A ‘fresh, local’ option

FreshLocal won’t be your typical grocery store.

Bremerton grocery store hosting open house today, plans

to open soon.

FreshLocal won’t be your typical grocery store.

It will have an exercise bike in the front window meant for more than working up a sweat.

“People can grind their own flour while getting a workout,” said Jean Schanen of FreshLocal.

Schanen plans to hook an exercise bike up to a hand-operated grain mill so people can grind their own flour and burn calories all at once.

Schanen and the FreshLocal nonprofit board members will host an open house from 3 to 8 p.m. today at the FreshLocal store, located at 540 Fourth Street in Bremerton. Local food producers will be on hand to chat with the public and offer samples of their products. FreshLocal board members also will be in attendance.

Board members hope to have the store open soon and begin selling locally produced goods.

“I think a lot of people will be amazed how many local farmers there are,” FreshLocal board member Diana Ambauen-Meade said.

FreshLocal will sell locally grown and raised produce; dairy; meat; honey and condiments; baked goods; and grains and flours.

The store will sell bulk goods instead of prepackaged items, giving consumers more product and less packaging.

“Most of what you pay for with food (at a regular grocery store) is not food at all,” Schanen said.

Schanen said a lot of farmers are no longer in business because they do not make a large profit on goods sold to grocery stores because most money goes toward the shipping and packaging costs.

“The only ones who are left are doing it because they truly love it,” Schanen said.

FreshLocal also will sell soups, salads and sandwiches at the store. The nonprofit is renting time from Evergreen Kitchen across the street so producers can cook their products to sell at the grocery store.

“Now I’ll be able to take my vegetables across the street and make soup to sell,” Schanen said.

Bremerton’s Coffee Oasis also is roasting coffee to sell at the store.

“They have even designed a FreshLocal blend,” Schanen said.

Schanen said she wants FreshLocal to be a “store with faces.” She plans to display photos of the food producers who supply the goods and farms where they’re grown.

“So people will really know not only where their food is coming from, but who it’s coming from,” Schanen said.

The grocery store will use energy efficient heaters and compact fluorescent light bulbs to reduce its carbon footprint. FreshLocal board members also encourage people to bring their own grocery bags to the store.

“We’re trying to be very green,” Ambauen-Meade said.

Schanen said FreshLocal doesn’t want to compete with big grocery store chains, rather offer consumers a local, eco-friendly option.

“This is the coming thing,” she said. “It’s just such an inherently good thing.”

For more information about FreshLocal, visit the nonprofit’s blog at www.freshlocal.wordpress.com.