Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh

Walt Churchill’s Markets – Local, Fresh, & Community

Be Local is the philosophy of Walt Churchill’s Market. This month in particular Walt Churchill’s is highlighting all of the local produce they carry in addition to unmatched number of local goods they offer throughout the store. Here at Simply Jess we teamed up with Walt Churchill’s to show you all of the awesome local shopping these stores offer.

Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh

I talk a lot about shopping at the farmer’s markets mostly because: it’s wonderful, you can get the large majority of your shopping done there, and the money you spend in groceries goes directly to the source, the farmer who grew it. For many people though, getting to the farmer’s market between 8a-2p Saturday can be a challenge. It’s not feasible for everyone. This is one reason why I appreciate Walt Churchill’s (WCM). With more flexible hours, and the fact that they are open 7 days a week, WCM offers shoppers a way to buy local produce and goods at a locally owned store. Personally, the Maumee location can be on my way home from work, and with the compact market style store, it makes it easy to pick up things I need on my way home.

Since 1917 the Churchill’s traditions of quality, value, and customer service has never changed. The locations of Churchill stores around town have been very fluid, but the family has never stopped serving its country, its region, or the people who live here. Today, these core values are alive and well in Perrysburg and Maumee, Ohio with the Walt Churchill’s Market stores. I was recently given the opportunity to find out more about WCM, way more than I ever thought. All of the employees are so welcoming and helpful every-time I visit one of their locations as a customer, but this time was above and beyond. I was impressed by the amount of autonomy and growth opportunities employees are given, in turn you can see their investment in the company just by how they serve their customers. From a chef who is a 40+ year veteran of the industry who will assist you in what you are making and walk you around the store to find all you need, to the pastry artists who work in the bakery; a guest can have full trust in what they are buying.

Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh

Before the chefs, and the cakes, Churchill’s has been focused on selling locally grown produce since the 1930’s. Today, Walt Churchill’s Markets work directly with four trusted, local farms to supply a large portion of the seasonal produce. These farms, while not the only local produce they offer, have shown exceptional quality and reliability giving consumers the chance to buy local, seasonally fresh foods in the convenience of a fully stocked grocery store. Steven’s Gardens, Riehm Farms, Ryans Farm, and MacQueen’s orchard keep the produce department bursting with brightly colored foods picked from their fields as recently as 24 hours ago. The farms share many of the family values and longstanding history that the Churchill’s stores have cultivated over the past 100 years. Established farms are well known and reputable amongst their community, sharing the same customer service practices as the Churchill’s family.

Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh

This season you can find Steven’s Gardens providing WCM ripe summer zucchini, roma tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and eggplant. Riehm Farms has brought their delightful, colorful cherry and grape tomatoes, kale, and some of the best cantaloupe I’ve had in years. Ryans Farm has some picturesque sweet corn and MacQueens Orchard brings peaches, and (soon) early apples.

Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh Through the relationships with these farms, Walt Churchill’s Market is able to provide customers with numerous other fresh options. Gourmet in-house made: smoothies, juices, and salads can be found in the produce department as an excellent option for those looking for fresh, easy, healthy options. It gives Chef Bill the ability to cook and prepare natural food meals, fresh each day for customers to pick up without sacrificing taste or nutritional value. Access to these local foods means Mr. Rick Warziniak of Warzy’s Subs and Grinders can make his well know sandwiches right in store utilizing bread baked fresh each day by Churchill’s, and Thumann’s all natural, nitrate free deli meats.

Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh

Every aisle has a local option; coffee, tortilla chips and salsa, organic grass-fed dairy, Killer Brownies, cheese, and chicken to name a few (the list is very long). WCM also makes many items within the market stores themselves. Fresh baked bread, cakes and pastries, juices, peanut and almond butter, salad dressings, and brats all made in store. Beyond these, WCM prides themselves in top quality meats, cheeses, and conventional shelf products. This list is far from exhaustive, I guess you’ll just have to check out a store and see for yourself. Not sure what is local, housemade, or meets special dietary needs? Just ask.

From how community art decorates the stores, to the small start-up business that is able to get their product on the shelf, and the farm that can now share their family pride with a wider audience, the Churchill’s tradition of living with your community lives strong still today. I get excited walking through the store finding my favorite flowers that I can only find at the farmer’s market right here in a store. Or all of the small-batch businesses who have a place to grow, introducing their work to more customers. It was a tasty, and refreshing experience to see a store in this manner. It really makes me appreciate the local food market here in Toledo.

