Our Community Partners
Hunger Relief Partners
Chefs and Restaurants
Farmers and Producers
Chef Lucas Food
My story starts in a hospital, about a year ago, as I was recovering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While in the hospital I watched the Food Network TV and the movie Chef and thought food trucks were cool. When I got to pick my Make-A-Wish, I asked to work with food trucks to give back to all the people who helped me. I thought kicking cancer was a big deal, but it turns out, the really big deal is getting to help others. That’s why my family and I started Chef Lucas Food with the goal to “do good with food.” To learn more, visit www.cheflucasfood.com. We are partnering with Local Crate to help us further our mission to bring meals to families battling pediatric cancer. I know that food is love and it can be part of the healing process.
Second Harvest Heartland
Our mission is simple - to end hunger through community partnerships. With support from generous individuals and corporations, and our network of partner agencies, we help over 530,000 food insecure people each year.
At FINNEGANS, we’re all about making a difference. That’s why it is our mission to create sustainable change for those affected by hunger through profits from FINNEGANS Irish Amber and FINNEGANS Blonde Ale, and other innovative products and events.
Gavin Kaysen – Spoon & Stable, Mpls and Bellecour, Wayzata.
Gavin gravitates most toward traditional Heartland dishes—the kind he grew up eating and cooking in Minnesota with his grandma. The chef refined his dexterity in contemporary American fine dining by dedicating time to some of the world’s best restaurants. Later to realize, "there is nothing quite like the frenetic and fleeting seasonality of the upper Midwest to inspire a soulful cook." For Chef Gavin Kaysen, an old soul at heart, this idea beckoned him back home to Minneapolis to open Spoon and Stable restaurant in the North Loop neighborhood in fall 2014.
Erik Sather – Lowry Hill Meats
Erik is the owner of Lowry Hill Meats in Minneapolis. He started his connection to good food early in life—growing up on a hog farm in Southern Minnesota. Through years of cooking in some of Minneapolis' best restaurants, Erik continued his passion for connecting to the source of his ingredients, and being as much a part of the process as possible. Now at Lowry Hill he dedicates his time to being the neighborhood butcher shop, busy with fun menu items, new meats and cooking classes.
Chef JD Fratze – Bar Brigade & Chef Camp
JD Fratzke was born in Winona, MN and has been part of the Twin Cities restaurant community since 1992. He is the Chef and General Manager of Bar Brigade as well as Director of Culinary Operations for Republic Seven Corners, Red River Kitchen and Delicata. He and his kitchen teams are active in promotion and fundraising for many local charitable and activist organizations including Share Our Strength, Second Harvest Heartland and The MN Animal Humane Society. In 2016 JD was presented with the Charlie Award for Outstanding Chef by the greater MN restaurant community.
Chef Yia Vang – Union Kitchen & Chef Camp – St. Paul, MN
Yia Vang is the proprietor of the pop-up restaurant Union Kitchen. He was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and his father and mother moved their family to the US in 1988. While working in some of the foremost kitchens of Minneapolis (including Nighthawks, Borough, and Spoon and Stable) he began to find his own voice in showcasing Hmong food. His belief is that Hmong isn’t a kind of food but it’s a philosophy of food. Hmong food is not defined by its product. It’s defined by its process. He believes that the melding of many cultures plays a role in the cultural DNA of the Hmong people.
Alan Bergo – Executive Chef of Lucia’s – Minneapolis, MN
Chef Alan Bergo is a Midwestern native, spending his time between Willmar Minnesota and his family’s five-generation farm. He worked his way up through kitchens the old fashioned way, most notably Sous Chef to Lenny Russo at St. Paul’s Heartland and Executive Chef of the Salt Cellar in St. Paul before taking the reigns at Minneapolis farm-to-table cornerstone Lucia's in 2016. He’s best known for his writing and cooking with wild-harvested Midwestern ingredients that he shares on his website Forager | Chef: a dedication to wild food, seasonal cooking and food industry life.
Lindsey of Nourish Move Love – Health, Fitness, & Food Blogger
Lindsey is a fitness-loving, green veggie obsessed, group fitness instructor, and blogger with a goal of helping women create a lifestyle and body they love through her blog, nourishmovelove.com. She calls Minneapolis home with her husband Tim and is your basic fit girl turned fit mom with the recent birth of her son, Brody.
