Made In The U.S.A.

Dear Dan and Crystal…

In Adventures on February 23, 2009 at 6:33 am

What would I do without Dan and Crystal? They are my friends, they are my shopping/buying/consuming resources, they are my blog’s primary readership… They’re probably my only readership. I should write this post directly to them. In fact, I think I will.

Hi Dan and Crystal. Remember when you sent me this email the other day:

Have you ever been here? Local Harvest Grocery, 3148 Morganford Road, St. Louis, Missouri, tel. 314.865.5260

Followed by lots of good information about the place:

It is our goal at Local Harvest Grocery to provide the highest quality food from the St Louis region in all of our departments. From grass-fed meats to fresh produce and baked goods and gourmet dry goods, we scour the region to find producers of quality, unique products. In addition, we also carry an extensive line of organic and sustainably produced groceries, including dry goods, perishables, frozen and non-food items. In the mornings, stop in for a cup of locally roasted coffee, a Companion bagel with cream cheese or any number of our locally baked muffins, scones and other goodies. We also have a deli and we use as many local ingredients as possible in all of our sandwiches, from the locally raised bison brisket sandwich that we smoke in-house to the Skinnytown vegetarian sandwich topped with all local produce.

Well, today I went there.

The descriptive paragraph above is about the same size as the place. But they pack a lot of goodness into a little space.

I wasn’t going to “go grocery shopping” so much as I was checking out the place. Still, I spent $17 on food. Five dollars of which was eaten by the time I got home. (I did run a few other errands, so it’s not as gluttonous as it sounds. And five bucks doesn’t get you a lot of grub at Local Harvest. It was a packet of the best damn Midwest Munch I’ve ever have. Probably a half cup or so for $2.39. It was “a taste of Missouri’s waving wheat fields baked into a crispy snack.” Sweet, salty… Mmm. Made by Grand Valley Farms in Moberly, MO, it consisted of pecans, sesame sticks, cashews, almonds, pretzels, peanuts, toffee, wheat crackers and salt. And it was all that and a bag of Midwest Munch. Then I had dessert, which was ka-ka-o chocolate almond bark. $2.99 for about a Hershey bar worth. It was phenomenal. And I once met and photographed the owner of the place, Brian Pelletier, so I was happy to buy his products. The first time he just gave me some. As I ate that in the car too, I remember giggling with glee at how good the homemade moonpie was. This almond bark wasn’t giggle-worthy, but it was damn good. I have digressed; how shocking.)

Along with my afternoon snacks, I also purchased some regular foodstuffs. San Luis brand tortillas, made right here. $2.50 for a fat stack of them. One point three pounds of local ground beef for $5.99. A day old half-loaf of Companion wheat bread for $2.99. And the impulse buy of a “Proud to Live in St. Louis City” bumper sticker for $3.00. I can only assume that it, too, is locally made.

The thing I thought longest and hardest about was a bottle of Hemp Oil Vinaigrette salad dressing. Greg’s brand, if I recall. No origin listed, but there was a phone number: area code 314. Good news, he’s local. The bottles looked legit, too. Not like the guy’s squeezing half-smoked roaches and stems and seeds into the mix. I’m curious about it for a million reasons. Presumably it doesn’t get you high, or it would be the best selling salad dressing ever. Ever.

So anyway, Dan and Crystal, the point is this: the place was nice and quaint and charming. It would be impractical for someone such as myself to shop there for all of my groceries. However the ability to find locally grown produce, locally baked breads and tortillas, locally packed meats and snacks and what-have-yous… It’s really hitting a niche for a guy like me who’s trying to buy locally. It makes buying American seem extra appealing–especially when the products you’re buying come from your own area code. It felt good. I just can’t get Eggos and Jello and Glad bags and contact lens solution and all those other things I get at the grocery store.

But damn, that Midwest Munch was good. You guys should try it.



  1. Hey man, let me know if I can help in any way.. I’m in St Louis too.

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