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Local Food Economy

photo Bob Perkoski

Cleveland has a remarkable restaurant scene, one that consistently surprises visitors from so-called "larger markets." There is no denying that access to quality ingredients deserves much of the credit. Long before the farm-to-table trend swept across the national landscape, Cleveland chefs were buying and preparing bushels of locally produced foodstuffs. But farms no longer are reserved for the countryside; urban farms are invading the city at record pace, transforming craggy patches into lush, productive plots. All of these features foster a thriving local foods economy that ranges from farm stands and food trucks to coffee shops and culinary incubators. 

Features

Ohio City Farmís workers from The Refugee Empowerment Agricultural Program

Innovations from Cleveland's urban farms are taking root around the world

One wouldn't guess by its industrial past, but Cleveland has surprising ties to the roots of urban farming in America—and they're on full display at these local farms, which were spotlighted recently at the global Meeting of the Minds conference. See why Chateau Hough, Green City Growers, Rid-All Green Partnership, and Ohio City Farm are now serving as a blueprint for MOTM experts to apply in their own cities.

Tom Lix owner of Cleveland Whiskey

The room where it happens: There's a whiskey revolution going on right here in Cleveland

The word "heretic" doesn't generally have a positive connotation, but Tom Lix embraces it with a fervor all his own. The Cleveland Whiskey founder and chairman proudly refers to himself an "Industry Heretic, Embracer of Change, and Disruptor of the Status Quo" in his Twitter bio—and he's got the goods to back the claim up.

The West Side Market

West side story: The West Side Market enters a new era at 94 percent occupancy

Cleveland’s most notable food institution is enjoying a renaissance. In mid-September, the West Side Market welcomed eight new retailers, bringing the market to 94 percent occupancy.

Masonís Creamery vegan: Olive oil, blueberry, Thai tea, lulo, guava, strawberry jam sorbet

Hidden Cleveland: ice cream secrets

Is there an east/west divide when it comes to summer's top treat? What's the mystery behind a legendary local malt? Does a secret ice cream menu lurk in Ohio City? Fresh Water's got all the insider 411 on cool faves in the 216.  

Rumi's Market

Offbeat eats: six of the best local ethnic eateries

Iraqi kebobs, duck blood soup and hard to find Latino spirits — that's just for starters in this under-the-radar roundup of some the best (and little known) noshing in the 216.
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Featured Videos

Bourbon infused Smoker Bricx

Cleveland Whiskey: Building its success brick by 'bricx'

Last week, Cleveland Whiskey entered a new product category with the launch of its new Smoker Bricx grilling chips. Watch this video to learn more about their smokin' new offering, then click here to read more about the method behind the madness.

Rust Belt Riders

Rust Belt Riders: "Feed People, Not Landfills"

This inspiring video from ideastream follows the Rust Belt Riders on their mission to transform Cleveland's considerable food waste into compost and animal feed.

Fresh Gear

Refresh Collective's fresh take on engaging CLE youth

Founded by David "Dee Jay Doc" Harrill, Refresh Collective offers a plethora of programs designed to energize and empower local youth. The common thread? Hip-hop. Check out this video about Fresh Force, its workforce development program through which students learn design, screen printing, sales, and entrepreneurship via the Fresh Gear T-shirt line. (And don't miss our recent story about Freshtoberfest, where hip-hop meets horticulture.)
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Local Food Economy In The News

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Local Food Economy Founders

autumn skoczen

autumn skoczen

City: Broadview Heights
Meet Autumn Skoczen, founder of Auts Tipse Treats, a Broadview Heights maker of the first-ever cupcake shot.
steve demoulpied

steve demoulpied

City: Cleveland Heights
Meet Steve deMoulpied, founder of PrestoFresh Grocery Delivery, a Cleveland Heights online grocer with 10 employees and plans to expand to 15-20 shortly. 
adam fleischer

adam fleischer

City: Cleveland Heights
Meet Adam Fleischer, co-founder of the Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights, a fine wine and craft beer destination.
terry frick

terry frick

City: Ohio City
Meet Terry Frick, founder of  Frickaccio’s Pizza Market in the West Side Market and Fairview. Frickaccio’s is the maker of the Famous Pizza Bagel, better known as the Pizagle.
tom lix

tom lix

City: Downtown
Meet Tom Lix, founder of Cleveland Whiskey.
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