Be Local
Simply,
Jess

Actual Coffee, Simply Jess Blog, Be Local, coffee, artisan coffee roaster, Toledo Coffee

Toledo’s Own Actual Coffee

Actual Coffee is Both Sustainable and Exceptional

While the flavor and quality of Toledo’s own Actual Coffee speaks for itself, the one thing that stands out to me most about the company are the words of the owner himself: “I wanted to be a healthy cog in the coffee roasting business.” Lance, chief coffee roaster and founder of Actual Coffee, has a passion for ethically sourced, finely roasted coffee and the stories behind his hometown venture. His business mirrors his coffee, a labor of love, not born overnight, cultivated, handcrafted, and worth every bean.

Actual Coffee, Simply Jess Blog, Be Local, coffee, artisan coffee roaster, Toledo Coffee

Four months ago I declared that if I am to only have one cup of coffee a day, it was going to be darn good coffee. Freshly ground, locally roasted coffee only. High maintenance? … I like to call it high standards, and let me just say – my one and only pregnancy demand. We have been long supporters of fresh, locally roasted coffee. It was always in the house, and to Starbucks dismay, our preferred way to buy coffee. It was our evening/weekend coffee, not our morning jolt to functionality. Well, not anymore. One good cup, still to be enjoyed; savored during my few minutes of morning peace before work. On the weekends, it’s the quiet morning pour over, that starts with opening that bag of beans and taking in the sweet smell of coffee roasted this week, right here in Toledo. Ahh, the little things I expect to come to a screeching halt come late January. Not the coffee, just the peace and quiet of solitude.

Actual Coffee, Simply Jess Blog, Be Local, coffee, artisan coffee roaster, Toledo Coffee

For this Simply Jess 1 year anniversary post (woohoo!!) I wanted to bring back coffee. Darn good coffee! The Toledo coffee roasting movement  has grown tremendously over the past few years, and one of the major players has been Actual Coffee. Roasting beans since 2012 as a business, Lance Roper found his niche in the third wave, ethically sourced, coffee movement that had finally made its way to Toledo, Ohio. Upon reading a book of coffee history, Uncommon Grounds, Lance found himself challenged by the social and environmental consequences that come from big corporation coffee consumption. This luxury product so vastly consumed by first world countries, created modern-day slaves to the coffee industry at the root, the farms in which the coffee berries are grown and harvested. But he also found that consciously sourcing coffee distributors worked with old farms that cared as much for their workers, as the product they were growing. Actual Coffee was born, out of an effort to make a positive contribution to the coffee buying industry. Lance wanted to sell coffee that was sustainable, both environmentally and socially, but was a hands down superior, top quality product. “If you put our coffee next to a big brand’s take on coffee, you’d know which one was Actual Coffee.” Awesome.

Actual Coffee, Simply Jess Blog, Be Local, coffee, artisan coffee roaster, Toledo Coffee

Actual Coffee has seen the largest growth through word of mouth. Starting with Bleak House Coffee, Lance would practically volunteer hours at the coffee shop in order to get his roasts out to the public. Not too long later Becky Ohm, from the Flying Joe, approached Actual Coffee about distribution in their store. This has been a great, long standing relationship that has encouraged creativity though both business. Next, came an urgent request from DaCapo Coffee in Temperance, MI. DaCappo became a milestone for Actual Coffee, as this is the only coffee they serve to their customers. It has not only resulted in major growth, but new ideas as well. Element 112 became the first fine restaurant to serve Actual Coffee, and Walt Churchill’s the first grocer. Most recently Lance also had the opportunity to bring his coffee back to the downtown area with distribution to Rustbelt Coffee and Creamery. Each a new business relationship, and each a new way to get the people of Toledo familiar to where there coffee dollar is going.

Actual Coffee, Simply Jess Blog, Be Local, coffee, artisan coffee roaster, Toledo Coffee

The picture I see is that conscious coffee is part of a larger practice of conscious spending. When you shop at a local business, who buys from a local vendor, who buys from an ethical sourcer, who buys from a sustainable farm, and each business along the chain has employees that have a face, a name, a family, a story who are taken care of through good business practices. Have you ever thought your hard earned dollars could impact a world of people just by buying good coffee?

Actual Coffee, Simply Jess Blog, Be Local, coffee, artisan coffee roaster, Toledo Coffee

So, why Toledo? Why grow slow and organically in Northwest Ohio as opposed to moving to a place much larger where people are used to paying more for goods or a place where craft coffee is expected? At Actual Coffee headquarters, this passionate one man operation and his 20-pound an hour roaster sees the value in Toledo. “I love downtown and we’ve come so far.” Although, Lance takes a very calculated, and scientific approach to roasting coffee, he also takes pride in sharing the flavors that interest him with the community. Toledoians seem to favor fruity, Ethiopian roasts, but what most may not realize is this is a competition level coffee that we get to enjoy. Each roast is so unique, and the single origin roasts have been so well received that with input from coffee shops and consumers Lance recently stepped out of the box to created a truly unique espresso blend. While blend used to be a bit of a dirty word to a single origin roaster, this espresso has the ability to encompass the best Brazil, Ethiopian, and Central American flavors in one tiny cup. This espresso can stand alone, and doesn’t need to be masked by steamed milk and flavors; but if that is your preference, it will make your drink even better.

