Local Vendor Day Fall 2015

“Would you like to try some free samples from some of our local vendors?” one MacCracken employee says to two students, passing along the sidewalk.

The two girls exchange a quick glance and grin. At once, they reply “sure” and head off, walking amongst the tables set in the grass, just outside Market Street at MacCracken.

It’s a gorgeous fall day, not to warm and not too cold. The setting afternoon sun, from just over Porter Hall, seems to spotlight the Local Vendor Event, flooding the lawn area. Two former Miami University employees play musical instruments, providing a folksy, down to earth ambiance, drawing in student after student, including one tour group, absorbed into the inviting, quaint setting.

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There was something natural and authentic about last Thursday’s 2015 fall rendition of Local Vendor Day. A certain charm about it. The premise of the day was simple; some of Miami University’s local food providers come visit, offer free samples and answer any questions students have about their products or how they are made. The draw for students, is not only that they can meet the people behind their food, but that students have the opportunity to taste test items that can be easily purchased right there at MacCracken. Not to mention, it puts a face to the name for some of the products featured at the MacCracken market, literally introducing students to the people behind readily available, homegrown, local food.

The vendors who attended this Local Vendor Day were: Grandola Granola, Reserve Run Farm, Just Mike’s Jerky, Windy Acres, Madisono’s Gelato and The Organic Farm at Bear Creek. Each vendor provided samples of their own products, which included vegan granola, locally raised beef sliders, beef jerky of various flavors, a variety of candies and goodies, authentic Italian gelato and delicious organic salsa, respectively.

While a rather odd assortment when listed together, each and every vendor was well-received by students, many of which seemingly unaware that the products they were tasting were just under their noses in the MacCracken market.

While the event allowed the vendors to introduce their products to students, it also gave students the opportunity to meet the faces behind their food and hear their stories. We place so much value on natural, authentic and high-quality food. What is more natural and authentic than products grown locally?

Grandola Granola and Madisono’s are both Cincinnati based businesses. The Organic Farm at Bear Creek is located in Ohio’s Washington Township (Clermont County). Just Mike’s Jerky is from Medina, Ohio and Windy Acres is from Wilmington, Ohio. Reserve Run Farm, who sells beef at the MacCracken market and provides the beef used at Maplestreet’s Encounter, is from our very own Oxford, Ohio.

The beauty of buying and selling locally is that there is something very authentic about that relationship. Whether it is the story of how Reserve Run Farm came to be, how the owner of Madisono’s attended Ice Cream University in New York or how Grandola Granola began as merely a quick snack for a loved one, there always appears to be more than meets the eye. After all, these are local businesses, started by normal people who had a passion for what they were doing.

Thank you to those who stopped by and got a taste of Local Vendor Day! If you want to know more about these locations, continue to check-in here at The Miami Spread as we will dive deeper into the stories behind each of the six vendors who attended. If you want to dive into the food though, you can find products from each of these vendors in Market Street at MacCracken!

“Locally Grown” series;

Madisono’s Gelato

Reserve Run Family Farm

Just Mike’s Jerky Company

Grandola Granola

The Organic Farm at Bear Creek

Windy Acres

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