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   It looks like Local Harvest Grocery and its two cafe restaurants will stay in business, at least for now.  
   The owners tell the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they met their goal Saturday evening, raising the $120,000 they needed to pay off debts that had threatened to shutter the business.  Patrick Horine tells the paper that he and partner Maddie Earnest are "stunned," by their customer's support.  
   Last Monday the pair had appealed to customers on Facebook and Twitter, offering customers punch cards and gift certificates that would be redeemable over the next two years in order to cover debts left over by their failed venture in Kirkwood.  They needed the cash by February 7th.  Horine says they had it by 8 p.m. Saturday.
   Local Harvest focuses on working with farmers and vendors within 150-miles of St. Louis to sell and serve mostly organic, locally produced goods.
   After reaching their goal, the owners posted this to Facebook: "We, the owners and the Local Harvest staff, feel a deep responsibility to our community – even deeper than before – after this outpouring of support. We all understand how important our success is and we are going to come through for you, just like you have for us."
 
Published in Local News
   The owners of a south city grocery store are asking their customers to help them keep their doors open.  Local Harvest Grocery in Tower Grove South is facing imminent closure if the owners can't raise $120,000 by February 7th.  
   The owners, Patrick Horine and Maddie Earnest, posted an open letter on Facebook Monday asking their loyal customers for help.  The pair operate the grocery store and two cafes and feature locally grown food.  Ibn the letter, they say their failed expansion into Kirkwood was a devastating blow to the company's finances.  
   Earnest tells Fox 2 News they're asking customers to invest in the future of their neighborhoods and locally produced food.  "What we're doing is reaching into the community and asking them if they want to buy a punch card to our cafes or a gift certificate that you agree not to use until 2015," she said.
   Earnest says if they don't reach their goal, customers who buy the gift certificates will be refunded. She says they're also looking into discussions with new equity partners.  
   Give certificates can be purchased at the store, or online at http://igg.me/at/localharvest/x/1107661.
 
Published in Local News
Thursday, 26 September 2013 03:10

IL gets $500K federal grant for local produce

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois will receive nearly $540,000 in federal funds to expand the availability of fresh, locally grown produce.

   Agriculture Director Bob Flider said Wednesday the money will come from the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. It will be split among 12 projects focused on local produce.

   Flider says Illinois' "fertile soil and favorable climate" are good for growing a variety of crops. He says the grants will help encourage production and make nutritious food available to more people.

   Illinois is known for growing corn and soybeans. But it's the nation's largest pumpkin and horseradish producer in the nation and is among the top states for such crops as asparagus, cauliflower, green peas and lima beans.

   The state has more than 117,000 acres of specialty crops which produce $137 million in sales.

 
Published in Local News

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