Actual Coffee, Simply Jess Blog, Be Local, coffee, artisan coffee roaster, Toledo Coffee

While Lance continues to pursue growth and development to expand capacity for Actual Coffee, he is also continually working to be a well trained, educated, and multi service coffee expert. He works hard to constantly learn and improve techniques, and offer full services to the coffee chops in the area to help them grow through better equipment as well. Lance put great importance on the equipment you use to make your coffee. The quality of your water, grinder, and your brewing method are what make a great cup of coffee.

Actual Coffee, Simply Jess Blog, Be Local, coffee, artisan coffee roaster, Toledo Coffee

The coffee you buy isn’t about the label, claims, or certification that a company has slapped on the front. It’s about where it started. Do you know where your coffee truly originates from? Buying from a small batch, artisan coffee roaster means you not only have the opportunity to know where it comes from, but you can also trust in the supply chain. That hard earned money you spend on coffee makes a much greater impact than you would believe, and it starts here at home. Be Local.

Actual Coffee, Simply Jess Blog Coffee Giveaway
Giveaway time! Like Actual Coffee, and Simply Jess on Facebook. Then share this picture! #BeLocal #ToledoCoffee

Surprise!! Happy Anniversary Actual Coffee Giveaway!!! Actual Coffee believes so much in their beans they want you to have the opportunity to try a bag of hand crafted, specialty Toledo roasted coffee! It’s roasters choice; Lance is going to roast the winner a fresh bag of Actual Coffee and it will be mailed straight to your house! What you have to do is (1) Like BOTH Actual Coffee’s Facebook page and The Simply Jess Blog Facebook page. (2) Share the post we have on both of our pages to your Facebook page. The caption must have the #BeLocal #ToledoCoffee. Shares must be made by 5pm Friday (8/19/2016). We will contact you via Facebook by Sunday 8/21/2016 to let you know if you won. Enjoy!

Simply,
Jess

The Flying Joe, Simply Jess Blog, Toledo, Ohio, Perrysburg, Coffee Shop, Small Business, Local, Natural, Vegan , Vegetarian, Specialty, Organic, John and Becky Ohm

The Flying Joe: Serving Coffee, Community, and Country

I was strolling out of The Flying Joe at Levis Commons last week thinking: Welcome summer! Hot days, and cold drinks. I think about visiting my favorite coffee shops more when I need to take refuge from the frigid Ohio winters; visiting with friends over something nice and hot. But what about brunch on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning? Or an ice-cold treat made just for me? Those are just two of the reasons I made the stop by The Flying Joe that morning. From the very best locally sourced ingredients to the friendly, kind baristas The Flying Joe is the perfect place to stop when you want to sip hot chocolate while looking at christmas lights, and the perfect place to enjoy a sunny brunch and a Frozen Joe.

The Flying Joe, Simply Jess Blog, Toledo, Ohio, Perrysburg, Coffee Shop, Small Business, Local, Natural, Vegan , Vegetarian, Specialty, Organic, John and Becky Ohm

Becky and John Ohm, both United States Air Force pilots who pine for the dreamy-romantic 1940s culture of air travel, opened The Flying Joe (FJ) during the initial expansion of Levis Commons in order to put their love of service to country and community into new life. The shop opened in 2007 and was well received by the people of Perrysburg. The drinks were good and the prices competed with the nearby Starbucks. Yes, they built small business coffee shop near one of the busiest Starbucks in the area. To me, that screams volumes about the passion and commitment the Ohms’ have to their venture. Now, nearly ten years later The Flying Joe continues to serve the people of Perrysburg, caring for the customer with a newfound care for what they are eating and drinking.

The Flying Joe, Simply Jess Blog, Toledo, Ohio, Perrysburg, Coffee Shop, Small Business, Local, Natural, Vegan , Vegetarian, Specialty, Organic, John and Becky Ohm

While sitting down with the lovely manager of the FJ, Bri, gave me the full scope of the tremendous changes made in how they care for and serve their customers. While offering many of the beloved favorites, the FJ turned their focus to the ingredients going into their food and drinks. The FJ uses as many locally sourced, organic, and simple ingredients they can reasonably obtain. Coffee at the FJ is from regional coffee roasters such as Actual Coffee (roasted right in Toledo), and Populace Coffee (roasted in Bay City, MI). Serving all locally made or housemade baked goods was a natural move for the shop; from Holey Toledo Doughnuts, and All Crumbs Bakery to local raw honey and Toledo-made apparel. The dairy products served are sourced from the Hartzier Family Dairy Farm in Wooster Ohio, where milk is taken from all grass-fed cows, who have not been exposed to harmful chemicals and pesticides. After Restaurant Week Toledo 2015, the FJ began offering lunch to patrons, making all of their own sauces for the sandwiches they serve.

