I am a big fan of supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs. Especially in this economy, people who strike out on their own and are putting out quality products and services really inspires me.
Some friends of mine are really, really into cheese. I was more of a cheddar or provolone on a sandwich kind of gal before being exposed to the wide world of artisan cheeses. Enter Tim The Cheeseman! Tim works in the cheese area of Star Provisions on Howell Mill and is an expert on the stuff. He recently hosted ‘Cheese Week’ and it was fantastic. Be sure to follow Tim on Twitter for all the latest on cheese and offerings from Star Provisions!
I visited Star Provisions on two occasions during Cheese Week and got to meet the lovely Angie from Phickles Pickles out of Athens, GA. I didn’t realize all the things you could pickle and had never had a picked carrot before! (Yes, I’m not from around here).
Picked up some of her pickled okra for my friend Charlie, which I hear is amazing in bloody mary’s and that is Charlie’s drink of choice at brunch. They also offer pickled green tomatoes, which was their first product on the market, carrots, green beans, and celery. I’m learning more and more about the south and apparently pickling is a big tradition! Follow Phickles Pickles on Twitter!
Next up at Cheese Week was Rogue Creamery from Central Point, Oregon! As I’ve dipped my toe in the cheese world, I’d heard awesome things about the company and got to meet David, their cheesemaker and try their blue and cheddar cheeses.
I’ll be upfront and say I’m not a huge fan of blue cheeses, but their Rogue River Blue is a work of art, award-winning (2nd Place - American Cheese Society 2010) and was one of the mildest blues I’ve ever tasted. The cheese is handmade and wrapped in grape leaves which have been macerated in pear brandy. Doesn’t that sound amazing? I loved their chocolate stout cheddar cheese and took some to a dinner party recently and it was a big hit!
So you may be wondering, this blog post is titled ‘Buy Local’ and it has two featured companies not even in Atlanta! Well, that’s because in my opinion, buying local isn’t just about sticking to your town, but supporting all local businesses - whether it’s in GA or Oregon. Support courageous people who have big dreams and great products and the world will be that much more awesome for it!