Last week, PSFN Account Manager, Karen Mauden, and Denise Breyley of Whole Foods Market took a day-long trip to do some “local foraging” in Bellingham and Ferndale. Not only did they find great products, but great people and good times, as well!
Karen (a Skagit County native) recommends driving up to Whatcom via Chuckanut Drive – it’s always scenic and peaceful along the still water. Karen and Denise made their first stops at The Bread Farm and Slough Food just to see what’s cookin’ on the local scene in Bow and Edison, just south of Chuckanut Drive.
The owners of both establishments took time for a sit and a chat, and offered wonderful samples. Of course Karen and Denise purchased “to go” goodies as well. What’s a road trip without snacks? After stopping off at the Bread Farm and Slough Foods, it was off to two more wonderful and dynamic family-run local businesses: Scratch & Peck Feeds and Barlean’s Fishery.
Scratch & Peck
Now here’s a local success story if we’ve ever heard one… When she couldn’t find a suitable product at the feed store to meet her standards for her own urban flock, Diana Ambaum-Meade created her own whole grain feed formula. Impressed by the virtue and quality, fellow chicken owners requested she make feed for them as well. Voila! The business took off!
Denise and Karen took a tour of the production facility at Scratch and Peck, and discussed how Scratch & Peck has grown into a niche product in the non-GMO, and soy-free natural chicken feed market. They even have corn-free feeds and produce feeds for turkeys, pigs, goats, rabbits and sheep. You can see a full product listing for Scratch and Peck here. The rule of thumb is: if it is nourished and nurtured in your back yard or on your small farm, Scratch & Peck can provide feed for it! In here “spare” time Diana has also created Hoopla Garden Center which provides hoops, covers & clamps for 4 X 8 raised garden beds. What a go-getter!
Did you ever think about where those great Barlean’s fish oils in the supplement section come from? Well, they’re local –– as in, Ferndale local! Imagine Denise’s surprise when she saw that the same products which are stocked at Whole Foods in Seattle and distributed globally are made in Ferndale! …And to think we were there to learn about their smoked salmon!
Karen and Denise were greeted and hosted by Ronan Smith, the owner of Barlean’s; Dave Wallace, resident chef and sales manager; and Wes Barker, the fishery’s production manager. There’s a lot going on at Barleans. Several varieties of seafood and shellfish are available at Barlean’s year-round for the truly local crowd. You can come by and pick what you want from the fresh tank. All fish are caught in the morning and sold by the afternoon.
As good as the fresh stuff is, Barlean’s is known for their smoked salmon. Varieties from Barlean’s include Keta, Coho and King in various portions and sides –– traditional or flavored. A morning in the smoker followed by an afternoon at appropriate heat sure yields a beautiful and tasty product!
All in all it was a great day! We love getting out and about and meeting the producers of great local products, and we always have a great time with Denise! (That reminds us, have you seen her blog post about Skagit Fresh Cider? An oldie but a goodie, for sure!)