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  • August 07, 2018 6:21 PM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)

    The curiosity of knowing where our food is coming from has increased dramatically over the last decade. Also, knowing what our food is eating is just as important!

    On Sunday, July 15th, 14 of us Women Who Really Cook members drove down to Cannon Falls for a perfectly sunny day on a pastured turkey farm at Ferndale Market! This was such a wonderful time!

    We were treated to a tractor ride and guided tour of the farm by our host, Katie Peterson. Katie is the 3rd generation (including her brother John, also in attendance and our official tractor driver :-) of Ferndale's husband and wife founders, Fern & Dale Peterson!

    We saw a great deal of turkeys and a great deal of land for them to pasture on in a true-to-the-term, free-range life! These turkeys are also raised without the use of antibiotics or artificial growth hormones.

    With the idea of John Peterson, in 2008, they opened a local foods grocery store on the farm to showcase other independent & nourishing food from the area. Ferndale Market partners with over 100 farmers and food producers that share their vision of distinct, delicious flavors. 

    At the end of the tour, we enjoyed a sampling of Ferndale's favorite turkey products and had a member meeting under a tented area outdoors and shared in-depth updates on what we were up to with our businesses and projects as well as guidance for questions that were posed!

    And, of course, we couldn't resist buying a number of curious, tasty, & delightful products in the market before making our drive back home!

    This was yet another memorable adventure that we were able to connect with together and look forward to our next meeting at Mill City Farmer's Market on Sat. Aug. 18th!
    Make sure to RSVP here:
    https://womenwhoreallycook.com/event-3022724 











  • July 09, 2018 5:07 PM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)

    Changes have been taking place with the format of Women Who Really Cook membership and we're THRILLED to let you know that our 1st SERVICE MEETING was a gratifying success!

    If you haven't already heard, we're adding community service as well as focused education opportunities to our already established networking gatherings!

    For our June 21st meeting, 20 of us teamed up with community partner, MATTER, in St. Louis Park, and helped assemble & package meal snack packs. We also donated $500.00 to Matter to help cover the cost of the snacks.

    We were hosted by Karen Mankikowski and Jen Ware at MATTER and given a great meal to start off the meeting (food pics below)!

    We learned about their mission, were given a tour of their facilities, & then got to work in their warehouse area assembling meal snack packs that we got to then give to WWRC-partnered & Minneapolis-based organization, Urban Ventures!

    MATTER is a Minnesota-based nonprofit whose mission is to expand access to health, medical aid, & food to communities next door and around the world. Since 2000, MATTER has distributed over $600 million in resources around the globe. The MATTERbox Concept is simple: a box of healthy, shelf-stable meals and nutrition education, helping people take their first steps toward a healthier life. MATTERbox provides healthy meals, packed by individuals and corporate groups of volunteers who participate in the MATTERbox Challenge. MATTERbox works with community members on the front lines of food insecurity every day to distribute MATTERboxes to those who can benefit most.

    Website: https//www.matter.ngo/
    Instagram: @matter_ngo

    Finally...make sure to RSVP for the July 15th private tour at Ferndale Market's Farm (where MANY of Minnesota's Thanksgiving tables are graced by Ferndale's pastured turkeys)!

  • June 01, 2018 1:14 PM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)

    The #1 statement of the night by WWRC members was "Wow. I had no idea. NO idea!"

    The Ronald McDonald House has been a household name for most, if not all, of our lives. Unless you've been blessed by their services and facilities in a time off need, or have volunteered there, you would find yourself saying what we all said as we toured the BIG-HEARTED Ronald McDonald House location at the U of M campus. We were all wonderfully impacted & inspired.

    This last meeting was on Wednesday, May 30th and hosted by WWRC member, Liz Norton, who is also the Marketing Strategist at RMH, and also greeted by CEO & President of this location, Jill Evenocheck. We were given the history and makings of The Ronald McDonald House & touched by meeting and seeing some of the children and their families who were receiving the love, care, housing, & meals that RMH provides.

    There were 18 WWRC members in attendance. We were split in 2 groups to tour the building. Very excited by the well thought-out rooms, touched by the freshly made meals, impressed by kitchenettes, wowed by the gymnasium & mini-cinema, and jealous of the workout facility! Knowing that such worn and weary souls who have to be away from home during times of their child's crisis or being the one going through it themselves, it truly gave our hearts big hugs to see such comforting away-from-home furnishings. It also encouraged us to contribute as members.

    Dinner was provided to us and we got to experience it from the same area that patients & families do! It was like being in someone's large kitchen of their home. Truly impressive!

    After dinner, we were a small enough group that we got to go around and share a little more in-depth of what we're up to in our professional lives, what our needs are, and a little brainstorming as inquiries came! A great time to get to know each other a little better.

    ***Many members expressed the desire to help &/or donate. As an added bonus, Liz let us know that for anyone who donates their products to Ronald McDonald House, they provide exposure of the brand on their social media (in addition to others at RMH seeing it)!