Erica Strait -Chef/Owner of Foxy Falafel
South Dakota farm gal Erica Strait left the state to study at New York City’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition and its Natural Gourmet Institute, guided by her interest in food and nutrition. After cooking in the professional kitchens of New York she returned to the Midwest. Strait found herself missing the falafel she craved in New York, so she did what anyone with the know-how would do: she created her own version. Throw in Strait’s affection for street food, and you have Foxy Falafel, which for the last few years has been serving falafel and more at her restaurant and two food trucks around the Twin Cities.
Dan Tobias-Kotyk & Perspectives
Dan Tobias-Kotyk is a graduate from St. Cloud State University in Social Studies/Secondary Education. He also is a self proclaimed “foodie” and licensed teacher. In 1998 when Perspectives launched their Kids Cafe program Dan was hired to run the kitchen and forever to be called Chef Dan. Under Chef Dan’s direction, as well a licensed nutritional consultant, Kids Cafe has grown into a five day/week 12 month/year nutritional program that serves over 15,000 healthy meals/snacks each year to at-risk students in grades K-8 that live in St. Louis Park.
Chef Jon Wipfli – Minnesota Spoon
Jon Wipfli is a Midwest native dedicated to cooking with local and sustainable ingredients. As graduate of the French Culinary Institute of New York, he has traveled the country developing an extensive cooking repertoire. After over decade of cooking in notable restaurants such as; The Bachelor Farmer, Marlow and Sons and Cookshop, he decided it was time for a change and Jon moved into different fields within the food industry including catering, working with local businesses, authorship and feeding people small scale environments.” He is also the resident Chef for Growler Magizine.
Chef Jorge Guzman
“Jorge Guzman wants to make one thing clear: Minnesota can hold its own on the culinary front. “We know how to cook,” says the executive chef. The rest of the country is taking note. This year, Guzman was a semifinalist for a James Beard Award, and his leadership earned Surly a coveted spot on Food & Wine’s 2016 Restaurants of the Year list.” (Time.com)
Chef Jamie Malone
Jamie Malone grew up cooking and baking breads with her Dad in St. Paul, Minnesota. Before receiving her culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Malone traveled and studied extensively in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Europe, immersing herself in each region’s cuisine. After working for Chef Tim Mckee at the highly lauded La Belle Vie in Minneapolis, Malone gained national attention and earned a place as a semifinalist for James Beard Award Foundation “Rising Star Chef” of the Year for 2013 and “Best Chef Midwest” of the year for 2014. In 2013, Malone was named one of Food and Wine Magazines “Best New Chefs.” Jamie is currently in the process of opening restaurant Brut in the Twin Cities and has recently taken over as head Chef for Grand Cafe in Minneapolis!
Chef Chris Uhrich of Mucci’s Italian
Born and raised in Richfield, MN. Chris attended culinary school at Art Institutes International and past experience includes: Corner Table, and The Strip Club Meat and Fish. Chris is currently Chef/Owner of Mucci’s Italian. “At Mucci’s, we serve what I call, Rustic Grandma Italian. Really wholesome, stick-to-your-ribs pizza and pasta. We also serve doughnuts on weekend mornings.” Mucci’s opened in February of 2016 and Eater Minneapolis just named them the Restaurant of the Year. In his free time, he loves spending time with his wife Amy and daughter Audrey.
Chef Nathan Sartain
Chef Sartain is currently the culinary arts program director for St. Paul College. He is a certified executive chef and certified culinary educator who has worked in all aspects of the food industry. Chef Sartain believes chefs have the ability to affect change in the conventional food system and is passionate about public health, and sustainable fare. Here at Local Crate we are very excited about working with Chef Sartain.
Chef John Sugimura – PinKU
John Sugimura and Xiaoteng Huang have created something awesome in Northeast Minneapolis. Bringing Japanese street food to the masses with the freshest ingredients and hand crafted, simple menu items. PinKU’s bento style offerings make it easy to share one of everything with your friends, creating a real community atmosphere around each dish.
