Sourcing Stories

Picked at its peak, locally grown produce ripens naturally while foods that travel are picked unripe to account for travel time.  Local produce retains more nutrients and also tastes better!

Country Dairy

Country Dairy’s roots go back four generations to 1908 when Dutch immigrant, Andrew VanGunst, purchased 80 acres of land in New Era, Michigan. Andrew’s grandson, Wendell, re-focused the farm’s energy into dairy cattle. In 1983 Wendell decided Country Dairy’s future was in bottling their own milk and thus the current dairy began to take shape.

Country Dairy’s commitment  to reach the highest level of excellence, providing customers with extremely fresh, high quality milk, ice cream and CHEESE! Currently, Country Dairy milks about 1,500 cattle, processes milk, makes cheese, ice cream, and butter, employs about 125 people, and in 2004, opened its first retail store. They have a Farm Store and Moo School thatare destinations for tourists, school children, and guests from all over the world. The store offers a restaurantmenu, ice cream, Country Dairy products, gift items, tours, and information about Country Dairy.

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Prairie Farms

Many of us are proud to have multi-generation dairy farms. This means our farms were established and maintained by our parents, grandparents, even great grandparents. Often times, you can visit our farms to find no less than two or three generations pitching in, whether it’s actively milking cows, running equipment such as tractorsand feed-mixers, caring  for the new calves born on the farm or keeping the crew fed with homemade meals.

We are the farmers in your neighborhood, supplying the fresh milk to grocery stores that we, too, shop at. Our communities are important to us, with many of us serving on local school, church or municipality boards and committees. And because this is our home too, we care deeply about the land and water resources, and are dedicated to preserving our natural resources to our best extent. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of animal care. Our animals receive specialized diets of forage andgrains, often times customized by animal nutritionists. Often times, our cows eat before we do and follow healthier diets than most! When not milking, our cows can be found relaxing in a barn with fresh bedding or in the pasture with access to plenty of clean water and food.

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Great Lakes Bee Company

As it happens with so many people, Larry Hasselman’s passion started out as a hobby. What began as a curious interest in beekeeping led to a growing number of hives, and in 1974, Hasselman’s Honey was officially born. He set up his beeyards in Newaygo County, where his honey is still produced today. Larry’s bees still fly all over the state, foraging on Basswood, Alfalfa, Star Thistle, and West Michigan wildflowers.

Over the years, an ever-increasing number of colonies has allowed Larry to produce even more honey, as well as expand his company to offer candles, lip balms, creams and soaps, as well as raw wax. He was able to expand from selling at Farmers Markets to stocking his products in local restaurants, grocery stores, and breweries around Michigan. And as always, his honey barn remained open to friends and family whenever they wanted to fill a jar with delicious honey.

Today, the Hasselman’s Honey brand remains one of the highest quality and most carefully produced honeys you can find.

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Tassier Sugar Bush

Pure Maple Syrup products are unique to northeastern North America where the sugar maple is native. Their limestone-based maple grove assures the best, clear flavor of pure maple syrup. They take pride in using the highest standard to make quality syrup. Anyone who lives in Northern Michigan knows that the smell of boiling sap is one of the first signs of spring. The sugar maple sap starts to flow when the late winter nights are still cold and the days are beginning to warm. That’s when the sap is collected and processed to become maple syrup and maple sugar. A tapped tree normally produces up to twelve gallons of sap during a good year. It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

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Fresh Origins

At Fresh Origins, innovation is a way of life. They are continually working to imagine and develop the latest ideas in Microgreens and Edible Flowers. Their farm is certified for food saftey Primus Labs and we are a signatory to the California Leafy Green Handler Marketing Agreement. Fresh Origins is a small family farm that is proud to be accountable for food safety. Fresh Origins small family farm is audited several times a year by third party USDA trained inspectors and major restaurant companies.

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