10 Midwest-Made Food Products We Love

 In Food, Guide

Eating local has so many benefits: it’s one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s an investment in your local economy, and it builds community connections. When you buy from a farmers market or small shop, you get to know the farmers and makers who create the delicious, fresh food you cook up at home.

Today, we’re celebrating the bounty of the Midwest with a curated list of ten locally made food products we recommend picking up next time you’re browsing the grocery aisles.

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Photo courtesy of Upton’s Naturals.

Upton’s Naturals
Based in Chicago, Upton’s Naturals is an independently owned natural-foods company that focuses on meat alternatives. The first to offer seasoned and ready-to-eat packaged jackfruit, you can sample their jackfruit tacos and other vegan eats at their factory cafe, Upton’s Breakroom, in Chicago.

The Brinery
This Michigan-based maker of sauerkraut, kimchi and hot sauce is committed to preserving healthy and wholesome produce through the ancient art of fermentation. They got their start in 2010 with a small batch of sauerkraut meant to preserve a surplus of fresh cabbage at Tantré Farm in Chelsea, MI.

TruBee Honey
A Nashville-based company, TruBee’s honey is raw, unpasteurized and cultivated by “free-range” bees, so that each jar captures the taste of nature in a particular place and time.

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Photo courtesy of TruBee Honey.

Co-op Sauce
Co-op Sauce has been working with Midwestern farmers and raising money for youth-arts and entrepreneurship programs in Chicago since 2003. In a few years time, Co-op Sauce went from being a way to fundraise to a quickly growing business. Though the company has grown, the hot sauce is still crafted in small batches with hand-picked ingredients sourced straight from farmers in the Midwest.

Here Foods
All of Here’s cold-pressed juices, dips, spreads and dressings are made in the Midwest with as many local ingredients as they can pack into them. With a focus on plant-based foods, they’re committed to sourcing, producing and distributing locally.

Big Heart Tea
Big Heart Tea proclaims they’re on a “covert mission to make you feel good” with their hand-blended herbal teas in flavors like “Cup of Sunshine” and “Cup of Love.” Want to learn more? Read our interview with creator Lisa Gorvo.

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Photo courtesy of Big Heart Tea.

Kansas City Canning Co.
Developed from a passion for food preservation, Kansas City Canning Co. specializes in pickles, preserves and cocktail goods, making use of as much locally sourced produce and product as possible. Favorites include their spicy Ancho Date Butter and Pickled Green Tomatoes.

Arize Kombucha
This Chicago-based kombucha brewer is all about sustainability. They source organic whole-leaf teas and ingredients from as close to their brew house as possible and only distribute in the Chicago area, minimizing their ecological imprint as much as possible. When you’re in the Windy City, pop into one of the numerous cafes that carry their kombuchas on tap.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
It’s James Beard Award-winner Jeni Britton Bauer’s creative flavors like Churro and Goat Cheese and Red Cherries that keep the Midwest screaming for ice cream. Jeni’s is based in Columbus, Ohio, but now distributes nationwide.

Nashville Jam Company
Owners Cortney and Gary started out by giving their strawberry-jalapeño jam, peach-habanero jam and six-pepper jelly away as gifts at Christmas. Now, they operate their own Nashville Jam Company restaurant and distribute their jams and jellies broadly, maintaining their commitment to small-batch cooking.

Cover photo courtesy of Kansas City Canning Co.

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