The words “local foods” have become synonymous with “fresh” and “high-quality,” exactly what you’ll find at Gorkha Palace in Northeast Minneapolis, where chefs and co-owners Rashmi Battachan and Sarala Kattel grind their own spices, make their own ghee, and source local foods for their authentic Nepali, Indian, and Tibetan cuisine. “People applaud our efforts to be green and buy locally. We have lots of loyal customers, as a result,” says Rashmi.
Gorkha Palace opened its doors in Northeast and began selling at the Mill City Farmers’ Market both in 2010. “From the moment we started, we’ve supported local farmers. I’ve always believed in eating healthy, organic foods,” explains Rashmi. “We’d rather pay a little more for top-quality so customers can have a superior dining experience.”
Rashmi and Sarala brought Ferndale Market turkey on board without hesitation. Besides its clean taste, they like the humane nature Ferndale uses raising their birds outside.
John Peterson proudly describes his grandfather and founder of Ferndale Market in Cannon Falls, Dale Peterson, as a “man with a plan.” A true visionary and also a product of the Depression, Dale knew he wanted to raise turkeys, a low-cost protein people could afford. After studying poultry science, he found the perfect piece of sandy land where his turkeys could enjoy space, dry soil, and good health.
Today Dale’s children and grandchildren care for their birds just as Dale modeled, even when most other turkey producers have moved them inside. Ferndale turkeys roam freely on fresh pasture, seeking shade under wood shelters when needed, and happily greeting visitors with curiosity and humor.
Driven by a growing interest in food systems, John and wife Erica moved back to the farm in 2008 and were instrumental in opening Ferndale’s marketplace of Minnesota foods and goods. “There is broad change happening,” says John. “Consumers want the curtain pulled back.” He continues, “Minnesota has such a vibrant local foods community. Chefs and restaurants are key in driving that ship.”