Saturday, August 14, 2010


I’ve recently run across a web idea that I find fascinating. It’s called The 3/50 Project (found at ). Started by a woman blogger, the idea has gone national in a matter of months. Her point is to build awareness for independent, locally owned businesses and to prompt more people to seek out and shop with local indie shops.

There is a pretty big movement these days to try to keep local dollars from disappearing into the vast national and global economy, and this looks like a great way that each of us can contribute to that notion.

The basic premise of her idea is that we should each stop and think of 3 local independent (indie) businesses that we would miss if they were gone. Take the next step and stop in and spend some money with them each month. The idea is to keep the economy rolling, but rethink where you spend your dollars and try as best you can to keep your dollars local.

She quotes that for every $100 you spend at a chain or national store, only $43 stays within your local community. Spend that $100 on-line and ZERO dollars stay local. Use that same $100 at a local store and $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.

We all have heard a lot recently about the food movement of “locavore”, meaning eating the best, freshest you can find simply by eating what is produced close to home. The 3/50 project simply expands upon that by asking us to spend our dollars locally – and hey, if you’re already a locavore, you’re half way there!

The "Eat Down the Street" portion of her movement is easy to support, especially for me. I LOVE to eat out and local businesses are my favorite. Here's the deal from the 3/50 web site- "It’s not just retail stores we love at The 3/50 Project; it’s all types of locally owned brick and mortars! Join us in supporting the cafes, coffee shops, bistros, diners, pizza joints, pasta shops, and white table cloth haunts that make our neighborhoods fun and fabulous. Let’s commit to eating once a week at an independent spot we’d hate to see disappear—doesn’t have to be someplace pricey, just needs to be an indie (read: not a chain or national brand)."

So today I’m naming 3 independent Akron businesses that I would miss if they were gone and will make an effort to visit each one this month. Can you name 3? Share your 3 with me and we’ll try to support them together.

My three are (1) The Peanut Shop on Main Street (2) Victorian Rose in Hartville (thank you Nancy for reminding me!) and (3) Krieger’s Market in Cuyahoga Falls.

And just so that I keep the ball rolling, I'm going to do my best to stay local while eating out. This week I've lunched at Luigi's (great local pizza spot), and had dinner on Wednesday night with the Gaggle of Gals at Paladar on Chagrin Blvd. 

True to the above, Saturday morning I stopped by to spend some of my dollars at Kriegers.  I've been shopping here since I was in college and lived, literally, across the street.  Now I have to drive across town to get here, but I still come as often as I can.  It's grown some and become much more popular as the years have gone by making this a busy place nearly everytime I stop by. 

For those not in the know, Kriegers is a combination produce market, deli, cheese shop, organic and health food store and funky foods purveyor located in Cuyahoga Falls at Bath Road and Grahm Road.  I've found some of my quirkier food finds here, including items from Lollipop Farms and Ornery Goat Farm.  More flamboyant produce from all over the world turns up here and lots of things grown right in our own backyard.  Amish baked goods share space with pita breads and Naan.  My favorite chicken salad is in the deli counter along with some great smoked meats.  Find out more about them on their website at

Today I'd already been to the Countryside Market down at Howe Meadow and while I enjoy shopping with the vendors down there, there are some things I can't find at that market.  So a quick stop at Kriegers provided me with some great things for this weekends meals. 

I've been picking jalepeno peppers from my garden recently and the best thing I know to do with them is to make salsa.  I like to mix it up a bit and do things other than the typical tomato salsas.  Today I picked up a pineapple and a couple of mangos along with a nice bunch of cilantro (which although I planted rows of cilantro in the garden, it bolted immediately and isn't producing for me at all) and a nice bag of blue corn tortilla chips.  When I got home I spent a nice quiet half hour dicing up the mango and pineapple and making a kick-butt salsa. 

Here is my recipe for the salsa I tossed together this afternoon.  Although it seems like a simple combination, it's easy to move the heat up or down depending up how hot you like it or adjust the flavors depending upon which fruit you like best.  Adding some other flavors would be terrific too, like a little cucmber for crunch or even some avacado to add a buttery texture.

Remember to dice the fruits up really small by putting your knife skills to work.  Too large and you can't fit the chunks on the chips!  Also, make the onion and peppers fine also so no one bites into a big chuck of anything too bitey.

1/2 fresh pineapple, skinned and diced finely
2 ripe mangos, diced finely
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
2 jalepeno peppers, finely diced - remove the seeds and center for a mild heat
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
Juice of 2 limes

Mix all ingredients and give a little time to meld the flavors together. 

Although I really like salsas with chips, I also absolutely love this particular salsa served over salmon or talapia.  Last week I made a siminlar salsa, mixed it with a wild grain rice mixture and some left over salmon and it was a great cold salad for lunch. 

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