Farmers’ Market Roundup Highlights Bone Broth and Catering
Molly Clark, along with a partner, has set up a subscription-based company selling bone broth.
‘Tis the season for farmers markets, as Foodservice News, along with other local media, was invited to sample some of the new offerings from small batch producers who will be
manning booths at farmers markets around Minneapolis this spring and summer. The event, First Taste, was held at Sociable Cider Werks in Minneapolis in late April. The organizer was the newly formed collaboration of Farmers Markets of Minneapolis. Here are two of the food purveyors we met, with more profiles to come.
Boning Up on a New Way to Deliver Daily Health
Molly Clark's business started with the bare bones. It originally was a soup company with the clever name, The Twin Cities Stock Exchange, but as she and her business partner, Maddy Kaudy, read more about the benefits of bone broth, they shifted gears, moving to the equally clever name, Taking Stock Foods, and began focusing on drinkable bone broth.
While “drinkable bone broth” may sound a bit unappetizing, just listen to the benefits: It has anti-inflammatory properties, promotes clearer skin and thicker hair, has 6 grams of protein and is easy on the stomach.
Ironically, the two partners who now work exclusively with organic chicken bones met while working at a steak restaurant in 2011. By 2015, they were cooking soup together. They launched the revised company in December 2015, selling their bone broth to hungry—and cold—shoppers at the Northeast Minneapolis Winter Farmers Market. The bone broth comes in four varieties: vegan mushroom ginger broth (made from oyster mushrooms), salted or unsalted classic broth and ginger turmeric broth. And while the partners encourage customers to become daily bone broth drinkers, the product can also be used in recipes calling for stock or liquid.
The difference, by the way, between broth and stock is subtle. Broth is the liquid strained from cooking meat, while stock derives its flavor from using primarily the bones as its main ingredient. Bone broth is cooked for 12 hours until the bones are soft enough to crush. Cider vinegar is then added for both flavor and to break down the bones further. “By taking these measures, we create a product that has a collagen-rich structure and a meaty flavor,” they say on their website.
The company’s tagline is “Good enough to drink” and their slogan: “Taking the time to do things right.”
Pints of bone broth can be ordered online at www.takingstockfoods.com and like most smart meal companies today, they have a subscription service. They ship not only to the Twin Cities area, but their frozen pints, packed in dry ice, can be shipped anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Delivery is free in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and South Dakota.
Three monthly subscriptions are: Broth Recruit: $150 for one 7.25oz serving a day at $4.69 (two deliveries a month); Broth Devotee: $290 for two servings a day at $4.53 per serving (weekly delivery);
Broth Advocate: $525 for four servings a day at $4.10 per serving (weekly deliveries).
Since they don’t want to put all their eggs in one basket, they’re continuing their presence at farmers markets in Minnesota, while building their nest egg.
Catering to vegan weddings and other special meatless occasions
Heather Klein and Robbie Sims are on track to launch their vegan catering company into a restaurant by 2020.
Heather Klein met her business partner, Robbie Sims, on Facebook. Both were interested in opening a vegan restaurant in the Twin Cities and joined a group of like-minded people culled from Facebook to discuss it. Most of the people who attended wanted limited roles in a restaurant, but Sims, who had given up snow tubing to attend, was all in. While holding onto their day jobs, Klein and Sims launched Root to Rise Kitchen.
The two are waiting to open a brick-and-mortar spot for their vegan food, but they have a pathway: pop-ups to catering to farmers markets. By summer 2018, they expect to have a food truck; by summer 2019, products in stores; and by summer 2020, “we’ll have a restaurant.”
Summer is a busy time. In addition to selling their vegan meatball sandwiches and walking tacos at the farmers market, they have numerous weddings to cater.
“The plant-based movement has been booming the last couple of years,” Klein says. In addition to health issues, there are environmental concerns as well as the horrors depicted in documentaries on the unethical treatment of animals.
Once she made the switch in her personal diet, Klein switched her catering business to vegan as well. She and Sims have come up with most of their own recipes, because “I didn’t like the offering out there. I'm particular in my tastes.”
She makes her own cheese from nuts and relies on clean ingredients to eliminate those “weird chemical flavors” in some vegan items replacing meat.
Their catering menus follow the seasons and what’s fresh. Working at a farmers market can be a busman’s holiday. After they sell out of their lunch offerings they can shop for the next event.
Because their catering menus are so diverse, no one leaves a vegan wedding hungry; in fact, it’s hard not to run out of food because guests are so intrigued with the colors, textures and creative things one can do when you take meat off the table.