I’m going to tell you a little story about how you might achieve that “all is right with the world” feeling. Pay attention because the instructions are specific.
First, you need to drive to the new Urban Agrarian storefront location at 1235 SW 2nd. It’s important the trip is planned sometime between Wednesday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Otherwise, you’ll miss that good feeling I’m telling you about…well, because the doors will be closed.
Once you pull up to the old Farmer’s Market Building and see the “Urban Agrarian” signage outside, you’ll already begin to understand what I’m trying to describe.
Hanging from the ceiling above the wooden entrance and walkway, words like “Meats,” “Greens,” or “Jams” let you know a bit of what you’ll find inside. Those featured products and so much more greet you when you swing open the door and step at once both back in time, and into the future.
Everything the Urban Agrarian (UA) carries is locally grown or processed. UA inventory may have even been made right there on the premises.
Matt Burch, UA’s visionary, partnered with April Herrington of Earth Elements kitchen to co-sign a ten year lease on the downtown property. In other words, they’re investing in their ideas for the long haul…and YOU can benefit from their passion for the work they do.
For example, I walked in and immediately got to taste “one of the best cheeses produced in Oklahoma.” It’s smoky, it’s got a perfect texture, and I’ll just say this right now, “You need to go get you some!” Other items in the store include gift basket displays for the holidays, an ample supply of squash and winter vegetables, meats, some of the best Oklahoma standards that can’t get much better (like peanut butter, honey, sweet potato butter, and salsa), and… meat. Did I already mention the meat?
If there’s one thing Oklahoma can really do well, it’s…beef, pork, chicken, lamb. Wowzers…it’s just beautiful.
I was happy to tour the facility and get to see April’s kitchen, check out the heavy duty, highly functional freezers in the back, and see a few ingredients that gave me ideas for all kinds of cooking blogs. But I also had a few questions. The main one I was trying to sort out in my head was how to talk about the concept and role of UA as compared to the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, and the newly opened Whole Foods Market. Here’s how Matt explained the difference:
All of these companies help distribute local foods to those who wish to use them, but a farmer has to be really big and produce on a consistent basis in order to work with Whole Foods. UA, on the other hand, can rotate seasonal crops and special finds from all sizes and all types without quite so much process on the front end.
Furthermore, while the Oklahoma Food Cooperative is a helpful tool for statewide distribution, they only deliver once per month. UA’s doors are open five days each week, and help tremendously with managing fresh produce and meat purchases, as well as providing options for those who might not have the storage to buy in bulk.
And one other really, really awesome thing about UA? Sampling! Anyone can come in at any time and try most anything in the store they are curious about before purchasing. That just can’t happen in places like Whole Foods or when shopping over the internet with the Co-op.
I was sitting there thinking about these differences, looking around, eating my delicious smoky cheese and THAT is when I got my “all is right with the world feeling.”
I can’t wait ‘till you get yours too. Go downtown, check out the UA, and let me know when it hits you.