LYNNE ROSSETTO KASPER of Splendid Table fame, and multiple James Beard Award winner, is a long time Twin Cities farmer's market customer. She writes about F&E Marketplace: "Where were you when you first tasted a tomato so good the earth moved? I'll bet it was a farmers market. That tomato moved the planet because a farmer intentionally chose that particular type for its flavor, it was a local, grown maybe an hour out of town and picked just the day before. That’s why farmers markets are so essential. They encourage excellence. Farmers have audiences for the chances they take on quality. And our money goes directly to the people who grow our food. Well, we don’t know if outdoor farmers markets are in the cards this year. But there’s a very good stand in.
It’s a virtual market where we can choose that same quality from each local and sustainable farmer and producer. Orders are delivered to a nearby drop point and we collect them with no human contact. It’s a brilliant idea on several levels. First, we get quality, freshness and a chance to try the new things farmers come up with every year. Second, and maybe most important, is we’re supporting farmers and small producers at a time when their usual income sources are closed down. Here’s one way a small extra bit of money can do a great deal of good in this difficult time. And we’ll get first dibs on that wonderful tomato." ~Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Saint Paul, MN Resident
BETH DOOLEY, celebrated James Beard Award Winning Cookbook Author, Star Tribune columnist and local foods advocate has this to say about buying from F&E Marketplace: "How wonderful to fill my pantry with these beautiful foods by makers who care about gracious eating and cooking as much as I do. With these lining the shelves, I feel as though I have my best friends in the kitchen cooking alongside me, helping me make all my dishes — soups, stews, salads — pretty and tasty!" ~ Beth Dooley, Minneapolis, MN Resident, Beth Dooley's Kitchen
MECCA BOS, national food writer, cultural critic, chef, jack-of-all podcast trades and farmer's market aficionado: "I have been a big fan of Frank & Earnest since I first started their Linden Hills Farmers Market marketing program many years ago. At the time, I was the Food Blogger and Dining Critic for City Pages, and I was inundated with press releases and PR materials. Still, Frank & Earnest materials stood out to me, and I became a big fan of the Linden Hills farmer's market and its vendors. Most of the vendors had fascinating food stories in their own right, and I set about trying to tell them, one by one. Frank & Earnest has an eye for detail, and an obvious passion for food and entrepreneurship that goes way beyond business." ~ Mecca Bos, Minneapolis, MN Resident.
SALLY MARS, long-time Linden Hills Farmer's Market customer, now online customer:
"The Frank & Ernest Linden Hills Farmers’ Market doesn’t just keep me well fed, it keeps me connected to land, the farmers, the seasons. My participation supports my neighbors, growers and makers so that we will again, all of us, stroll the market together on a glorious spring day. Until then, I continue to reap the benefits of just such a day - the freshest produce, the finest cheese and pastries, all intimately coaxed by human hands. The drive-up market is convenient, organized and personal. My thanks to Libby, Settegrens, Frank & Ernest and my neighbors for this gracious facsimile of one of my favorite Linden Hills traditions, in any form." ~ Sally Mars, Linden Hills, Minneapolis Resident.
TAYA SCHULTE, farmer, online seller, Growing Lots Urban Farm: "I see this as a way to expand my marketing and have a bold online presence where I can really develop a brand (which I ultimately just consider my brand being my story and my values). If I can tell my own story and have a my own brand then that really cuts out the middle man and gives me ultimate autonomy over my business."
"This site also provides easy ways for me to organize pop ups or events as needed. All I have to do is list the produce and set the date. Pre-selling ensures that random pop ups are worth it."
"Libby and Katie have been there to assist and brainstorm and think things through with me even at odd hours of the day...pretty much at the drop of a hat... that's being in community to me, which is something I thought I would be losing with an online platform! That is why I am sticking with them instead of going with other marketing platforms already available...cause I can reach out on a whim with an idea and immediately Frank and Earnest Market is there to help make it a reality and think through logistics! Don't think of this as a rigid platform, it's literally being created in real time, by and for your real local farming community and at this point it can be whatever we want and need to be. We can create with this resource and imagine entirely different ways of selling produce!" ~ Taya Schulte, farmer, Minneapolis Resident
LES MACARE, long time Linden Hills Farmer's Market Vendor, Racing Heart Farm, farmer: "This is a visionary idea, that has the potential to make ordering from multiple farms and vendors easy for customers. I have talked to customers of other markets that are going to multiple vendor websites to place orders each week. With the F&E Marketplace, they could do this all at once, and make pre-order impulse buys as they would at an in-person market! The more vendors at each market that use this platform, the more incentive customers have to use it." ~ Les Macare, farmer, Wisconsin Resident