Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Old North St. Louis: Old North Grocery Co-op

My recent visit to Crown Square led me to another fascinating personal first...a stop into the Old North Grocery Co-op.  The amount of positivity that has sprung up around Crown Candy Kitchen is simply amazing.  The ONSL Restoration Group is doing a great job at organically building the neighborhood back up to it's original glory.

Now, there are some things that simply make sense to me on every level.  Buying fresh, locally produced food and products is one of those things.  I like to spend every dollar I can within the limits of the City of St. Louis.  And when I can't find it there, extend my reach to the state level and then made in the U.S.  It's a challenge for me, and I think it's my duty as a good citizen to support local business owners.  When it comes to food, it's getting easier and easier to get local (within 100 miles of the city) produce and meat products.  With farmer's markets and co-ops and neighborhood gardens popping up all over the city, I'm very impressed with the locavore activities in St. Louis.

The Old North Grocery Co-op is just one positive example of this. 
Upon my visit, I bought some bacon, pork chops and an ~8 pound chicken (butchered within 48 hours of purchase) from a local farmer in Truxton, MO.  Lee Farms is approximately 70 miles from DT St. Louis; a mere 1.5 hour drive.  The processor (Davis Meats) is also in the great state of Missouri in a town called Jonesburg only ~66 miles from DT St. Louis.
It gets better.  As I was shopping for some delicious food, there was a couple in the back having a conversation.  As I approached the cashier to check out, one of the people at the back table approached me with an extended handshake and introduced himself as the farmer that raised the animals that I was purchasing.   He gave me a heartfelt thanks and I returned the thanks for doing one of the most important jobs in the world, providing food for the masses.  It was a good experience.

I am very proud of the work that farmers do to feed the world, especially farmers that are interested in serving their communities and regions with fresh, healthy food.  I am also very proud of folks like the Old North Grocery Co-op that are working toward fresh, local solutions toward healthy nutrition and living well.

Old North never looked so good.  You've got to check this place out.

2 comments:

Sean Thomas said...

Thanks for the kind words, Mark, and thanks for your support of local businesses. One of the great pleasures of this endeavor has been the opportunity to get to know people like Rusty Lee of Lee Farms. I'm glad he was ther when you stopped in.

Tino said...

I echo Sean's comment. The co-op was such a huge endeavor for a smaller local fresh food outlet that will hopefully create a big impact for Old North and hopefully the north side. Thank you for your support, and maybe we will cross paths at the co-op during one of our grocery shopping outings.