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locally grown wheat and their ingredient label is as clean as if you had
made it yourself," Tilden says. "We are very proud of our FTM bread
because we believe it's as close to what you would get to shopping for
bread in Europe."
Sourcing locally also plays a big role at North Kansas City, Missouribased Walker's Fresh Foods, which makes deli-case and branded
packaged deli salads and other foods for local and regional clients,
says Mike Stinson, the company's president and CEO. "There is a lot of
"Local is and should always be
better, and it's something the big
box retailers cannot replicate."
Mike Tilden, Balls Food Stores
interest in locally sourced product at the wholesale level, and I have to
believe that trickles down to customers," he says.
Walker's belongs to Share KC, a group of local businesses that pools
their resources to purchase local products effectively. Walker's also
participates in one of its retail partner's buy local programs. The retailer
ships fresh produce to Walker's in season, which Walker's uses to make
salads sold behind the case in the retailer's stores.
Walker's also sources Missouri cucumbers, potatoes from Kansas, tomatoes and onions for its pico de gallo and salsa from local growers and ingredients for its coleslaw from the St. Joseph, Missouri, area, Stinson says. For
Walker's, "local" typically means grown or sourced in Kansas or Missouri.
Today's retail customer is a keen reader of ingredient statements
and other information about the products they buy, and if what
they're reading shouts "local," all the better, Stinson says. And Kansas
City-area retailers are good about getting the word out that Walker's
itself is local, whether it's signage, hang tags or other marketing or
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