This post is written through a partnership with Sprouts Farmers Market.
What does it mean to “shop local?”
In today’s “Amazon” world everyone is migrating to instant gratification and wanting to order everything online, knowing that it will be delivered tomorrow. The meaning of shopping local is changing. Small businesses are closing their doors. Buildings are sitting vacant for longer. They can’t compete with the Amazon-lifestyle. I’m pretty sure the only places I’ve shopped locally within the last month has been our grocery store, craft store, and drugstore. Aside from that anything that we need we usually order online and have it delivered to our house. However, I’m not much of a shopper so our needs are pretty limited.
I don’t think I’ll ever start grocery shopping online. That would require me to have a set meal plan and use a grocery list to know exactly what I need days in advance. No more stopping by the grocery store on the way home to grab a few things for dinner. I just don’t see our lifestyles changing that much in the coming years, for us our grocery stores are safe from Amazon!! Even though we may be shopping chain grocery stores, they do employee local families and they source food locally as often as possible. I personally love it when I see the “Fresh from Florida” on labels in the grocery store.
Right now it’s strawberry season in Florida and almost all of the local grocery stores are running amazing specials on fresh Florida berries!! I’ll actually select Florida brands over brands of berries from other states if I see them in the store because I know they are fresher and helping to support our local communities. We’re actually pretty blessed in Florida to have access to fresh produce almost year round.
I’m excited to see what types of local options Sprouts Farmer’s Market has to offer when they open locally. At Sprouts, they describe “local” as “made or produced in my state or within 500 miles.” One of their local vendors is Clear Springs Blueberry Farm in Bartow, FL (about halfway between Tampa and Orlando). Clear Springs operates a blueberry farm, a strawberry farm, a grape tomato farm, and a cattle ranch. Their products can be found locally at Sprouts Farmers Market stores.
Sprouts will also be stocking products from the Dakin Dairy Farm in Manatee County, Florida. I spent a few days on some dairy farms last summer with Stonyfield Organics and have a new appreciation for where our food comes from and how the cattle are treated. Dakin Family Dairy has been milking cows and producing delicious, wholesome milk since 1973. As a sustainable farm, Dakin applies their composted manure to over 250 acres of grass – because soil amended with compost reduces water usage and fertilizer needs. Grasses are watered not only by rain, but with nutrient rich water recycled from barns. Dakin cows are fed and cared for as organically as possible, with their overall health being the number one concern. A healthy, well-fed cow produces high quality milk – with all the added benefits that come from fresh grass!
I couldn’t resist sharing a picture from our Farm Tour of the cows at one of the dairy farms we visited with Stonyfield.
We may not be the best at shopping local for all of our needs, but I do make an effort to support the local communities and farms whenever we can. Food is one of the last remaining products that we can still produce cheaper here in the United States and locally. We need to continue to support these businesses and shop fresh, shop local, and shop small as often as possible. I’m thankful that Sprouts will provide us with a few new options locally.
Read more about the new Sprouts Farmer’s Market coming soon to Tampa on my previous post; Sprouts is coming to Carrollwood! There are a few other locations coming soon as well. Once there’s one close enough I’m sure it will become a regular stopping place for local product and for their amazing Sprouts private label foods; like their cookie butter!!