The Local Grocer

News and blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 1/20/2016 9:29pm by Erin Caudell.

You’ve heard all about The Local Grocer’s new location this winter. All of that growth means that there is more to be done in a day's work.  We’d like you to meet Jennifer Harris.  You have probably already met her if you’ve been to the farmer’s market on a Tuesday or Thursday, or if you were a member of last summer’s CSA.  After helping us box up summer veggie shares she has stayed on not only at the market, but will be writing some blog posts for us. Jennifer has been cooking with our produce for a couple years now and understands some of the special challenges those with dietary restrictions face. Here’s to more recipes, farm, store and food news on the website.

 

Posted 1/12/2016 2:58pm by Erin Caudell.

If you haven’t stopped by yet to check us out at our new location come on over. We are getting more new products on the shelves every day. We have an expanded health and body section. Canned goods, snacks, bread and baking mixes line the shelves, and the coolers and freezers are filled with produce, meats, dairy, drinks and ice cream. The kitchen even has some prepared grab and go items in the cooler too. The kitchen is open Monday through Saturday and the menu will be posted daily on Facebook.

At the store we are currently accepting cash and credit for payment. Our ability to accept EBT is pending and there should be an update soon. Our Flint Farmer’s Market location is still open during regular market hours. And at this location we still accept cash, credit, EBT, Hoophouses for Health Coupons and Double Up Food Bucks.

Coming Soon - Look for news here on our website and Facebook about our Grand Opening Celebration.

What you need to know:

Address: 601 Martin Luther King Ave. in Flint

Store Hours: Monday - Saturday 7:00 - 7:00 Sunday 10:00 - 2:00

Kitchen Hours: Monday - Saturday 11:00 - 3:00

Posted 11/24/2015 2:15pm by Erin Caudell.

Have some last minute shopping to do? You're in luck.  The Flint Farmer's Market is open this Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, from 9-3.  Normally we are open on Thursdays, but will be closed this week for the holiday.  We will reopen again on Saturday from 8-5.

The Local Grocer has a lot of your holiday meal staples fresh from Michigan farms ready to go.  We have carrots, potatoes, pumpkin (fresh and canned), cranberries, butternut and other squashes, plenty of salad greens and other seasonal veggies.  If you want an extra special treat on your pumpkin pie, we carry Shelter Dairy's heavy cream.  You can make whipped cream by adding a little sugar and whipping with your mixer. Even better you can make butter by shaking the cream in a jar and pouring off the liquid and serve the solids as fresh homemade butter.  

All of us at The Local Grocer are grateful to be able to provide you with fresh and local ingredients to make your holiday meal special for all of your family and friends.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving. And we look forward to seeing you again on Small Business Saturday!

Posted 11/10/2015 8:19am by Erin Caudell.

  FLINT, MICH -   The Local Grocer, a Michigan-made specialty grocery, has launched a Kickstarter Campaign to support its business expansion into the former Witherbee’s Market at the corner of ML King and University Avenues in Flint, Michigan. The goal is to raise $30,000 in 25 days!  

Campaign support is critical to leveraging resources for The Local Grocer to successfully open their new doors in December and meet the demands of customers and the greater community. The new location will feature produce, meat, pantry and personal items well as a farm to table kitchen. The Local Grocer operates on the premise that you can get all of what you need to live within close proximity of your home.

Owners and farmers, Erin Caudell and Franklin Pleasant grow much of the all-Michigan produce they sell at their store in the Flint Farmer’s Market. Keeping up with the demand for local produce year-round has meant expanding their reach to other nearby producers. All of the farmers they work with grow with organic practices, use season extension techniques and are good stewards of the land.

“Our customers shop with us because they know that everything that they get from The Local Grocer has been vetted for health, environmental impact, and fairness and justice.  They also know that they are investing in their community’s future with every purchase. This expansion will allow us to do an even better job creating and sustaining jobs for local growers and producers,” stated Franklin Pleasant

The new store will have an even larger variety of products than the market location. When sourcing other retail items The Local Grocer looks for the highest quality, made as near to Flint as possible.“Our store provides an innovative, flexible retail platform for new and established entrepreneurs, making high quality Michigan-made goods.” says Erin Caudell. Donors to this Kickstarter campaign and customers will be proud to know that every dollar spent in the new location will also be an investment directly back into the local economy.

