Our roots may be decidedly midwestern, but our connections span from coast to coast.
The midwest - and more specifically Chicago, is the city that MidwestRoots calls home. But, that doesn't mean we always stay rooted in our home state of Illinois. We work closely with each of our producers so that we can represent both them and their artisan products with integrity and passion, acting as their proxies out in the marketplace. We've foraged for dandelion greens with Justin Rashid of American Spoon, watched an olive go from tree to bottle at the ENZO ranch, and tasted crackers fresh from the oven at the Potter's kitchen in Madison, Wisconsin. These are just a few examples of our firsthand adventures with the products and the heritage behind our lineup of clients and beyond. In this space, we share a sampling of these stories spanning our travels, with you.
Winter Food Shows 2016 / San Francisco, California
To start off the year, Fritz and Susanna traveled to San Francisco, CA for a jam packed weekend of food shows and MidwestRoots producers connecting and sharing their product with new audiences. It all began with the Good Food Awards on Saturday....
Day Trip to Los Angeles, California
While in California, Susanna met up with another MidwestRoots producer, Matthew Walton - owner of Zlicious Confections. Matt played tour guide throughout Susanna's stay in LA - and they even came across some other Midwest connections along the way (see J.Q. Dickinson at Belcampo). Before heading back to Chicago, Susanna also did and in-store demonstration and tasting of both ENZO Olive Oils and Zlicious Confections savory popcorn line at FarmShop in LA. Greeting a generous influx of lunch rush foot traffic, Susanna was able to have meaningful conversations with customers excited to learn more about some of the products their frequented specialty store carries. With a selection of other domestic olive oils carried in-house, it was an opportunity to show customers through taste and providing a pleasurable experience, exactly why ENZO is set apart. It was also an opportunity to reintroduce another local to Los Angeles producer - Zlicous Confections. With their newest endeavor of savory popcorns recently hitting the shelves - it was the perfect time to get in front of consumers new and old alike to reinforce that their favorite artisan producer of sweet and salty caramel corn has another card up their sleeve.
ENZO Olive Oil Co. / Ricchiuti Family Farms in Madera, California
We love any excuse to travel to the golden state - especially when it involves experiencing the journey of olives from tree to bottle at the ENZO Olive Oil ranch. Operating Manager Vincent Ricchiuti showed Susanna around the ranch and the processing facility where she got to follow this intensive farm to bottle journey from start to finish. The name "ENZO" comes from the nickname for Vincenzo, Vincent's great grandfather. With a name and a process that give a healthy nod to the lineage of 4 generations of Ricchiuti family farmers - the olives that get pressed into ENZO's line of oils have been 100% estate grown on fertile American soil in the San Joaquin Valley since 1914. Today, father and son Patrick and Vincent operate ENZO with a hands-on approach - from the planting of each tree to harvesting the crop, milling the fruit and bottling the oil. This care and tradition of quality ensures that you can expect a premium, aromatic, and flavorful bottle of certified organic and extra virgin olive oil each and every time you bring one home to stock in your pantry.
Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures...
-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland