When you walk into the Tahoe Food Hub Farm Shop, you are drawn to the rich colors of the plethora of produce. Walking around the store there are local products from dry blends of soup, dry beans and grains, to jars of pickles and condiments, tinctures and balms, all made locally. The shop just received a shipment of locally grown farro, which is a wonderful hearty winter grain. The deep freezer holds a variety of meats and other frozen products to choose from. The fridge holds artisan products from local makers with shelves of organic sauces, soups, syrups, homemade pastas, fresh butter and cheeses, to name a few.
Every last Friday of the month, the shop highlights two local makers to bring in their products for shoppers to sample.
Founder Susie Sutphin hands me a pink lady apple from Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits in Newcastle to try. It is crunchy, sweet and absolutely one of the best apples I’ve had all season.
Linnea Whitney manages the shop located at the base of Alpine Meadows Road next to the Crest Café.
“I thought I’d be living on a farm,” said Whitney, a self-proclaimed foodie. “I started out as a volunteer, then projects started popping up and Susie offered me a job. I eventually took over the Farm Shop and now work full time as project manager. I have access to the best food you can get.”
Sutphin started a new venture called “Meet Your Maker.” Every last Friday of the month, the shop highlights two local makers to bring in their products for shoppers to sample.
The idea of sampling products from local bakers and cooks who prepare and sell things in the shop was something Sutphin had been mulling over.
“I wanted to hold an event that celebrates our producers and the name, Meet Your Maker, just came up,” Sutphin said.
I received a call from Sutphin to be one of the makers. My business, The Seasoned Sage, provides healthy organic foods for people too busy to cook.I prepared two soups, a red lentil and butternut squash dal soup and an Italian wedding soup.
Luca Adriani of Born and Bread was the other maker featured.
“I call it natural leavened bread,” said Adriani of the bread he makes. “I use a 24-hour fermentation process, which allows the breakdown of the starches, so the bread is more digestible. Some people with gluten intolerance can enjoy the bread.”
Luca’s bread was baked to perfection; a deep-brown, caramel-colored exterior and crunchy crust with a soft middle yielded a fabulous slightly tangy taste that was absolutely delicious. Adriani’s bread wasa perfect complement to the soups I prepared, both were gluten free and dairy free.
People started streaming in around 2:30 p.m. and samples were tried and tasted. Tahoe Weekly ’s Anne Artoux sampled the Italian wedding soup and immediately added it to her basket of produce.
Jonathon Aylward, a local resident, popped in the shop after skiing and also tried the Italian wedding soup. He sipped the broth and offered this: “The broth is so good. It reminds me of how you feel after a long night of great conversation. This is like drinking that feeling.”
The next Meet Your Marker event is Feb. 23 featuring Small Batch Sauce Company from North Lake Tahoe serving enchilada and barbecue sauce. The Farm Shop is open Thursdays and Fridays.