Meet Siren Shrub Co.!
If you came to the FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace last December, you might have sampled some of the fun flavors of shrub from new exhibitor Siren Shrub Co. out of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Each of those flavors represent a partnership with a farm that provides the key flavoring ingredients—things like Door County tart cherry, maple ginger, currant and basil are unique ways to create special, refreshing drinks.
In fact, this commitment to local growers was key to them winning the FEAST! 2019 Innovative Local Sourcing award during the industry day of the event.
Layne and Mindy love talking to customers. They use feedback to determine new directions for their flavors, and explain what shrub is for the uninitiated. (It's a concentrate best served as an accompaniment to regular or sparkling water, or splashed into your favorite cocktail or mocktail.)
They love the problem-solving, creative and nimble aspects of being self-employed...while also knowing it's full of risk and requires them to stay positive and focused on goals.
Speaking of goals, watch for them to launch a ready-to-drink sparkling shrub in cans this year!
Pictured: Layne Cozzolino at the Siren Shrub Co. booth at FEAST! 2019 with their Innovative Local Sourcing award.
Proud to be a women-owned company, Layne and Mindy enjoy being able to direct their mission to take good care of their customers, employees, producers, partners and the planet.
Wondering about the name?
It's an ode to strong women, of course!
The logo represents ocean waves and the mythological siren with flowing hair.
Savor fine food & conversation at Le Petit Café
Owner and head chef Deirdre Conroy may be Irish born, but she's worked in food around the world, including training in France. So when she realized that her 1st choice of names for her Rochester restaurant was likely too difficult for locals to pronounce, it was a natural fit to go with French.
What was that first choice, you may wonder? Sure, give it a try: "The little shop" in Gaelic is An tSiopa Beag...
Right, us too. Deirdre advises this pronunciation: [on chuppa beugg]
Pictured: Deirdre with husband Brian, taking time off in Alaska.
There's a bit of old-world in this new spot. Not only are they in a historic building, the Avalon, they have a commitment to keeping it simple: no screens or wi-fi—it's all about good food and conversation. Much of the food is from area farms, sourced from partners like Hidden Stream, Moenning Meats, Rivers Edge Market Garden, and her own 6 acres North of town, made possible by partner Brian. "People ask how I can do it all, and I couldn't if it weren't for Brian. If he can grow it, I can cook it."
She also gives credit to expert pastry chef Maggie Dale for their impressive array of handmade treats, from croissants to tarts and everything in between.
Pop in to the bar for something quick, or make a reservation (appreciated but not required) for a leisurely, memorable meal with companions—you'll be happy Deirdre has brought a bit of Irish—and French, to Rochester!
Le Petit Café on Facebook
Were you part of the fun at FEAST! 2019?
about the art activities in the lobby at FEAST! 2019
in our Art Experience Survey,
and you could be a lucky prize winner!
& 1 Grand Prize will be awarded:
$100 GIFT CERTIFICATE
to a local foods restaurant near you!
Deadline to complete survey & enter: January 31, 2020
Fresh & Tasty
Grand View Beef
Amanda and Knute Severson attended FEAST! for the first time in 2019, from their Century Farm near Clear Lake, Iowa. Knute's family has raised cattle there with the "Grand View" brand since 1996, and now with Amanda they're making this high quality, 100% grass-fed beef available to restaurants and direct to you.
Order from their website to have product shipped to MN or IA; consider beef shares of 1/4, 1/2 or wholes for free delivery; product is at Simply Nourished in Clear Lake, and during summer they're at the Farmers' Markets in Clear Lake and Ames. Want them at your favorite grocery? Message them—they appreciate referrals!
This operation is special for many reasons—as you can see from the photo, they use actual horse power, rather than giant machines, for one thing. They're continually making changes to lower their environmental impact: rotational grazing, adding more trees, recycling/reusing insulated coolers used for shipping (customers get a discount for sending them back!).
Amanda says they love sharing their story—one look at their Facebook or Instagram @grandviewbeef and you'll see: lots of cute calves, majestic draft horses, chore time activities, and some really honest and raw posts about the hurdles and realities of raising livestock today. They're a great example of the kind of thoughtful and genuine farmers that are returning to the land. Check the links below for more!
Grand View Beef website
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Instagram
Who's Fueling FEAST!?
Enjoy these glimpses of the String Survey by Background Stories, created during this year's festival by 233 event attendees. Curious how it worked?
You began by selecting yarn according to your age group, and then wound that yarn on the corresponding peg. At each post, you answered a question about local foods and place your yard accordingly. At the end, there was an open-ended question: "We know that price, convenience, and taste are important. Outside of those, what things are MOST important to you?"
Attendees were invited to write their answers on tags. Did you miss out on this but want to share your thoughts? Feel free to hit reply and join in!
If you attended FEAST! 2019, don't forget to complete our FEAST! Art Experience Survey for a chance to win a local foods tee or a gift certificate to a local foods restaurant near you!
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