A Civic Economic study in Grand Rapids, MI found that for $100 spent at big box stores, $48 remains local. If that store is locally owned, $68 stays in the community. The Local Grocer is committed to returning all $100 to the community.

Contributions can be made at www.tinyurl.com/thelocalgrocer through Saturday, December 5, 2015  

For more information, contact Erin Caudell at (810) 252-2644 or erin.caudell@gmail.com or visit TheLocalGrocer.com.    

Posted 11/4/2015 6:06pm by Erin Caudell.

By now everyone knows that greens are good for you. And the media has drilled into our heads the knowledge that any lettuce or green is more nutritious than iceberg lettuce. Greens are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. They are great at improving digestion and keeping blood sugar low too.

There are lots of different salad mixes available out there for discriminating palates, like spring mixes, herb mixes and blends with sturdier greens. By adding herbs and greens other than lettuce to the mix, even more nutritional health benefits can be added to our dinner salad. The Local Grocer is carrying a new salad blend called Detox Mix. Fall, like spring, is a good time to cleanse the body. By adding sorrel, dandelion greens, parsley and cilantro to the regular salad mix of cress, red romaine, tat soi and arugula, your body is receiving some extra detox help. Dandelion supports cleansing of the liver, parsley is a blood purifier, and cilantro has compounds that bind to heavy metals so your body can more easily release them. Adding all of these greens together makes for a delicious and healthful food to serve with any meal.

Posted 10/27/2015 8:24pm by Erin Caudell.

It's winter squash time! The ever popular butternut, acorn and spaghetti squashes pair so well with spices that taste just like autumn. There are dozens of other varieties and they all have their subtle differences. Delicata Squash is definitely worth trying, especially if you dislike dealing with the tough outer layer of a butternut squash. The delicata's name is a clue to the fact that its skin is more delicate and easier to manage.  It's smaller than most varieties of squash and is oblong and best when the rind is yellow with green stripes, and it also has the similar sweet flavor of butternut or sweet potato. Some recipes suggest it's alright to leave the rind on and eat after cooking. This squash can be microwaved for a quick side dish, as well as roasted or sautéed. If you want to cut the delicata squash before cooking you can even scrape out the seeds and roast them like you would pumpkin seeds.  It's loaded with beta carotene to help boost your immune system and ward off any winter colds too. If you like low effort and big flavor food, this squash is for you.  

 

Microwave Delicata Squash

 

Cut squash in half and scrape out seeds.  Place in microwave safe container and add 1/4 cup water before covering.  Microwave for 10 minutes on high.

 

When done slather with butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon or brown sugar and enjoy!





Posted 10/14/2015 10:37am by Erin Caudell.

Food fads have a way of redefining things that have been around for a long time. For those currently test driving the paleo diet, bone broth is a staple and there are lots of different recipes. So what's the difference between broth, stock, and bone broth?

Epicurious.com defines the differences from a culinary education perspective noting that broth is the simmering of meat and vegetables, stock is the simmering of bones and vegetables for a longer time than broth, bone broth can be a hybrid of broth and stock using meat and bones to simmer for an even longer period of time to extract collagen and minerals. The vegetables used are the classic mirepoix (carrots, celery and onion) and herbs are often tossed in too. There is very little difference in store bought broths and stocks. Making it is so easy and affordable that it's worth giving it a try.

Albert Burneko at Foodspin reminds us that historically broth is the food of the poor that need to extract every last bit of nutrition from what food is available to them. Even if we are using what we have available on hand to make stock, Alton Brown emphasizes that the stock pot is not a garbage can.

Margie, of Margie's Gluten Free Pantry in Fenton, gave me my first bone broth recipe. Her recommendation to include the sea vegetable kombu not only enhances the umami of the recipe but adds loads of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and iodine. Iodine helps remove heavy metals from the body, and fucoidan in kombu protects us from radiation. In addition to the healing properties of "grandma's chicken soup", kombu seems to be a beneficial addition.

Here is one way very simple way to make chicken stock in your crock pot. Endless tinkering with this recipe is completely up to you.

Crock Pot Chicken Stock

1 - whole roasted chicken's bones and carcass

1 - 4 inch piece of kombu Sprinkle of your favorite no salt seasoning

Enough water to cover chicken

Place chicken, kombu and no salt seasoning in crock pot. Cover completely with water by an extra 2 inches. Set crock pot to high for one hour, then turn down to low for at least 3 hours. Can be heated for 8 hours or more. The longer it cooks the richer the stock will be. Stop cooking if bones disintegrate. Strain solids out liquid. Throw away solids. Cool stock in refrigerator, keeps for up to a week. Freezes well.

