Q&A with Grinnell Local Foods Source

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Jon Mehlhaus

mehlhaus@grinnell.edu

This week The S&B’s Jon Mehlhaus sat down with Alumni Engagement Coordinator Angela Winburn to find out more about her business, the Grinnell Local Food Source (GLFS). The GLFS connects local farmers to members of the Grinnell community by allowing them to sell their products online. Customers can order food from these farmers at localfoodmarketplace.com/grinnelllocalfoodsource to be picked up on the third Tuesday of each month at First Presbyterian Church of Grinnell.

The S&B: What prompted the creation of the Grinnell Local Food Source?

AW: It was the outcome of a local food co-op run on campus. The Grinnell Local Food Source was an offshoot of that. It was a means to get to the community more beyond campus.

How long has the Grinnell Local Food Source been running?

Jordan Scheibel [’10] and I started the program the summer of 2014. Jordan recently resigned to continue his work at Middle Way Farm, which is growing quite quickly. He is a producer for the Grinnell Local Food Source.

Why do you think that the Grinnell Local Food Source is important to the Grinnell community?

It makes it convenient for consumers to find local farmers to do business with. It’s similar to a year-round farmers market, but conducted online.

Where do you see the business going from here? What are your ideas for the future?

I would love to see it wildly expand! We’d love to see more producers and more shoppers. In a dream, I’d love to see us expand into a storefront, but I don’t really think the town is big enough for that. I would like to see more local food movements be active in Grinnell. A lot of people drive to Des Moines or Iowa City for their shopping, so I’d like to make it possible to buy those things in Grinnell.

What sorts of food does the Grinnell Local Food Source sell?

We have a wide range of produce and baked goods! We have honey, herbs and spices and all sorts of meat. [The meat department] is the area we’re most trying to grow. We have a beef producer, and we recently added someone who raises pigs. I raise chickens and turkeys and I’m offering them as well. I also have lamb that I’ll be offering soon. The idea is to use meat to bring people to the business. Also, I supply the turkeys for the local Thanksgiving that takes place [each fall].