FEAST! Local Foods SCOOP: July 2019


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Got Local? | Eateries | Fresh & Tasty | Contest Fun! | Who's Fueling FEAST!?

JULY 2019  |  VOL. 2, NO. 1

We're in the "dog days!"

The term doesn't refer to actual dogs, but to a constellation: to the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. 

This month we're sharing profiles on CTL Foods, Casablanca Cuisine, Aspelund Winery, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, and a contest—and if you were waiting until the last minute to reserve ad space in the FEAST! Local Foods Magazine, now would be good...deadline is Aug. 12! 

—FEAST! Local Foods Network team members 


Got Local?

CTL Foods, Inc.

While some small food businesses are searching for trends and fads to find a market niche, CTL Foods has been steadily growing with a tried and true historic comfort food: who doesn’t have fond memories tied to a malted milkshake?
In fact, this business in Colfax, Wisconsin, just 1.5 hours east of Minnesota’s Twin Cities, started blending and packaging their malted milk powder in 1974! That’s 45 years of producing this comfort food and providing jobs to the community. They currently have 10 employees at CTL Foods – formerly, Commercial Testing Laboratory. Vice President Linda Murch says their culture of innovation is vital. “Each one of our employees brings special skills and suggestions which keeps our company growing.

Pictured at right: Linda Murch, Vice President, and Pete Klug, President, at FEAST! 2017.

Murch says she enjoys the camaraderie among small businesses in the region.“Being part of Something Special from Wisconsin for the last 13 years has given CTL Foods more exposure, connections, opportunities to meet other local businesses and have a sense of “family” that we all look out for each other.” 

CTL sells their malt powder to many businesses, including ice cream shops, candy makers, restaurants and grocery stores, but also sells direct to consumers through their website. They distribute to all 50 states as well as Canada, and recently unveiled their "Malt Mobile" (pictured below) for special appearances like parades.



Malted milk powder is made from a mixture of malted barley, wheat flour, and evaporated whole milk. The powder is used to add a distinctive flavor to beverages and other foods, but is also used in baking to help dough cook properly.



CTL Foods website

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Casablanca Creative Cuisine 

Described as a "haute French" restaurant, Casablanca offers traditional and innovative dishes made with the finest ingredients and locally sourced produce. Owned and operated by Chef Youness Bojji and his wife Amber, their menu is inspired by a variety of cuisines including New American, French, Greek, Mediterranean, Italian, Vegan and Vegetarian.

Chef Bojji (shown below) is dedicated to excellence across all of his creations. As they recently shared, "Some masterpieces are created on a canvas. Ours happen on your plate."

A finalist in the 2019 Post Bulletin's Best of Rochester contest for the "fine dining" and "seafood" categories, this restaurant is really committed to community.

Besides frequenting the Rochester Farmers Markets, they enjoy hosting special events—especially to take advantage of good weather on their welcoming patio space. Just in the past couple of months they held a free cookout, and hosted a "Patio Party for Leadership through Basketball" event, where Chef Bojji cooked with area youth. 

You can really tell they live by the old adage, "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life."



1151 6th St NW #106, Rochester, MN

Casablanca website

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Reserve your ad now for the FEAST! Local Foods Magazine, Vol. 2 


Scheduled to hit newsstands in early October!

Deadline: Monday, August 12 

Click thumbnail to read Vol.1 and view ad rates.


Fresh & Tasty

Aspelund Winery

At Aspelund Winery, you’ll find a welcoming, serene atmosphere and inviting, creative hosts. Co-owners Bruce and Dawn Rohl are an industrious pair: they grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on their 10 acres, in addition to peonies (check out Aspelund Peony Gardens!).  They also grow heritage wheat for the Cannon Falls Historical Society, who puts on an elaborate bread-making Demonstration Day in September, from threshing to oven (this year it's Sept 22). But back to the wine…

Aspelund wines are developed from their elderberry, apples and grapes, as well as other special crops including rhubarb, and even tomato! Their 

High Country Spice wine is reminiscent of a Bloody Mary and in fact, was their best-selling wine at last year’s FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace.


Did you know?

Aspelund is a town in Norway, and it means "a grove of trees" or "high country," both of which could be used to describe their farm. Bruce's father raises peacocks, so they have an affinity for the elegant birds and found it a fitting mascot for the winery.


Bruce learned wine-making from the young age of 8, working with his father in the tradition of their French ancestors. Now in their fifth season as a commercial winery, they count 12 varieties of unique wines in their collection. Get to know Bruce and Dawn, and you'll see their dedication. Dawn says, "Growing and creating from the land is commitment, joy, sorrow, love and passion, no matter what you produce."

You can find their wines at a few liquor stores in Cannon Falls, Kenyon and Wanamingo, but they encourage folks to visit the farm, about 15 minutes south of Cannon Falls, on Saturdays and Sundays, 12-5pm, to taste the wide variety and take in the scenery.

9204 425th St., Kenyon, Minnesota 55946

Aspelund website

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Contest of the Month!

What's your favorite local food?

Reply here to enter, or enter on our social media using the hashtag #LocalFeastFTW (as in, For The Win!)
We'll reveal the answer along with the winner at the end of the month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned!

The Prize:
A canister of malt powder from CTL Foods!
The folks from CTL Foods have been attending FEAST! since 2015. They're a great example of a business that's providing a market for dairy farms and providing jobs in their community. 


CONGRATULATIONS to our contest winner from June:

Jeanie Unger

Jeanie replied with the number less than 20 minutes after we sent out the newsletter, and she was right: 
266 different local foods businesses have exhibited their products at the FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace over 5 years! 
Heil Ginseng shipped Jeanie a box of their ginseng tea, and she said she was excited to try it. 
How many local foods products have you tried?


Who's Fueling FEAST!?

Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDPs)

University of Minnesota Extension's RSDPs work to support sustainable development throughout Greater Minnesota in the areas of sustainable agriculture and food systems, clean energy, tourism and resilient communities, and natural resources. They foster community-university partnerships involving education, research, and outreach.

They've been an important part of the FEAST! Local Foods Network's planning and execution of the tradeshow and festival from the beginning, and we're lucky to have them doing their good food system work across Minnesota!

Special projects spearheaded by the RSDPs include supply chain work, where they build networks to increase markets for specialty crops like hazelnuts and garlic. They've also devoted a tremendous amount of time and effort into supporting rural groceries and the regional suppliers that can help enliven communities and avoid the irony of food deserts amidst fertile farmland.

Click the thumbnail below to learn about one of their resourceful projects, "From Garlic to Grocery."

To keep abreast of all of RSDP's happenings, follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to their newsletter.

RSDP website

The FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace is a production of the FEAST! Local Foods Network, which is always open to new members. Founded by Renewing the Countryside (RTC) and Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), both the Network and the Marketplace depend on collaboration with partner organizations and individuals.  
The Network supports local food growers and makers by boosting access to financing, peer networking, and sales opportunities. We welcome you to share this newsletter with the buttons below.

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