    Also, if you'd like to learn more about ways to engage with them, here is their website: www.rmhtwincities.org
    Or if you'd like to specifically learn more about volunteering to cook in their Cooks for Kids (CFK) Meal Providers program, you can check out the information here: https://www.rmhtwincities.org/volunteer/CFK

    June's service meeting will take place at MatterBox in St. Louis Park. Date & time is getting confirmed and we'll get a post sent out soon!


  • March 31, 2018 10:36 AM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)
    We had another fantastic & productive Women Who Really Cook meeting at the Kowalski's Shoreview store on Tuesday, February 27th! 31 women represented and this may have been one of the most dynamically direct feedback meetings we've had!


    Kathie Armstrong graciously hosted & represented her own product that is private labeled under the Kowalski's brand. Kathie had a gorgeous spread of her baked goods out for all of us to enjoy!

    During the networking & member introductions, there was invaluable feedback & information exchanged for products & businesses plans. Multiple job announcements were given (stay tuned for additional posts by the respective owners)!

    This was the PERFECT example of a meeting where vulnerability meets empowerment! We learned in-depth information about many businesses & plans. You DON'T want to miss these priceless opportunities for growth individually & corporately!

    Hope to see you at our next meeting!



  • January 31, 2018 1:16 PM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)

    Here's to each of you having a WONDERFUL start to 2018!

    We had another great turnout of 38 Women Who Really Cook members and guests at this month's meeting on a predictably cold, but gorgeous evening on January 4th.

    Our location was at none other than Gardens of Salonica, where owner (&WWRC founding member), Anna Christopherides hosted us at their 27 year old Greek restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis.

    Anna started us off on a Greek New Year's toast with champagne that she treated us to.

    There was a wonderful selection of local, organic, & made-from-scratch delights, including savory & sweet. ALL of the food and nourishment that Anna provided, left a lasting impression on the quality & sourcing of ingredients. Deeply flavorful!

    Anna also fulfilled our curiosity about the ups & downs of being a restaurant owner over the years as well as having always embraced local & organic before it became a movement. She also talked about recent ideas to implement to stay afloat regarding the Minneapolis minimum wage increase. This is a woman who lives authentically and calmly works through the ebbs & flow of life. Anna's truly passionate about what she does and is truly inspiring to listen to.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS
    - The 6th Annual Charlie Awards are coming up! Get your tickets now for Sunday, February 25th at 3:30pm - Pantages Theater in Minneapolis. Call 612.767.3229 for your tickets!

    - Women Who Really Cook will be celebrating 25 YEARS as a professional women’s networking, supporting, & collaborating organization later this year! Get ready to celebrate!

    Looking forward to seeing everyone at Feb. 27th meeting at Kowalski's hosted by our own, Kathleen Armstrong of Kathie's Bakery.
    Be sure to check out the website for more details AND to reserve your spot!


  • November 21, 2017 5:38 PM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)

    We enjoyed one of our largest Women Who Really Cook meetings yet at The Lynhall in Uptown on a late afternoon on Tuesday, November 7th! 65 were in attendance!

    Saying that this was a powerhouse meeting would be an understatement!

    The Lynhall’s owner, Anne Spaeth; General Manager, Kristin Tyborski; Pastry Chef, Katie Elsing;, & Events Manager, Andrea Roy, opened up their gorgeously inviting make-yourself-at-home restaurant (& incubator kitchen, teaching/studio kitchen, private dining, meeting space and so much more) and spoiled us with an incredible array of food & hospitality!

    We were treated to one of the most impressive charcuterie table & accompanying pastries we've ever had! Truly dazzling, beautiful, & delicious. We were also given a behind-the-scenes of all the areas within The Lynhall in smaller groups after the meeting. The Lynhall has offerings that are worth looking into for nearly any of our member’s businesses, so if you weren’t able to make it to this meeting, I highly recommend that you go in and check their space out yourself!

    It was tremendously inspiring to hear Anne speak about the beginnings and vision for The Lynhall (including her interactions before hand with Sue Zelickson)!

    Not only did we have a room packed full of WWRC members, but also enjoyed collaborating  with another women-based organization, Women in Film & Television (WIFT). Dual WWRC & WIFT member, Jody Lichtor, initiated the collaboration  & helped plan along with fellow WIFT member, Meighan McGuire, for this meeting to be filmed. WIFT filmerss were Lauren Beaubaire, Beth Peloff, & assistant Alanna Beaubaire. We are so excited to see the finished results!

    ALSO, Women Who Really Cook is celebrating 24 YEARS as a professional women’s networking, supporting, & collaborating organization! Time to get ready to celebrate our 25th next year!

    We will be taking December off so all of our members can concentrate on their business during the busy holiday season.

    We’ll be kicking off 2018 with our meeting at Gardens of Salonica in Northeast Minneapolis on Thursday, January 4th from 6-8pm. Waiting lists have become the trend with our meetings this season so sign-up EARLY when the first official invitation is emailed out!

    Happy Holidays everyone and hope we can see each other at many of the holiday markets and events in the area!









  • October 21, 2017 10:21 AM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)
    We spent an early afternoon on a PERFECT sunny fall weather day at Restaurant Alma on Monday, October 16th.


    This was a packed out meeting of 40 & hosted in the private dining rooms toward the back of the restaurant.