Chef Lucas & Chef Auggie
My story starts in a hospital, about a year ago, as I was recovering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While in the hospital I watched the Food Network TV and the movie Chef and thought food trucks were cool. When I got to pick my Make-A-Wish, I asked to work with food trucks to give back to all the people who helped me. I thought kicking cancer was a big deal, but it turns out, the really big deal is getting to help others. That’s why my family and I started Chef Lucas Food with the goal to “do good with food.” To learn more, visit www.cheflucasfood.com. We are partnering with Local Crate to help us further our mission to bring meals to families battling pediatric cancer. I know that food is love and it can be part of the healing process. Also, I am lucky enough to learn from very experienced chefs such as Chef Auggie, from Le Cordon Bleu, whom has helped me create our recipes. Thanks!
Peter Campbell – Red Wagon Pizza Co.
It started in New Jersey, grew in Detroit, and came to life in Minnesota. Peter Campbell and his wife Jacquie Campbell have been running Red Wagon as a part- time passion project for a few years, building a fan-base from their regular perch at The Linden Hills Farmer’s Market. In addition to pizzas, Red Wagon serves 36 beers on tap and offers an eclectic list of 20 moderately-priced wines by the glass. They also serve a rotating array of wood-fired skillets, single-dish creations featuring signature ingredients like house-made sausages and Stickney Hill cheeses.
Janene Holig – Hot Indian
Executive Chef of Hot Indian Janene is a well traveled and, no pun intended, seasoned chef. She spent a good part of her career developing her parents hunting lodge into a weekend restartaunt destination. Although she made this very sucessful she wanted to return to the twin cities which is when she was introduced to Amol Dixit and Hot Indian was born. She is now heavliy involved in growing the business and the Hot Indian brand.
Craig Johnson – Prairie Dogs
Prairie Dogs Hot Dogs and Handcrafted Sausage is a brand new way to serve and eat encased meat. The Twin Cities have always been bratwurst towns, but Prairie Dogs is taking the simple hot dog and sausage to new levels of craftsmanship and flavor. We're taking an approach to hot dogs that elevates the simple sandwich of ball park and backyard days with ingredients and flavors usually reserved for small Chef driven bistros and fine dining restaurants. Our handcrafted sausages are all made in house with locally raised meats and garnished with artisan cheeses and farmer's market provisions.
The Copper Hen is a Farm-to-Table Cakery & Kitchen located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We make everything from scratch and source as many ingredients as possible from local farms and businesses.
Stephanie A. Meyer – Freshtart.com
A home cook, photographer, recipe developer, and culinary motivator who uses whole, nutrient-dense foods to pull together fast, flavorful meals found on her blog www.freshtart.com. She is an active supporter of managing food allergies/sensitivities, autoimmune disease, weight gain, chronic disease through cooking, education and food awareness. She is also responsible for bringing us Twin Cities Chefs Table, which highlights local foods, restaurants, and chefs.
Daniel Klein – The Perennial Plate
Daniel’s culinary education brought him to Spain, France, England, India and New York, where he has worked and trained at top Michelin starred restaurants such as Craft, Bouchon, and The Fat Duck. After graduating from NYU, Daniel also pursued a career in film. Daniel is an Emmy nominated producer, and a 2013 & 2014 James Beard Award winner and the founder of The Perennial Plate which is an online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating. www.theperennialplate.com
Caldo Foods – St. Paul, MN
Caldo Foods is a small Minnesota vendor crafting small batches of its flagship product, harissa. The Caldo team was disappointed in the harissa products found in specialty shops and grocers and so their journey began. Traveling around the world to source the perfect blend of chili peppers, grinding them with the perfect amounts of garlic and spices. After creating the perfect harissa, Caldo has continued it journey with other dips and spreads to expand its offereing.
Wildly Organic – Silver Bay, MN
Wildly Organic is an independent source for wholesome organic foods and other natural foods and products. Like you, they care deeply about food, where it comes from, and how it’s made. The products are carefully sourced and prepared for exceptional nutrition, flavor, and quality. The founders moved their family to the pristine wilderness of northern Minnesota in search of a better life. They studied organic food and nutrition and built relationships with growers and suppliers who shared their values.
