Prairie Bay had the opportunity to serve soup at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace in Little Falls last Saturday. Nothing like some warm Butternut Squash soup or Lobster Bisque on a cold day. I poured many bowls or soup but I also had a little time to check out this great new marketplace while it is still in progress and talk to some of the other vendors.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sprout or the Marketplace, here is a quick rundown. Sprout’s mission is to promote the health, economy, and self-reliance of Central Minnesota by facilitating the availability of locally produced food, products, and art in the region. In other words, Sprout wants to help make Central Minnesota a better place to live. They strive to do so by pairing up local growers, farmers, makers and artists with the people who want their products, but may not always be sure where to get them. That is where the new Sprout Marketplace really comes in handy!
One of the first vendors I spoke with was Vince Cook from Chop Finely. His handmade chopping blocks, cutting boards and serving trays are as beautiful as they are functional. Each piece is handcrafted from select hardwoods in his studio in Brainerd, Minnesota. And all of his products are finished with pure Tung oil, which provides a deep finish that is food safe and vegan friendly.
You can check out more stuff from Chop Finely over at their website chopfinely.com
This is just the type of Christmas present for the foodies in your life…. and I know you have at least one.
It was hard to make a quick stop by the DCBL Acres booth. They had so many things to choose from. Their 227 acre farm, crops, produce, herb, and canned goods are all certified organic. They also have beef, lamb, chicken, duck, turkey & eggs. Their animals are raised on organic pastures and fed crops and produce grown and harvested on their farm. They really have a one stop shop! But even with all that, the thing that got me was the fresh homemade bread. I had to take home a loaf of garlic herb bread that ended up being delicious and was finished off in less than a day. Thanks DCBL Acres!
Artist, Doug LaBorde was also on hand with his functional metal art. He had a whole array of cool items, from paper towel holders to beautiful music stands. I happened to find a great Christmas present for my dad. Those metal handles over there have a curved spike at the end, made for flipping steaks on the grill or ribs or whatever you happen to have. I know he’s gonna love it!
All and all it was a very fun day! We sold a bunch of soup and I got to shop a bit myself. But most importantly, I had an opportunity to meet some great people who are passionate about what they do and our community.
The Sprout Marketplace is still being finished, but has spots for vendors and artists. It will also have a test kitchen which will be great for cooking classes, canning fruits and vegetables and all kinds of fun kitchen activities. The walk-in coolers have already been installed and are ready to go.
If you feel like you missed out, don’t worry… The next open house day is Dec. 12th from 9am until 3pm. There will be vendors, art, food, local musicians and lots of fun and community. By the way, don’t forget to come say hi to me at the Prairie Bay booth!