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Why buy local?

We believe there is value in buying from local businesses. We believe life is better when our transactions are not with nameless, faceless corporations but instead with people we know.

Two scenarios: In one, you buy lettuce from the grocery store. You don’t really know where it came from - maybe Arizona or California - or who grew it. You certainly don’t have a relationship with the people that grew it, and you don’t care about them in a specific way because you don’t know who they are. And vice versa. They don’t know you, your name, or where your kids go to school. It’s a purely transactional relationship, with lots of middlemen in between.

In the other scenario, you buy your lettuce from a cutting-edge local urban farmer. Just for the sake of the story, let’s say he’s 6 feet tall, strikingly good-looking, and excels at tennis. This guy lives in your neighborhood. You share mutual friends. Maybe your kids play soccer together.

There’s an incentive for him to sell you high quality food and treat you fairly. It’s essential if he wants his business to thrive. You know him and a bunch of his other customers (and potential customers); it’s quite easy for reviews to spread, good or bad. And if bad reviews spread, it doesn’t just mean his business is in trouble. It means his reputation is in trouble, which can be even more damaging.

On top of that, now you know exactly where your food is coming from, which is fun. In the first scenario, it’s just a salad. In the second, it’s red romaine lettuce that was grown down the road, harvested this morning, and delivered by the guy who planted the seed. How cool is that?

We don’t think there’s anything wrong with the first scenario - buying lettuce grown by some mega-food company at a mega-chain grocery store. Those companies provide jobs, and they get a decent product on your plate for a decent price. (A lot of good things have come from specialization and long distance trade.)

But when you buy local, there is an element of trust and “what’s good for you is good for me” that's missing when you buy from a large national company.

Lastly, we are not growing and selling lettuce to get rich. (Pro tip: selling lettuce is a terrible way to get rich.) When you buy our lettuce, the money doesn’t filter up to shareholders. We’re going to spend the money at Chimborazo, or Anchor, or Bark and the Bite. Or at one of the 683 breweries in Northeast Minneapolis. We live here, so the money stays here.

When you buy local, the whole community wins.


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