Sister’s Mezze – St. Paul, MN
Sisters’ Mezze hummus was born in the kitchen of Palwasha “Paula” Gharwal, an Afghan-American with over 30 years of experience as a chef of delicious Afghan cuisine. The company is family owned and operated with a collective mission to share Paula’s gourmet recipes the way she serves it in her own home. Paula’s homemade hummus remains true to its roots – a commitment to authenticity, health, freshness and quality.
Taking Stock – St. Paul, MN
Taking Stock Foods is based in St. Paul and specializes in bone and vegan broths that are good enough to drink! Our products are made from simple recipes that allow the high quality of ingredients to speak for themselves. Learn more about drinking broth at our broth bars, featured at farmer's markets this summer, and on our website. Check them out at www.takingstockfoods.com
Surrender Salmon is a family- and fisherman-owned small business located in Minneapolis, MN. The Niver Family runs the fishing vessel called Surrender, and fishes and fishes the world’s largest sustainable wild Sockeye Salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, AK.
Burnett Dairy Cooperative
Unlike mass-produced cheeses, Burnett Dairy cheese comes from a family farm community in Wisconsin, where they take extreme pride in every aspect of cheese making starting from the ground up. Burnett Dairy Farm delivers exceptional craftsmanship, passion and elevates the everyday cheese experience with inspired quality and inventive flavors. All cheeses are natural, fresh and made with pride.
True Dough's products are 100% certified USDA Organic and their wholesome ingredients are locally sourced from the Midwest as much as possible. They don't use any additives or preservatives, that's why you'll find their products in the freezer section. Instead of using artificial chemicals, they give their dough the time it needs to fully ferment and rise. This results in superior flavor and texture that is unmatched in any other store bought pizza dough product.
Serious Jam is a small buisness based out of Saint Paul. Heidi Skoog, owner and chef is seriously comitted to hand making quality jam, with quality ingredients, one batch at a time.
Fetherstone Farms is a certified organic family farm which produces over 70 varieties of fruits and vegetables. The farm has been comitted on growing healthy products, environmental sustainablility and community involvement since 1994.
Stickney Hill Dairy
Stickney Hill Dairy is a world leader in goat milk products offering one of the most comprehensive supplies of goat milk products. Their professional approach and customer orientation provides an awesome local supplier and product.
Cherry Tree House Mushrooms
Started in several south minneapolis backyards, Cherry Tree House Mushrooms quickly grew into a successful business selling mushrooms and mushroom kits throughout the Twin Cities. CTHM are certified organic and are grown on sustainable harvested logs. Log grown mushrooms provide a superior product and help reduce carbon emissions by commercial mushroom farming.
Reble Soil grows food free of harmful pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. Their practices rebel against the ugly, dominant, far-reaching methods of modern agriculture. There is a way to grow food with regard to the natural world and each season they strive to do just that.
Indian Harvest’ story began in the northern Minnesota town of Bemidji. Surrounded by pristine lakes and pine forests, a local couple started the little company in 1978. Wild rice was their primary product becasue it grows abundantly in the shallow lakes and rivers of northern Minnesota. the name Indian Harvest reflects the spirit and heritage involved in the harvest of the wild rice grains. We love using Indian Harvest for its superior product and awesome story.
Nordic Creamery is making some of the finest gourmet, artisan cheese and butter. They handcraft each small batch and their cheese is “Certified Naturally Grown. This means they don’t give their cows or goats any hormones such as rBGH and they don’t add artificial ingredients. Nordic Cremery cows are grass feed in open pastures during the summer and feed a mostly grass hay diet during the winter as well.
Tripple Crown BBQ Sauce
Tripple Crown BBQ Sauce is an award winning BBQ sauce from NE Minneapolis. It has a rich, complex flavor and happens to vegan!
A Middle Eastern deli and bakery in NE Minneapolis making some of the best fresh flatbreads, hummus, and falafel around.
York Farm produces organically grown fruits for Hutchinson, Minnesota, and the surrounding communities. Their main crops are strawberries, table grapes, pears, and apples. The farm has been in the family since 1971 and they have been growing produce since 2009.
The Herbivorous Butcher
Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA)
Isabel Street Heat
Dumpling & Strand
Exceptionally curious noodles. That’s what the Noodlers at Dumpling & Strand seek in every single batch of their fresh-made (never dried!) noodles. Newly launched, these Twin Cities noodlers, Jeff and Kelly, are bringing innovation to noodles; from shapes to technique to ingredients. We’re excited to work with Dumpling & Strand to create fresh new recipes using their fresh new pasta.
