Chicago grocery store only sells Midwest goods

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A new grocery store requires that everything under the roof -- including the butcher shop and cafe -- be rooted in the Midwest. (WLS)

A lot of stores and restaurants in Chicago promote the fact that many of their ingredients are local.

But a new grocery store goes quite a bit further and requires that everything under the roof -- including the butcher shop and cafe -- be rooted in the Midwest.

Working with Midwestern farmers has always been the mantra for Rob Levitt. His Butcher & Larder works with whole animals, and when the opportunity arose to partner with the new Local Foods Market in a manufacturing zone between Bucktown and Lincoln Park, he jumped at the chance to move his business there.

"Kind of the same reason we opened Butcher & Larder so many years ago, is because we were familiar with all these local farmers, and we wanted to open up a store that made all this great product really accessible to regular people," said Levitt.

Produce and products, all with a Midwestern address, but a large part of the operation is Levitt's butcher shop, which sources all-natural animals.

"People who are raising cows on grass and pigs on pasture and getting the really good quality animals from small, family farmers; committing to them to buy the whole animal," he said.

There's also Stock - the store's in-house cafe - which uses whatever is produced and sold on the premises, and turns them into hearty, regional dishes, like heirloom tomatoes with housemade cottage cheese, roasted cauliflower, a fancy assortment of Upper Michigan pasties, and plenty of other creative main dishes.

"It's fun to come into a place like this and get eggplant parmesan that's made with local eggplant and housemade tomato
sauce and cheese from a small Midwestern farm and have it all piled up and it's really delicious," said Levitt.

Now Stock, the restaurant here at Local Foods, isn't kidding around when they say everything is from the Midwest. For example, this lunch - all the vegetables, herbs and cheese from either Illinois or Wisconsin, even the root beer is from Milwaukee.

The butcher shop is also doing a lot of wholesale orders for other restaurants, especially on weekends, when there is higher, last-minute demand.

Local Foods
1427 W. Willow St., Chicago
(312) 432-6575
http://localfoods.com/

Related Topics:
foodhungry houndfoodChicago - Wicker Park
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