Tag Archive | Local Businesses

Local Crate – New Meal Delivery Service in Minnesota


You have no idea how excited I am about this! A few weeks ago my cousin and his wife were in town and they told me about this meal delivery service that they have in Milwaukee. They have fresh ingredients shipped to their home with recipes that they can make fairly fast. They like to cook like I do but since they have a new baby, time is not on their side. This is a quick way to get a healthy meal and still have the taste of a freshly cooked meal. All I thought to myself is— how do we not have this in Minneapolis?

I ran across Local Crate recently in my Twitter feed thanks to the awesome people that I follow.  It looks like they are trying to make a go of this same idea but are sourcing local Minnesota ingredients.

Local Crate is a delivery service that sends fresh, local, portioned ingredients, and chef designed recipes to Minnesotans weekly making it easy for people to cook locally. Now, this is an idea that I can get behind! I enjoy eating out at restaurants but it is not something that I can do everyday. This would be a great fill in for the weeks that I am craving a home cooked meal and when I have commitments that don’t allow me enough time to get to the grocery store.

I usually only cook for two people and you usually can’t buy the ingredients for only two portions. This is a great way to get only what you need for the recipe and eliminates that one jam you needed for that ONE recipe that you made a year ago and it is still sitting in your refrigerator (not from personal experience, nope, not here).


Local Crate was started by the Kitchen Ninja and the Baby Kitchen Ninja AKA: Mike Stalbaum and Frank Jackman. They both were working for a large food manufacturer and realized that they could create a business around helping their community by working with local farmers and providers. They are passionate about changing the way that people eat and want to give back to our community. I am super excited to see where Local Crate goes!

The meals look great with options ranging from Spaghetti Carbonara to Shakshouka. Each recipe on listed on their website is something that I would enjoy trying. Also, they have enough variety that I don’t think I would get sick of the options. Each recipe comes with detailed instructions and a picture (this always helps me).

Currently, they are doing a Kickstarter project to raise much needed, cash flow for packaging, ingredients, cold and dry storage, and photo equipment. They have some great thank you gifts available and if you are interested in getting Local Crate I would suggest that you help them raise the $7,000 that they need to make their goal. I am clearly a proud supporter of this great idea so I backed this project! He

CLICK HERE to help them reach their goal!

Because this is a great idea and I can’t wait to try it!


Vote LoLa


As a supporter of local business, I had to tell you what is going on in Wrenshall, MN. A business called the Locally Laid Egg Company is one of four small businesses in a contest with intuit to win an ad during the big game.

The only thing you need to do to support them is visit VoteLoLa.com and click the vote button everyday until December 1st. Thank goodness, finally a contest where you don’t have to like anything, give any information, or sell your soul to help someone out.

I think you should support LoLa because they are local, sustainable, and they have a really awesome product. You may have had LoLa eggs if you have eaten at Duluth Grill, GastroTruck, or Surdyk’s Flights. You can find a full list HERE. Many of the local Coops sell the eggs too. If you have eaten the eggs at any of these places or in your own home you know how delicious they are. There is a different taste to eggs that are local and come from happy birds.

The Amundsen family wants to win to get people talking about different kinds of agriculture and encourage others to get into farming. Jason Admundsen started Locally Laid after his second layoff from a non-profit grant writing job and has invested everything into this business. You can tell just by looking at the Locally Laid website and blog that they truly care about what they are doing and want to do as much as they can to give back, including planting a tree for every delivery.

So, tell your friends, tell your family, tell your co-workers, and tell the person sitting next to you on the bus to VoteLoLa. It is even mobile optimized.


because happy chickens make yummy eggs


Cheeky Monkey

Cheeky Monkey Salad Beets, Goat Cheese

If I didn’t live in Minneapolis the Selby/Dale neighborhood would be high on my list because Cheeky Monkey Deli is located there. Cheeky is one of my favorite places to get a casual meal. To date I haven’t had anything on their menu that I haven’t liked.

This place has a neighborhood feel and is the perfect place to meet an old friend for dinner. I love sitting by the fire-place and keeping warm. During the summer you can even sit outside on their back patio.

If you are sitting down for a meal expect it to take a little bit more time. The service is a little slow sometimes and the food takes awhile to prepare. It is fresh and I am okay with waiting a little longer for my meal. Our server Amanda let us know if we needed anything we could flag her down. It is more relaxed than your typical restaurant and has a unique atmosphere. It makes you want to have a long discussion about something deep.

For an appetizer order the salt and pepper chips the blue cheese dip is creamy and delicious. For an entrée choose anything from the menu, it is all good. I have had many of the sandwiches and salads. This time I had the beet salad with goat cheese. It was large and I had enough to take for lunch the next day. I also enjoy the fancy grilled cheese and the salmon salad. Don’t miss the sides at the bottom of the menu. The kale and brussel sprouts are cooked correctly and a great way to add another vegetable to your meal.  This is a place I enjoy to linger and stay for a while with a glass or a few glasses of wine or beer.

Cheeky Monkey is doing a prix fixe valentine’s dinner for $60 a couple which includes three courses and a bottle of wine. That sounds like a sweet deal to me.

Cheeky Monkey Menu and Outside

When you go there make sure that you stop at the wine store next door to the Cheeky Monkey. They have a good selection. They told me they do a wine event for mother’s day which sounds like the perfect event for wine lovers.

because it is fun to get cheeky.


