AUG
04

Sourcing Locally Since Before Local Was Cool

There’s no doubt local food is #trending.

For many shoppers, the farmers’ market is as much a place to see and be seen as it is a place to buy vegetables. Community-supported agriculture is becoming increasingly popular, and more and more restaurants are catching on to the locavore movement.

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Local is trendy for good reason. Not only does local food come with the environmental benefits of reduced emissions for transport, local food comes with economic and social benefits as well. Sourcing local builds a sense community, bolsters local economies, and gets people excited about where they live.  

To Sunset, local is not a passing fad, nor is it anything new. Sunset has been sourcing locally for our entire 80-year history—long before anyone coined the term “locavore”. Supporting local vendors is part of our DNA. After all, Sunset’s a locally owned business, too.

Rick Didier In 2017, we still carry many of the same local vendors that we carried in 1937. For example, back in the 1930s, the original Cortesi clan forged a relationship with John Link—the original owner of Didier Farm in Lincolnshire, IL. Because the farm is less than 10 miles from Sunset, the Cortesis saw Didier Farm as the obvious choice to bring Sunset customers the freshest vegetables. To this day, we still carry peppers, squashes, beets, cabbage, kale, green beans, chard, cucumbers, and many other crops grown by Didier Farm. Shop our stores between late-July and mid-September, and you’ll find Didier populating our produce departments.

As the local food landscape evolves, we’re evolving with it, bringing in new local vendors as they enter the local marketplace. For many local vendors, Sunset was the first retailer to carry their product. For example, Meyer Farm Herbs, Carol’s Cookies, Hungry Monkey Baking Company, Hole in the Wall pasta sauce, and many others looked to Sunset to help launch their businesses.

If you see the value in understanding where your food came from, attend our Midwest Local Foods event on Saturday, August 12th, from 10am-2pm, at our Highland Park and Libertyville stores. Expand your locavore diet beyond just produce and sample the best the Midwest has to offer from all departments of our store. Shop small and fill your fridge, pantry, and freezer with food produced close to home.

Midwest Local Food event flyer

 

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MAY
24

Copper River Salmon: A Delicacy Soon to Hit Sunset Stores!

Copper River logo

Copper River salmon is said to be the best in the world. Here’s why this highly coveted fish is such a big deal.  

The Copper River flows in Alaska. It is nearly 300 miles long, 10 miles wide, and replete with challenges like frigidly cold glacier-fed water, rushing rapids, and powerful currents. Every spring, King, Sockeye, and Coho salmon make their way from the Pacific Ocean up this treacherous river, where they’ll give birth to the next generation. 

Because only the strong survive the Copper River, salmon must pack on pounds to complete their strenuous journey. Not only are Copper River salmon at peak maturity, they’re also extremely robust creatures with healthy stores of natural oils and body fat. These fats take the form of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to human health. Specifically, omega-3’s are critical for a healthy heart, brain, and nervous system. In addition to nutritional benefits, the salmons’ fat stores also lend themselves to a rich, buttery flavor. One bite of this fish and you’ll understand why foodies everywhere relish Copper River salmon. Some consider the start of the Copper River salmon season a holiday. 

Boat on the Copper River

Sustainability is critical to those who fish the Copper River. Fishing families of south-central Alaska are independent, small business owners. They are dedicated to the long-term sustainability of their fish stocks, livelihood, and environment. They have tremendous respect for the fish and the ocean, and happily adhere to Alaska’s fishing guidelines—which are among the strictest in the world—to ensure abundance for future generations. 

Fisherman in his boatFisherman Michael Bowen on his boat, the Jenna Marie. Michael has been salmon fishing on the Copper River since 1970. 

Commercial fishermen are only allowed to fish the Copper River from mid-May to mid-June, meaning this fishy delicacy is only available for a few weeks each year. Get yours at your nearest Sunset Foods this Saturday, May 27th, from 10am-4pm. Fillets, steaks, and whole fish are available. Our team will happily cut (and even season and cook) your fish however you’d like. 

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