    Pastry Chef & WWRC Member, Annie Goldberg was the host and prepared a number of incredible pastries for us to sample from. We were able to ask about what it looks like in her world as a Pastry Chef & her role at Alma.

    In small groups, Annie gave us the insider's look into Restaurant Alma's newest venture, hotel rooms (connected in the same building as the restaurant see pic of one room below). Annie also took us on a tour around the kitchen and dining spaces.

    While on the tour, we saw the legendary owner of Restaurant Alma, Chef Alex Roberts, and asked him to come speak to our group. Graciously, he gave us the history of the building, Restaurant Alma, the hotel addition, and both Brasa locations. He gave us a generous Q&A session and truly displays hospitality, transparency, and kindness. We were all thrilled. 

    We had ample amount of time to go around & introduce ourselves towards the end. 

    It truly was a memorable experience that we were all left swooning over!








  • September 27, 2017 8:55 AM | LoAnn Mockler (Administrator)

    Thanks to the 17 members and guests who made the short trek south of the Twin Cities for a visit to Zweber Farms. Our hosts were member Mary Albrecht, 2016 Sue Zelickson grant winner and Zweber Farms Herdsman and Farmer Emily Zweber. It was a beautiful (if extremely warm) fall day at the farm where we toured the organic milking operation in their more-than-a-century-old barn, met some milk cows and adorable young calves, farm cats and lots of chickens freely roaming around. It's the kind of setting that begs a lot of photos! After our tour they served us Organic Valley cheeses, a delicious beef stew featuring Zweber Farms beef and fragrant bread courtesy of Chef Beth Fisher and French Meadow Bakery. 

    We were also happy to have 2 students from the South Central College Culinary Program in Mankato join us along with their instructor Lizbeth Kliewer.

    Most of us went home with meat and eggs from the farm. Thanks again Zweber Farms for hosting us for a great fall outing. Thank you Lisa Lardy for the great photos!


  • August 23, 2017 12:24 PM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)

    We had an incredible turnout & experience together at our August 15th WWRC meeting at Kids' Cafe    (in Perspectives) in St. Louis Park.

    Approximately 50 in attendance, we enjoyed a spread of delicious food that was not only prepared the night before by the kids involved at Kids' Cafe (Charcuterie platter, sushi platter, seaweed salad, fresh vegetables & fruits, but also by WWRC members (Becky Frederickson brought her hummus & chips that she has made with the kids at Kids Café & Sue Zelickson brought her Lacey Sue Z cookies to top off the homemade ice cream that the children made for us!).

    Jeannie Seeley-Smith, Head of Perspectives, and Christina Woodlee, Director of Donor Relations, shared their hearts & mission of Kids' Cafe at Perspectives.

    Hosted & inspired by Sue Zelickson nearly 20 years ago, Kids Cafe is a nutritional and culinary program that provides evening dinners prepared by the students under the direction of Perspectives' full-time teaching chef, Chef Dan. This licensed commercial kitchen/dining classroom has grown into a 5 day/week, 12 month/year nutritional program. In 2016, 15,000 healthy snacks and meals were served to more than 110 homeless and at-risk families and children who participate in Perspectives' programs.

    They are changing lives through not only organizational, relational, managerial, & culinary skills, but also providing much needed nutrition to nourish the next generation!

    Also met a number of brand new members and hearing about what they're doing in the culinary world.

    This meeting was a good example of what our other members can do to make a difference with the power of connection, community, & homegrown skills.

    To learn more about Perspectives: http://www.perspectives-family.org/
    To get involved with Kids' Cafe: http://www.perspectives-family.org/programs/#kids_connect





  • July 17, 2017 4:40 PM | LoAnn Mockler (Administrator)

    The weather cooperated beautifully for our outdoor July 11 Women Who Really Cook meeting at the CityKid™ Greenway Café. The Café is Urban Ventures’ food-focused social enterprise platform where they grow and create food and products that sustainably employ, educate and nourish the community. Nearly 30 members enjoyed Kombucha, Nitro Cold Press Coffee and wood-fired pizza made on site by Gina, one of the staff responsible for the CityKid™ Greenway Café. Our host was Sarah Spiegle, Events & Volunteer Manager for Urban Ventures.

    From Sarah we learned more about the CityKid™ Greenway Café. It provides cold beverages and fresh, affordable produce, plus free summer meals for kids. More recently, they added a wood-fired pizza oven to the Café and are finding that it is really becoming popular. It is also the designated pick-up location for CityKid™ Farm CSA shares.   

    Mark-Peter Lundquist, Vice President of Urban Ventures Social Enterprise, talked about CityKid™ Foods and their mission to open doors and build relationships through food and their efforts to bring healthy food and education about nutrition to their community.

    • CityKid™ Farms which includes an educational plot, two greenhouses, a CityKid Market location, bee apiary and orchard and a 6-acre plot in Lakeville.
    • CityKid™ Mobile Market mobile market which provides subsidized fresh, pesticide-free produce in areas of the Twin Cities designated as USDA Food Deserts. 

    Mark-Peter took us on a tour of the garden plot, the hydroponic hoop house and the greenhouse. 


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