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MSP - New Food Warehouse opening

c
cheetobrain Sep 2, 2008 06:30 AM

A friend forwarded me the link to this new venue opening up called Traditional Foods. It's sooo close to my house, and I"m rather excited about it! They are having an open house this Friday evening.

from the site: A centrally-located warehouse that will provide safe, sanitary and easily-accessible farm-fresh foods from a wide variety of local farmers. Product availability will include fresh dairy, dairy products (such as fresh cheeses, aged cheese, yogurt, kefir, butter, cream, ice cream) poultry and eggs, pasture-based pork, 100% grass-fed beef, bison, goat and lamb, a wide variety of natural sea-salts, locally-harvested wild rice, small-producer maple syrup, local, unheated, unblended honeys and many other delicious, wholesome, local and sustainably-raised prepared foods.

http://web.me.com/willwinter/traditio...

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Traditional Foods
304 W 61st St, Minneapolis, MN 55419

  1. s
    SmartCookie Sep 13, 2008 03:58 PM

    It's a bit disheartening that they've been open for two weeks now and still haven't updated their website with the producer profiles.

    1. cheeseguysgirl Sep 13, 2008 11:36 AM

      Bummer that so many had a negative reaction at their open house. I think I'll give them a chance to work out some of the bugs, and then go by in a few weeks. Maybe things will have improved.

      1. katebauer Sep 5, 2008 02:49 PM

        We're heading to the opening night event soon so I'll report back.

        I'm actually quite excited about this place. We live in S. Minneapolis and none of the coops are very convenient to us. We regularly shop at Kowalskis, and sometimes the Rainbow on 66th and Nicollet, so this place will be right in the area where we usually food shop. I would love to buy all our foods at a coop or the farmer's markets but just can't seem to fit getting to these places into my schedule, so hopefully this new place will have enough variety and be priced well enough that it's worth fitting into our regular shopping.

        10 Replies
        1. re: katebauer
          c
          churchka Sep 5, 2008 07:57 PM

          My husband and I went tonight and we just didn't get it. I mean, we understand that for $75 we can shop there, but why would we?

          We couldn't figure out who to ask our questions of. There were not tours, like the lit said there would be. One person was willing to answer our questions, a vendor, and she said you would join to get raw milk and raw milk cheese. I asked if it was cheaper than a normal store, and she said no. But the lit said it is cheaper.

          They did have quite a few vendors there. The cheese we had was good and so was quite a bit of the meat. But we can get all that at Farm in the Market and our co-op. We are going to shoot off an email to the people running this, because we are confused.

          1. re: churchka
            f
            faith Sep 5, 2008 08:30 PM

            One thing the Weston Price-ites want is raw milk. You can't get that
            in any store in MN, against the law. You can get it directly from a farmer if
            you know one. So if they are finding a way to provide raw milk that would
            be a good thing in my opinion. They are also big into grass-fed meat. It's
            true you can get some of that at co-ops now. I remember you could get raw
            milk at the coops in Philly back in the 70's- it was very delicious- you could
            taste the cream in there.

            1. re: churchka
              c
              cheetobrain Sep 5, 2008 09:15 PM

              We went as well tonight...I just couldn't bring myself to join just yet. It was a bit chaotic, and my daughter was going a bit crazy, so I did not have time to really talk to the vendors (except the meat vendor, who basically was just encouraging us to come straight to her and save money).

              I agree with churchka, the pricing was basically on-par with any other co op or fine grocer. We paid $5.09/lb for grassfed ground beef. For that price I will make the beef streeeeetch.

              The dairy vendor has some wonderful ice cream - fresh and delicious, and a product he called "churned cream" that was a luscious butter. My baby quite enjoyed the raw milk cheddar cheese, and I heard the bleu cheese was wonderful (not a cheese person myself, so I'll just take my friend's word for it)

              There were chest freezers filled with pork products, and a freezer filled with frozen veggies - a little pricey for me at $2.99 for 10 ounces of corn.

              They had a very cute kid's area set up with slides and toys. We had fun playing there for a while.

              I think I will take another visit in about a month once they've had a chance to settle in and get stuff organized. Then I can do a cost/benefit analysis and make sure it's worth it for me to spend the initial money to join. If I will only buy 1 or 2 products it's probably not worth it, but if I can get a good chunk of my shopping done I will probably join.

              1. re: cheetobrain
                s
                soupkitten Sep 6, 2008 05:00 AM

                CB-- when you say "the dairy vendor"-- do you mean castle rock, mom's, sweetland? sounds like castle rock w the ice cream & "churned cream"-- again, you can get that at co-ops i think.

