In his eighteen years at Savories Bistro in downtown Stillwater, Chef Jeff Klemetsrud has witnessed many changes. The restaurant itself, once a coffee shop, has become a sit-down restaurant with a full bar, and there is burgeoning interest amongst his customers in locally-produced foods. Because Jeff believes that buying locally ensures the highest quality, everything at Savories is made from scratch and the menu is seasonal, changing every six weeks.
Jeff first contacted Roger Browne of Rising Sun Farm near River Falls, WI through a local co-op manager over ten years ago, and has since been using Roger's produce in his dishes at Savories. Though Rising Sun is a small-scale farm, Roger grows a wide array of vegetables, including lettuce, chard, kale, spinach, and tomatoes, which are complimented by pick-your-own strawberries. Roger, who has been operating his farm for almost thirty years, does all his planting and cultivating by hand.
Both Jeff and Roger are truly committed to supporting local food systems; Roger sells his produce locally and hires interns and volunteers from the community to help on the farm and Jeff believes that buying locally means higher quality food and can also positively influence the community itself. "If we spend our dollars locally, they support the community and that is something that we focus on a lot," he says.