Got the munchies? Look local. In Burlington, Miss Weinerz baker Ren Weiner's new Neighborhood Food Club seeks to offer a tasty, eco-friendly alternative to that bag of chips or box of Cheez-Its. Each week, Weiner will treat club subscribers to a box of handcrafted goodies made with 100 percent local ingredients.
Weiner is best known for the fluffy sourdough doughnuts she wholesales at Burlington-area farmers markets and cafés, but she doesn't mince words about her mission to make healthy local food accessible to everyone in her community. Food accessibility, she said, "isn't always about 'Is this food close to me?' or 'Can I afford it?' It's 'Do I want it? Does it fit with my lifestyle?'"
Weiner's inaugural kit went out on Wednesday, March 13, loaded with doughnuts and other sweets. As winter shifts to spring and summer, more savory items will be in the mix. Weiner wants to offer kits built on farm-fresh salads and toasts (think sourdough bread with jams and other spreadables), along with veggies, dips and other popular snacks, but she's still working with officials on how to do that within the state's food safety rules.
"I'll really figure it out on a week-to-week basis based on what's in excess in the farmers market," Weiner said. "If something's in excess, it means it's in prime harvest." Each box will contain information on the ingredients and their preparation, while Weiner's blog will offer supplemental musings and recipes.
Basic kits will be portioned for one person, but they can be scaled to accommodate families of all sizes. Prices are $5 to $40, depending on the number of people in a household and the type of contents. Weiner said she's working on an in-town bike delivery option; for now, subscribers can grab their snacks at drop-off locations such as the Old North End Farmers Market, Onyx Tonics, Railyard Apothecary and Scout & Co. O.N.E. in Burlington.
More information is available at missweinerz.com.