Cheeky Monkey on Urbanspoon

Pine Tree Apple Orchard

Pine Tree Apple Orchard is one of my favorite places to go in the Fall. It is a beautiful place to go and enjoy some of the last warm days and eat a treat.  Located in White Bear Lake this apple orchard is calming and inviting. Plus, it has a great shop where you can buy anything apple you could imagine. My personal favorites are apple doughnuts and cider. They have a unique blend of cider here which I would recommend. Nothing really compares to it.

Pine Tree Apple Orchard is just one of those places that I went as a child and still cannot go a year without visiting. Maybe, it is because I need to get an apple doughnut.

This place is family friendly and a perfect photo spot for your upcoming holiday photo card. I couldn’t believe the professional cameras that I saw and the kids in the cutest trendy clothes.

Every weekend in the fall there is usually entertainment for the young ones, a hayride, and a corn maze. Oh yeah, and they have apples too. Those are also really good.

Check out the pumpkin patch for Halloween and during the summer they have a strawberry patch. When I used to nanny it was one of my favorite activities to do with the kids. They could pick their own strawberries and then we went home to make jam. It kept the kids busy for an entire day and made the parents happy to come home to homemade jam. If you don’t feel like jam, you can dip them in chocolate.

One of my goals for the future is to do the 5 Mile Run For the Apples, run at Pine Tree and get to eat delicious apple treats at the end of the run.

Pine Tree also offers holiday gift baskets. They are very resonably priced and it would be a great idea for a local company that wants to share some local food with their clients.

because an apple doughnut a day doesn’t keep the doctor away but….. boy are they good.


Real Meal Deli

Named appropriately, Real Meal Deli has awesome lunch offerings in the Minneapolis Skyway. Walk right by the Subway, Taco John’s, and Starbucks to a non-chain fast food deli.

Real Meal Deli gives people a fresh, affordable, and minimally processed menu. Started by a chef who has been working in the restaurant business since 1986, he wanted people who work in areas where there are many fast food offerings to have a place that is fast but fresh and healthy. A trend he thinks will never go out of style.

As you can see above, this place offers a meal with color. Red, green, purple, and yellow make for a beautiful lunch. My favorite item on their menu is their small sack which includes a small salad, cup of soup, and bread for under 7 dollars. When you order this lunch you have the choice of over 12 salads and 3 different kinds of soup. If you can, try the curried butternut squash soup. It has a hint of curry and is perfect for a fall day.

The sandwiches are also very popular and next time I am going to try the Cranberry Goat Turkey Sandwich. Is Thanksgiving here yet?

Real Meal Deli can be found in Minneapolis at the Baker Center and the TriTech Center and in Saint Paul at the 1st National Building. They each have different hours and some of the locations serve breakfast for under 5 dollars and a lunch special.

Have an event coming up? They also cater. Under 10 dollars a person you can get an awesome lunch or breakfast.

because fresh and local never go out of style.


What is your favorite place to eat in the skyway?

Real Meal Deli  on Urbanspoon

10,000 Licks

If I can explain the heat in Minnesota, it is hot, it is sticky, and it can be unbearable at times. I have found the remedy to our sticky heat woes and it’s 10,000 Licks, an ice pop company started by two Minnesotans Andi McDaniel and Sarah Newberry. They created unique flavors with local fruits, herbs, and more surprisingly vegetables. And who said that you can’t get your children to eat their veggies?

What makes this company unique is the flavors they create, the ingredients that they use, and the fact that they are still small. Plus, each pop is created from scratch! You will not find Vanilla Beet, Sweet Corn, and Almond Butter and Jelly in your local grocery store. They also have fruit based pops like Strawberry Basil, Raspberry Rhubarb, Lavender Lemon, Blueberry Lemongrass, and Watermelon Mint. They are always inventing new flavors and will have a different selection at every event that they go to. You can even suggest to them a flavor you would like to see.

They certainly have a following in the land of 10,000 lakes and were able to raise over $10,000 in 2011 on Kickstarter to expand and purchase some much needed equipment for their growing business. During this campaign they even named a pop for someone who lost their daughter Chelsea to cancer in 2009 now named Chelsea’s Cherry Cheesecake in her honor and even had a donor from Egypt.

Now in 2012, their business is flourishing at events all around the twin cities and they are on to a new venture with Chowgirls Catering. Chowgirls has be an event space called The Parlor in Northeast Minneapolis that you can rent for your next special event and they offer great catering. They are the perfect partner for 10,000 licks. Together they have started to sell and create boozy pops for special events. I am more than excited to try one of these. So far, they created Mojito, Sangria, and Champagne Strawberry Mint flavors.

Here is the deal, since they are small they only sell at certain events during the summer so get yourself out there and spend sometime outside this summer while enjoying an ice pop from 10,000 licks. Support local businesses!

Here are some places you will find the ice pops this summer:

Midtown Minneapolis Farmer’s Market – June 23, July 28, August 25
Northeast Minneapolis Farmer’s Market – July 14, August 11, September 8
Music in Mears Park – June 28, July 26, August 23, August 30
Red House Records Barn Fest – August 4
North Coast Nosh – August 17

because there is nothing like a sweet treat on a hot summer day



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