Farmers markets are, obviously, wonderful in every possible way—except when they aren’t. Not every farmer has the time to put in a full farmers market day, and what if they only have a few cases of a particularly interesting crop? And what of customers with busy nine-to-five (or much longer) jobs who would like to go to the farmers market but just can’t squeeze it in? Local D’Lish owners Ann and Yulin Yin have stepped into that space and created what is essentially a local Minnesota farmers market, but one with a single cash register that takes credit cards and will bag your groceries for you. Here you’ll find whatever produce is in season, from dwarf pea-shoots in late winter to heirloom tomatoes in high summer to apples and storage squash when the trees start to turn color. Foraged morels, ramps, and other hobbyist-food-side-projects tend to end up here first too, whether it’s tiny runs of caramels or a single case of garden-grown peanuts.
But that’s not all! The Lins have a straight-from-the-farmer meat case, which means they are the only Minneapolis source for fresh, never-frozen chicken from Callister Farms, a chef’s darling local farm—they even sometimes have rare poulet rouge birds. Local D’Lish is located none too far from the Mississippi river, in a downtown warehouse-space, and if you check the shelves deeper into the store you’ll find they’re essentially an incubator for the tiny, local food businesses that still have their entrepreneurs working day jobs. You’ll see candies, chips, baking mixes, cooking sauces, and more. In the winter Local D’Lish holds indoor winter-markets, with even more small vendors invited to attend. Think of it not as a store but as a wonderful farmers market for when ordinary farmers markets don’t quite work
Photo: Eric Hansen