                1. re: cheetobrain
                  katebauer Sep 6, 2008 08:43 AM

                  We also attended last night but could only stay for about 15 minutes because we were running late for something else. We did purchase some blue cheese (I'm sorry - I can't remember the vendor) and had it for dinner last night. It was quite good and at $5 for a good sized chunk the price was on par with what I would pay elsewhere.

                  We also found the experience very chaotic and chalked it up to them not expecting the crowds they got. It took going through 3 different people to sign up for a membership (we just did the $10 one day) and purchase our cheese. I ended up just giving them the $15 we owed them and leaving before they were able to ring us up because we were running so late and had already stood there for at least 5 minutes. Also, I guess there was some ticket system to purchase a glass of wine, brats, etc. but I completely missed that until the end and unknowingly stole wine and a brat.

                  I'm honestly not good about paying attention to food prices, but I did notice that one (the?) meat was the same as is sold at our Kowalski's - Thousand Hills is the brand I believe. If it's not cheaper at the warehouse then I'm not sure why I would shop there, as dairy and meat would be my main draws.

                  I was really hoping for lush and plentiful offerings in an enjoyable space where I could do my weekly shopping, but I'm not sure this place will be it. I feel like I could get similar products either at MGMkt which is on my way home from work or even at Kowalskis.

                  1. re: cheetobrain
                    j
                    JudithM Sep 13, 2008 07:24 AM

                    I have been to the warehouse and just wanted to mention that the Sno Pac corn is actually $2.29 for a bag and that is the cheapest price I have found in town for Sno Pac. This company is local and organic.

                  2. re: churchka
                    AnneInMpls Sep 7, 2008 10:49 AM

                    I also stopped by on Friday evening, and found it chaotic and confusing. I couldn't tell who was a "regular" vendor and who wasn't. (Such as the snacks? the desserts? the wine? the spice blends?)

                    When I asked the people at the check-out table, they didn't know who the vendors are/would be. They said things were still being organized, and told me to check the web site. But as of Friday, the site just listed three dairy/meat vendors.

                    Based on what I saw on Friday, I wouldn't buy a membership. In fact, I wouldn't go back even if it *didn't* cost extra to shop there - the products either aren't worth the trip for me (I don't buy much meat or dairy, and am happy with Farm in the Market) or are available elsewhere (such as Ames Farm honey).

                    And I was leary of how disorganized and unhelpful everything was. But I wish them luck - perhaps they can pull things together and make a go of it. Even though they're within a few miles of Clancy's meats and Lakewinds Co-op...

                    Anne

                    1. re: AnneInMpls
                      w
                      WayWest Sep 8, 2008 07:54 AM

                      We attended the event because we were looking for one source for raw milk, pastured meats and other traditional foods. We were terribly disappointed both with the prices and the people. The prices were about the same as the co-op and were more than if buying direct-from-farmer. So we weren't sure what the benefit of the membership fee would be. Furthermore, with a few exceptions, we found the managers and vendors to be unattentive and often downright rude. We almost felt like we had crashed an exclusive party or something. We will continue to buy direct from friendly farmers, even if it means a few extra stops per month.

                      1. re: WayWest
                        c
                        cheetobrain Sep 8, 2008 10:31 AM

                        WayWest, I would love some of your farmer sources if you don't mind sharing! I continue to look for ways to incorporate local foods into our household while still maintaining something of a food budget!

                        1. re: WayWest
                          e
                          Enso Sep 13, 2008 09:35 AM

                          I'm interested in this info, too. Maybe we could start a new thread and get everyone's recommendations.

                  3. l
                    Loren3 Sep 5, 2008 02:07 PM

                    Note to KTFoley - the $75 membership is lifetime. They have $10 day memberships and "hardship" $25 three-year also.

                    As for whether it's a coop or not, their opening statement makes it out to be somewhere between a coop and a brick-and-mortar CSA. But, instead of giving your monthly fee to one farmer for one box of food per week, you're giving your money to the coop, and they're collecting the various foods and letting you decide what you want in your box. Curious business model.

                    1. k
                      karykat Sep 2, 2008 06:06 PM

                      Is this in fact a kind of coop? The pricing information suggests that it is.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: karykat
                        jsyx Sep 2, 2008 08:13 PM

                        producer profiles.... coming soon!!

                      2. MplsM ary Sep 2, 2008 11:44 AM

                        Uh, not to be contrary but I don't see the pull or need for this place. Not open to the public and only open 17 hours a week? It's pretty much a very limited buying club.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: MplsM ary
                          c
                          cheetobrain Sep 2, 2008 01:42 PM

                          without having visited yet, I can tell you why I'M excited:

                          1. access to a variety of local foods all under one roof about 1 mile from my house
                          2. Supporting a local business who in turn is supporting local farms directly
                          3. I can see a great opportunity for this business to grow into a wonderful market. Hopefully next summer they will have fresh produce, etc. Not sure if that is in their plans, but it would be wonderful to have a full-service market of in-season local foods.

