When you give Minneapolis an artisan meat maker, it's going to ask for a local creamery to go with it. That's just what happened when Kieran Folliard, an Ireland-born local food entrepreneur, did when he realized the building his company Red Table Meat Co. operated out of had room for another business venture or two. In 2015, The Lone Grazer Creamery, Minnesota's first urban creamery, was born. I chose The Lone Grazer Creamery for the first Forward Eats nomination because of their string cheese. It was the first product of theirs I tasted, and its pure, creamy flavor and fresh, almost squeaky texture transported me straight out of the dairy aisle of my supermarket and into a serene cow pasture somewhere in Minnesota. I later learned that 100% of the milk The Lone Grazer Creamery uses is grass-fed, and comes from either Sunrise Meadows Dairy Farm in Cokato, MN, or Corstar Farm in Litchfield, MN. When I discovered my new favorite sting cheese is crafted just a short drive from my apartment in Northeast Minneapolis-- in a facility that encourages anyone to come by for a self-guided tour-- I was enamored. The Lone Grazer Creamy was everything I believe good, local food to be: conscious, intentional, shared, and darn tasty.
"The rising tide effect of Lone Grazer is so incredible," explained Tom Brossart, the Digital Architect for Food Building (the facility that houses Red Table Meat Co., The Lone Grazer Creamery, and most recently, Baker's Field Flour & Bread) when we met to discuss The Lone Grazer Creamery's nomination for Forward Eats MSP. "Not only can people who don't know what a creamy looks like take a self-guided tour, but we've also cultivated a community for local cheesemakers. People will come in and start a conversation about local farmers, or bacteria used in cheesemaking, or milk quality. Wisconsin is known for their cheese, but Lone Grazer is helping put Minnesota on the map as a great dairy state, too."
So, by now you definitely want to stop in Food Building from 10-5, Tuesday to Friday to check out The Lone Grazer Creamery and its partner companies, right? If that's not enough, you can purchase their award-winning string cheese and other great products at any of these stores in Minnesota and beyond.
And now a drumroll please, for the local food icon that Tom and The Lone Grazer Creamery nominated for the next Forward Eats MSP post: "This business has been a great partner to The Lone Grazer Creamery and other brands in Food Building. They utilize local products in an intentional way. I nominate...The Curious Goat !" Stay tuned for an inside look on what goes on behind the window of this popular roaming Minneapolis food truck.
Bonus: just in time for the holidays, The Lone Grazer Creamy and Food Building have put together these awesome "holiday gift blocks" for the foodie in your life. I think they look pretty awesome. *hint hint* ;)