Before I tell you what the star of our show today – The Quality Beet in Michigan City, IN -doesn’t have, allow me to share with you how I met Tim – owner and operator.
For years, Jake’s Country Meats has supported Edible Michiana and their quest to connect the community with local food in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. In March of this year one of our friends from the magazine suggested we connect with a new market in Michigan City called the Quality Beet.
On my next trip through the area I messaged the Quality Beet through Facebook and quickly heard back from Tim, he was happy to chat and we quickly made a connection. Within days he had placed his first order and by Friday we started stocking his freezer with Jake’s.
Once I decided to start #TheWurstBlog I knew I had to talk to Tim further and feature the Quality Beet – looks like I wasn’t the only one – you can find the full article on Edible Michiana‘s online edition – “Eat to the Beat” – maybe that should be Beet…
I had tried to connect with Tim on a number of deliveries, but the timing was always off as I was coming back from Chicago after a long day.
This week however I made the commitment to heading over his way during midweek to ensure we had time to talk. It helped that I had two new accounts that needed a small delivery – one in Michigan City and the other in Valparaiso.
The first was Bartlett’s Fish Camp. I met Nicole at the New Buffalo Farmer’s Market just weeks ago at her food truck and we quickly connected about her newest concept which was soon to open in Michigan City. Can’t wait to visit once they open and try one of our thick cut pork chops!
The Quality Beet was just blocks away – it was a slow afternoon and I was able to spend some “Quality” time with Tim enjoying cold brew coffee and talking about food and community.
Tim shared that this type of business had been in his vision for a number of years. First looking in Kalamazoo, before being wooed to come back to his hometown of Michigan City.
Working to make good food affordable to the community, Tim carries a wide range of items from produce to snack items. He is able to support a number of local producers through direct sales and hosting a produce CSA in addition to offering coffee and smoothies to the local community.
And what doesn’t the Quality Beet have? Plastic bags and egg cartons. Tim encourages customers to bring their own storage containers to reduce the waste the store produces.
After chatting with Tim I was off to another new partner – Sage Restaurant in Valparaiso. I had talked to Chef Joe throughout the spring and was delivering product to him for the first time – custom cut pork hocks – I love when chefs are able to use non-traditional cuts! Truly respecting the pigness of the pig.
Yet another restaurant I have to visit to enjoy some Jake’s…. it is a rough life, but someone has to do it…