                          The two closest stores for me to get milk are Kowalski's and Cub, neither a desirable option for me. If I could go every saturday and get farm-fresh whole milk for my baby from a small business like this, I will make it a priority to do just that. As for the hours, the site says these are their starting hours, and they are looking for input from their customers about them. Sounds like they are fine-tuning and will more than likely will expand the hours as they settle in.

                          Understandably, this isn't for everyone, but I really hope it is successful. I'll be at the open house friday to check it out.

                          1. re: cheetobrain
                            MplsM ary Sep 2, 2008 02:26 PM

                            Ok, I understand. I wish them luck and I hope it's everything you want it to be.

                            My membership with Linden Hills gets me what you are seeking in your neighborhood.

                            I just can't help wondering if this is a move to subvert the stronghold of the Twin Cities natural food co-ops. I understand some folks are turned off by the co-ops and hold a grudge over things that happened in the murky past.

                            1. re: MplsM ary
                              c
                              cheetobrain Sep 2, 2008 04:44 PM

                              I have no idea what the murky past of local co-ops is. How do you think this would subvert the stronghold of TC co-ops? Seems like a very similar idea in many ways.

                              1. re: MplsM ary
                                s
                                shoo bee doo Sep 2, 2008 05:29 PM

                                No, it's not being held by people who hold any grudges. These are folks studying and trying to apply the principles from the Weston A. Price Foundation.

                                http://www.westonaprice.org

                                A lot of the things they are doing go beyond the scope of the coops. Yes, you can find a lot of these things in the coops, but this is far more local and intimate.

                                That's all. I'm definitely going Friday and becoming a member. It'll also save some of the trips I make to the farmer grocery stores in Wisconsin. There is a place for this, the coops, and even Whole Foods. I shop at all of them. Oh, and Costco and Trader Joes also. I get different things at different places.

                                1. re: MplsM ary
                                  k
                                  KTFoley Sep 2, 2008 11:10 PM

                                  I have no inkling of the co-op history but readers should note that there is a $75 membership fee for this venture; the co-ops are open to all shoppers.

                                  I'd be really interested to know exactly which products are uniquely available here. Some of the producers/products are already on the shelves at Mississippi Market. Perhaps this is aimed at the southern suburbs who don't have a co-op?

                                  1. re: KTFoley
                                    s
                                    shoo bee doo Sep 3, 2008 01:28 AM

                                    It might be something of a coop. Also, the farmers are more directly involved and it looks like they might even be able to rent areas somewhat like a farmers market. I read also they are working on a kitchen to prepare special products.

                                    Some of the products there are the very special milk products, more fermented vegetables, a higher quality cod liver oil and butter oil, coconut products. I know there are some very special meats. But I know that the coops carry some of those.

                                    What they won't have will be a lot of the highly processed food that the coops carry. A lot of corporations have taken over the very popular organic foods.

                                    There is something called brix (nutritional density), that folks talk about when selecting foods. Also, in addition to being associated with Weston A. Price principles (cultured food, bone broths, grassfed, etc), they are also associated with the Slow Food movement.

                                    If you want to know more about these movements, go to their websites.

                                    http://www.slowfood.com
                                    http://www.slowfood.com\mn

                                    1. re: shoo bee doo
                                      k
                                      KTFoley Sep 3, 2008 11:24 AM

                                      I had a chance to go through the website last night, and caught the opening line on the "About Us" page. For those who are musing on the what & how, the venture defines itself as a buying club.

                                    2. re: KTFoley
                                      MSPD Sep 3, 2008 07:29 AM

                                      The southern suburbs have a nice co-op, Valley Natural Foods, which luckily (for me) happens to be at the entrance to my neighborhood in Burnsville. They are just putting the finishing touches on an expansion project in fact. I can't speak to the SW or SE suburbs like Woodbury and Eden Prairie.

                                      1. re: MSPD
                                        Davydd Sep 3, 2008 05:39 PM

                                        We have the Lakewinds Coop in Minnetonka and Chanhassan. Lakewinds is pretty good.

                              2. Jordan Sep 2, 2008 09:07 AM

                                Thanks for the heads-up! We live close by as well.

                                1. cheeseguysgirl Sep 2, 2008 08:58 AM

                                  Wow-- this looks amazing! Thanks for posting about it-- I really hope lots of people show up and support it.

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