 

 

Posted 10/9/2015 10:31am by Erin Caudell.

When you rely on a mix or starter to get your dinner going, it can throw you into a tailspin when it’s sold out or no longer available.  This week I had a craving for pho, a popular Vietnamese street food consisting of broth, noodles and meat.  I had some leftover rotisserie chicken and lots of veggies and herbs on hand, so I went in search of Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Pho Soup Starter (they also have a vegetarian version).  Every store I frequent didn’t have it.  I didn’t want to order it, because I had the ingredients and wanted to make it now. 

A quick web search for pho recipes yielded a nice match for my on hand ingredients at thekitchn. The best part of cooking is the freedom to improvise.  Using what spices I had on hand, switching from beef to chicken, and replacing noodles with kale to have a grain free dinner resulted in exactly the flavors I was searching for in a ready made box.  Sometimes it really feels good to do it yourself. 

Pho Soup Base 

2 Tbsp. sesame or sunflower oil

2 small onions diced

4 inches of ginger minced

2 whole star anises

3 whole cinnamon sticks

3 whole cloves

1 – 32oz box chicken, beef or veggie stock

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

2 carrots cut into thin coins 

Dry roast the star anise, cinnamon and cloves in pan over medium heat for 1 – 2 minutes, set aside.  In stock pot, or very large sauté pan, sauté onions and ginger on medium heat in oil for 5 – 7 minutes. Add star anises, cinnamon and cloves to mixture for 1 minute.  Then add broth and carrots. If adding left over rotisserie chicken add it now. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.  Strain out whole spices before serving. (You can also strain out the onions and ginger, but I like to eat them in my soup.) 

If adding noodles, prepare them separately according to package’s instructions. Add cooked noodles after broth is finished cooking. Or replace noodles with sturdy greens, like kale, and add to last 10 minutes of broth simmering. 

Pho is usually served with some combination of toppings at the table that include scallions, lime, cilantro, bean sprouts or chili peppers. 

Posted 10/2/2015 8:36pm by Erin Caudell.

We’ve just finished 16 glorious weeks of nature’s harvest in a box ready to pick up each Thursday with little decision making other than what recipe to use when making dinner.  When CSA season ends, our shopping habits go through a major shift.  We don’t eat what we have on hand, instead we go get what we need to prepare our meals.  For some of us it means a shift back to the grocery store, but it is still possible to eat plenty of fresh local produce and other Michigan made products this fall and winter.  

If you noticed the last few weeks at our shop in the market, there are a greater variety of greens again.  Those grow great in cooler weather and some greens taste even sweeter after a few nights of frost.  With our hoop houses it is possible to have greens throughout the fall and into winter. Some of the things that people love best about fall, like apples and pumpkins are coming into market now.  Even the ultimate fall feast, Thanksgiving, highlights the bounty of local fall produce: potatoes, pumpkin pie, cranberries, winter squashes and yams.  CSA may be over until next June (check out our website in March to sign up), but The Local Grocer is open all year long inside The Flint Farmer’s Market.

Posted 9/25/2015 8:13pm by Erin Caudell.

Mean Mr. Mustard is seriously misunderstood. This hot, spicy, sharp and bitter tasting green is a soul food staple and also popular with Asian cuisine. It looks a bit like kale but with brilliant and crispy leaves. Mustard greens not only have a potent flavor, they are potent sources of beta carotene, vitamins B, C, and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Only the tender baby leaves are eaten raw in salads, the larger leaves are best braised or sautéed. Store mustards in the fridge in a plastic bag, and rinse them like other greens changing the water until no grit settles to the bottom of the bowl.

Soy-Braised Mustard Greens

2 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)

1 pound mustard greens

2 tbsp. peanut oil

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger

Combine soy sauce and mirin in a bowl and set aside. Wash greens, strip off the leafy green portion from the tough stalk. Discard stalks and rip leaves into small pieces. Heat oil in large sauté pan. Add garlic and ginger and sauté over medium high heat for about 30 seconds. Add greens and stir to coat with oil for about 30 seconds. Add soy mixture, cover pan, reduce heat and cook, stirring once, until greens are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove cover and simmer briskly until excess liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Jack Bishop's Vegetables Everday