Great products with great stories. Simply put, this is what we’re all about at FerndaleMarket. We strive to produce and source the very best in distinctive local foods, and share the stories of the people and practices behind them. In that spirit, I wanted to share the stories behind two of our Ferndale turkey items, just in time for grilling season.

Many of you have tried our popular Rachael Bratwurst, and I’d guess most people make the immediate parallel to the traditional Rachel sandwich, but there’s another important dimension to our story. Yes, it’s a turkey brat, filled with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut, just like the café staple in sausage form, but it’s the “Rachael” behind the brat that makes this so unique. The namesake in this play-on-words is Rachael Lee, second generation at Steve’s Meats in Ellendale, MN, who helped us develop our brat. Steve’s has been an award-winning smokehouse since 1976, and Rachael took the reins after her father passed away. Together with her mom, they’ve continued the quality craftsmanship required to get the blend of our small-batch Rachael sausage just right. We know it’s a summertime favorite of many, and we are thrilled to have Rachael’s name beside ours on each label.

We are also proud to have launched a collaboration turkey burger in partnership with Birchwood Café in Minneapolis, building on their long-standing commitment to local, sustainable foods. We developed the burger using their own award-winning turkey burger recipe (read about their burger here), and in close partnership with their chef. In addition to our turkey, we source the same herbs and vegetables from trusted organic partners, and we found an independent Saint Paul butcher to put it all together as a chef-inspired burger that puts an end to the notion of bland turkey burgers. Few things top a visit to Birchwood Café, but we’re glad to offer a cook-at-home option to rival the original in flavor and craftsmanship.

I love these stories of partnership. Everything we do at Ferndale Market requires the work and support of others, so I’m proud to share these stories of Rachael and our friends at Birchwood Café. Both are great reminders of the interconnectedness of a sustainable food system, with each brat and burger supporting our farming practices, and the traditions of our partners. Thanks for celebrating these great products and great stories with us.

Cheers to summer, stories, and sustaining traditions!