While grocery shopping during a recent trip to Tennessee I realized how much I missed my “local” products. I also realized that shopping local is a very green choice. When you hear shop local you may just think about locally grown and seasonal produce (which is mainly what I associated with buying local) but it’s also about supporting local businesses, companies, and brands which all support the local economy.
There are several brands that mean home to me: Koegel, Vernors, and Faygo. Koegel is a meat company that’s been in Flint since the early 1900’s , and if you’ve never had a Koegel hot dog you don’t know what your missing. My husband wouldn’t touch a hot dog until he moved to Michigan and I convinced him to try a Koegel. Now he’ll gladly eat hot dogs, as long as they are Koegels and only Koegels.
And Vernors…no other ginger ale comes close to tasting like Vernors. I couldn’t imagine a summer without a Boston Cooler (stupid name for a decidedly Michigan beverage) which is like a root beer float only made with Vernors instead of root beer.
Then of course there is the other soda brand I grew up with, Faygo. I missed that in Tennessee, too.
Koegel is still made in Flint. Vernors and Faygo have been bought out or transferred to other bottling companies in other states yet they still seem to mainly be found on the shelves of Michigan stores. I found no Faygo or Vernors in Tennessee.
Now that I’m aware of local brands I’m determined to see what’s made right here in Flint and surrounding areas so I can support my local economy. I eat at Halo Burger and Big John’s occasionally, both Flint based fast food places and I shop at Meijer, a Michigan grocery store chain based in Grand Rapids.
Learn More About Shopping and Eating Local and Green: