After a cool spring, we are finally getting close to having our produce departments full of locally grown products. We have many local growers in Wisconsin that we partner with us at Festival Foods and the weather has really been a challenge for them this year. Some of our growers deliver to only one store and bring us one type of item and other growers deliver to multiple stores with pallets and truck loads. Whether big or small, we are happy to have all of our local growers on the Festival team. Today I would like to highlight one of our larger growers, Vallei Farms. Vallei Farms was established in Coleman, WI (near Marinette) in 1992 by Gary and Val Jashinsky and their four children, Brent, Chris, Leigh, and Gary. The farm started very small with the family growing cucumbers that were handpicked for local canning factories. Their small hobby grew into a larger farm that now supplies a variety of vegetables for our Appleton, Marshfield, Eau Claire and Suamico stores as well as other store operations in Wisconsin. The farm is owned and operated by the Jashinsky family and has been built through their relentless dedication and love for growing produce. The sweet corn and vast majority of the produce is handpicked. Diligent planning is used each year to provide the most delicious vegetables possible for the growing season. We have a great relationship with Gary and it is refreshing to know that when we place our orders, we are talking to the person who is directly growing the product. Right now, there are only a couple locally grown items available. As we approach the end of July and get into August the variety of locally grown produce will really expand. Please be on the lookout for the orange “locally grown” signs so you can take advantage of the best that Wisconsin has to offer.
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