May 15, 2015 (Traverse City, MI)—Taste the Local Difference launches its 2015 Guide to Local Food in Northwest Michigan. MyNorth Media partnered with Taste the Local Difference to realize the 50-page publication that connects readers to Northern Michigan’s vibrant food community with the mission to sell more locally grown and made food.
Taste the Local Difference partnered with MyNorth Media to revamp the layout and overall design of the 2015 Taste the Local Difference Guide. “This is the 12th year we’ve printed a guide to local food, and it’s our most useful guide yet,” says Taste the Local Difference project coordinator Tricia Phelps.
Deborah Wyatt Fellows, founder of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine and president of MyNorth Media reflects, “Our partnership with Taste the Local Difference has been a rewarding collaborative experience. MyNorth Media is thrilled that we had a hand in laying out this informative, beautiful and beneficial resource for Northern Michigan.”
Spanning 10 counties in northwest Michigan, Taste the Local Difference Guide is the go-to source for connecting residents and visitors to Northern Michigan’s thriving local food community. The guide is filled with easy-to-use regional maps, beautiful photography, farmers market listings, and compelling stories featuring local farmers and retailers. Editorial features highlight community supported agriculture, full-transparency farming, organic farming, local wine, craft beer, availability of local foods in stores and more. “We believe by building a larger demand for local food we can help to create stronger, more resilient food and farming systems,“ says TLD project coordinator Tricia Phelps.
Beyond the guide, Taste the Local Difference® is a full-service specialized marketing agency and acts as a social enterprise of the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, based in Traverse City. TLD accomplishes it’s mission with on-farm and in-store marketing solutions including a robust system for consumers to learn about and identify local foods where they shop, a searchable online database at the TLD website and smartphone app. Additionally, TLD offers consulting services, training, and cooperative advertising.
“We make connections with every part of the food system: farmer, specialty producer, wholesaler, distributor, restaurateur, retailer, consumer… what makes us unique is that we provide services and support to every one of these sectors, while helping to connect the dots and build relationships between them,” notes Phelps.
Currently TLD is working with 20 food businesses as paid retail licensees. Tom’s Food Market is a front-runner in leading one of the most energetic in-store TLD marketing campaigns and is featured in the guide. Christy Kuhnke, president of Tom’s Food Markets believes in the program, “Given the opportunity to compare, we think (consumers) will find value in the local products. TLD provides our customers that opportunity.”
Evan Smith, CEO of Cherry Capital Foods, a Michigan-only food distribution company and a TLD wholesale licensee reflects, “Taste the Local Difference is a key link in connecting consumers to their food. As a distributor, we have seen firsthand how this connection drives sales in the very locations where people make their food buying decisions. There is no other organization providing this level of consumer-facing service to the local food industry.”
32,000 copies of the Taste the Local Difference Guide are in circulation. A network of partners will distribute the guide including retail grocers, CVBs, chambers of commerce, restaurants, businesses, and farm stands across northwest Michigan, including:
- Oryana Natural Foods
- Tom’s Food Markets
- Oleson’s Food Stores
- Grain Train Natural Foods in Petoskey and Boyne City
- Gallagher’s Farm Market
- Evergreen Market
- Anderson’s Glen Arbor Market
- Burritt’s Fresh Market
Additionally, MyNorth Media provides an online source for viewing the digital publication of Taste the Local Difference at MyNorth.com—reaching an average of 100,000 visits per month. Eight thousand copies of Taste the Local Difference will be mailed out to Traverse Magazine subscribers with the July 2015 issue. The guide will also be promoted in Food & Drink e-newsletters reaching 71,000 subscribers and at ShopMyNorth.com, the online store where out-of-state visitors can have the publication mailed to them.
Taste the Local Difference worked with Flight Path Creative—a Traverse City brand communications firm founded by Aaron Swanker and Dan Smith—to design the user-friendly maps. Flight Path also produced the Taste the Local Difference mobile app. The app uses the latest in GPS technology to offer turn-by-turn directions to TLD farms, retailers, or restaurants. Users can search the TLD database by farm, food, or location. Photographer Andy Wakeman shot the ‘American Gothic’ inspired cover at Idyll Farms in Northport. Sous chef of The Franklin, Stephanie Gallego, and Idyll Farms manager Will Manty are featured on the cover.
Visit localdifference.org/pick-up-locations for more details on all the places you’ll find the 2015 Taste the Local Difference Guide.