“Like Grocery Shopping Used to Be”
Thursdays are fresh chicken, Wednesday is fresh bison, Wednesday is fresh milk”—Ann Yin does a rundown of the deliveries that farmers and “food artisans” make each day to her North Loop Minneapolis grocery store, LocalD’Lish. But Yin, who gets 90 percent of her inventory from Minnesota and western Wisconsin, has made her one-year-old business more than a follower of the eat-local and organic trends.
She’s building the kind of buyer-seller relationships that she saw on daily trips to the greenmarket in Wuhan, China, when she lived there in 2006. Yin buys directly from farmers and producers, and introduces her customers to them. (She’ll arrange farm tours for anyone interested). Shoppers who take note of her delivery schedule can get foods that are “super fresh”—meat butchered the night before, eggs gathered that morning.
Yin specializes in special requests. Shoppers can tap her suppliers for custom cuts of meat, a particular quantity of freshly ground bread flour—“I have a gal who wants two quarts of cream every other week, and so we have a special standing order for her.” Yin says, LocalD’Lish is meant to be “like grocery shopping used to be.”