Poplar Hill Dairy Farm
The Salad Girl Organic Salad Dressing Company believes that eating fresh, organic goodness benefits us individually, communally, and environmentally. They are committed to bringing healthy, safe, and tasty organic products to our tables.
Lindsey Bomgren – Nourish Move Love
Sunrise Flour Mill
Forest Mushroom Company
St. Joesph, MN Forest Mushrooms is a family-owned business nestled in the woods and hills of Central Minnesota. Since their start in 1985 they have grown and distributed edible (cultivated fresh, harvested wild and dried) specialty mushrooms. They grow fresh oyster (Pleurotus) and shiitake (Lentinus) mushrooms, and offer a full line of other specialty mushrooms. Their production facilities are located near St. Joseph, Minnesota, 75 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
Minnesota Nice Spice
Organic Valley Farms
Harmony Valley Farms
Grass Run Farms
Sunrise Creative Gourmet
Sunrise began in 1913 in Hibbing, MN, by the Forti family specializing in pastas, ethnic specialties and bakery products, and a wide variety of Minnesota made items.
Hidden Stream Farms
Hidden Stream Farm is a small family farm located near Elgin, MN. We raise grass-fed beef, all natural pork, and pasture chickens on sunshine, grass, and fresh air the way nature intended.
Prairie Dogs Hot Dogs and Handcrafted Sausage is a brand new way to serve and eat encased meat. The Twin Cities have always been bratwurst towns, but Prairie Dogs is taking the simple hot dog and sausage to new levels of craftsmanship and flavor.
In 1988, Hugh expanded from carrots, to onions and root crops and became organic certified in 1989, the same year he began growing the potatoes. Hugh also buys potatoes from Larry Heitkamp of Yellow Rose Organic near Sebeka, MN; the Don Vig Organic Farm near Valley City, N.D., and John and Donald Dufner of the Donald Dufner Organic Farm near Buxton, ND. All three farms are certified organic by International Certification Services, Inc.
Horner's Corner is a maple syrup operation, with apples and pears available in season. We're located about 8 miles north of Boyceville, WI, and have been making maple syrup (even when it was just in pans on a wood fire) for over 25 years. The work starts sometime in January, when Steve and his partners, Sam and Mike, start tapping the trees. The sap flows when the daytime temperature reaches above 32 degrees and nighttime temperatures fall below freezing. Around these parts, we expect the sap to start flowing sometime in early March. Typically, the season then runs about 4-5 weeks. Last year, they took 30,000 gallons of sap and turned it into maple syrup.
The Fish Guys
The Fish Guys, Inc., was founded in 1993 with the desire to source the freshest and widest variety of seafood from around the globe and deliver it locally to customers who understand and appreciate uncompromising quality. With this aim, we quickly became the Midwest's premier wholesale supplier of fresh and frozen seafood. And, we did it by demonstrating respect at every step. From our choice of fishing and farming partners and meticulous whole-fish processing to our stringent sustainability practices and unwavering customer-centric service, we treat our people, our product, our process, our environment and our customers with the utmost respect. We can't imagine doing business any other way.
Prairie Hollow Farms
Prairie Hollow was started in 1986 which is when they converted to organic dairy production and In 1998, the family garden was expanded and the first CSA shares were sold. In 2000, a cheese plant was built and in 2005, the entire operation was moved to Elgin, MN and the process of converting the land to organic, grass-based dairy production was begun. In 2008, vegetable production was re-established and a season extending greenhouse was added to provide fresh vegetables throughout the winter months. Prairie Hollow Farms is run by Pam Benike and her sons, Isaiah and Jonathan, and her daughter Bethany.
Red Table Meat Co.
Rooted in local farms and grounded in Northeast Minneapolis, “No Surrender” is the maxim that guides this small company. Red Table Meat Co. buys whole pigs from small, sustainable farms and collaborates with farmers to honor the pig from farrow and feed to humane slaughter. With unmatched freshness and exceptional quality in each bite, this studied craft results in a subtle and refined salumi that is immensely shareable. Red Table promises, simply: Good Meat Here.