also kept in mind freshness, portability and food safety as regulated by the state of Minnesota. Fresh Bar maintains the nutritional values of what makes a great snack bar. Fresh Bar Quest “I was sitting in zoology class and feeling hungry, but I didn’t want to eat the [snack bar] in my backpack,” says Pomeroy, co-owner and manufacturer of Five Friends Food that