The Flying Joe, Simply Jess Blog, Toledo, Ohio, Perrysburg, Coffee Shop, Small Business, Local, Natural, Vegan , Vegetarian, Specialty, Organic, John and Becky Ohm

Serving brunch gave the Flying Joe a way to meet the needs of their customers in a whole new way. Upon the decision to offer brunch, the Joe needed a proper cook to prepare the type of food they wanted to serve. They placed a want ad stating they were looking for someone to fulfill this role and along comes a letter from Debbie. A food lover, a world traveler, a dabbling (but never professional) cook, Debbie’s letter expressed her desire to cook for the Flying Joe. Her personality and passion were so evident in her correspondence that it became an easy decision to bring Debbie into the FJ family.

The Flying Joe, Simply Jess Blog, Toledo, Ohio, Perrysburg, Coffee Shop, Small Business, Local, Natural, Vegan , Vegetarian, Specialty, Organic, John and Becky Ohm
Seasonally Fresh Brunch Parfait – Vegetarian and Vegan Option

The presentation is a good as the taste. With traditional choices such as a variety of quiche, baked oatmeal, salads, and a weekly parfait, brunch also incorporates an elegant and rustic flare offering vegetarian/vegan options as well. Every week the most seasonally available choices are used to build the brunch menu. Hand selected produce from the Perrysburg Farmers Market, fresh local dairy, and fine, imported spices and goods from around the globe are fused together to bring an unmatched meal. This past week I had the chance to order the special menu item of the week: Farmer Mark’s French Radish Breakfast-Gone-Wild. [Now let me just say, I do not like radishes, I trade them out every time I get them in my CSA bag, I olive oil roast the heck out of them if i have to keep them, or I just give them away! Anyway, back to Farmer Mark’s Wild Radishes:] Debbie took a traditional French breakfast made with fresh local radishes, a ball of Burrata Mozzarella drizzled with good extra virgin olive oil, part of whole grain baguette, a side of French butter, Marcona almonds, and flakes of Sal de Mer (French Mediterranean sea salt). Honest to Betsy, It Was Delicious! I kid you not! This dish was full of great flavor, so smooth, not bitter. The combination of the lettuce, olive oil, salt, and yes, the radish, made a simple set of ingredients come to life and was full of flavor. And that Burrata Mozzarella. Fantastic! It spread on the baguette like butter. A vegetarian option on the brunch menu that pleases all palates.

The Flying Joe, Simply Jess Blog, Toledo, Ohio, Perrysburg, Coffee Shop, Small Business, Local, Natural, Vegan , Vegetarian, Specialty, Organic, John and Becky Ohm

We also ordered the parfait, and with rhubarb and strawberries in season, they happened to be the ideal choice. Now was my husband’s turn: despises yogurt and nuts (in the homemade granola). Well, he too was very pleasantly surprised! And ate the whole thing. Sweet, tart, fresh, and filling. The toasty, crunchy homemade granola, the creamy Greek yogurt, layered with the completely local strawberry-rhubarb compote, drizzled with Turkish honey, made for the perfect combination for this gourmet parfait. I don’t expect him to start eating yogurt at home, but it’s quite a compliment when he says he would order it again and practically licks the glass clean. Every dish that came out of the FJ kitchen was lovely, had a beautiful presentation; from quiche to baked oatmeal, the portions were generous.

The Flying Joe, Simply Jess Blog, Toledo, Ohio, Perrysburg, Coffee Shop, Small Business, Local, Natural, Vegan , Vegetarian, Specialty, Organic, John and Becky Ohm

One thing I always appreciate when I walk into the Flying Joe is the unpretentious, unassuming, welcoming atmosphere the baristas cultivate. While sitting down with Bri, it was immediately like talking to a friend I had know for years. Whether you are stumbling in for the first time hunting down some Holey Toledough Doughnuts, or just want to try something new, the staff is very warm and friendly and work with you to build you your ideal drink. Their focus is to serve you well both with kindness, and what’s going into your body. The coffee connoisseur has a good variety of coffees and brewing methods to choose from. The Nitro Cold Brew is great for the hot summer weather. With an impressive assortment of teas and non coffee beverages, the FJ is not just for the coffee lover. Fresh, local juices, and organic smoothies, plus one fan-TASTIC hot chocolate! Stop in. Eat brunch. Try a new drink. Know that you are being cared for body and tastebuds. Be Local.

Simply,

Jess

Be sure to visit The Flying Joe and Simply Jess on Facebook for the most current information.
Like this post? Subscribe to stay in the know!