Happy Cows Group Share is a hyperlocal shop in Northeast Ohio. The owner is Diana DeCola Siemer and she's dedicated to showcasing as well as provide locally produced foods to the community. A wife, mother and entrepreneur, she is a font of information. When you visit her store located at 7529 Broadview Road in Solon Ohio, you'll quickly discover find that there's more to this business than meets the eye. Sit down with her over a cup of coffee (which she brews fresh every day) and hear what small business is about.
I recently paid Diana a visit--she stocks Pat's Granola and needed more product. I picked up a bounty of food and have been cooking my way through it. The carrots are especially sweet and made one delicious soup (recipe below). I've made breakfast with eggs, bacon and apples, meatballs with the ground beef and pork, soup and salad with chicken and vegetables and applesauce with the apples. Happy Cows sells local products from a variety of businesses. Diana is a passionate advocate for all of us and for this I am very grateful.
My one dish meals these days are usually comfort foods. I'm loving the combination of sweet potatoes and pumpkin purée for this fall soup. It’s rich, not overly spiced and simply delicious. This would make a fine starter to a Thanksgiving meal.
This simple bread and tomato soup bridges the gap between vanishing summer and impending autumn. I can make it with fresh tomatoes or the ones I've frozen from my garden. It's also a delicious way to use up leftover bread.
Ajiaco is a unique Colombian dish, especially beloved in the city of Bogota. It's a hearty chicken soup made with potatoes and corn on the cob. I first had it in a small hole in the wall bodega in New York City. A colleague of mine was Columbian and she swore this tasted just like the dish her family made. After a subway ride uptown from midtown Manhattan into Spanish Harlem, we'd make our way to the back of the store and sit on stools with dishtowel bibs tied around our necks (to protect our business suits) and enjoy this marvelous soup.
Ajiaco is seasoned with a Colombian herb called guascas and is traditionally served with slices of avocado, capers and sour cream. You can usually find frozen papas criollas as well as dried guascas at Latin food markets—they are worth seeking out if you decide to make this dish.
This creamy carrot and ginger soup is a winner, especially when you have fresh carrots dug right out of the garden or from the farm.
Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup
And, in case you're wondering about the soup on the cover of this blog post, its a roasted fall vegetable soup. The recipe calls for chicken stock, however, I substituted pureed tomatoes, which I had in my freezer. Also added broccoli florets and green beans. Served with toasted slices of sourdough, it was wonderful.
Hear me out:
As a small business owner, I'm challenged with how to get my products to customers who want my granola, whether it be online or through local businesses like Happy Cows. I personally know the owners of the businesses we sell in and my relationship with each of them is what sets me and my business apart. I support them and they support, me, my family and the greater community.
Local is everything right now and many of us are struggling, including Diana, to make ends meet and keep our businesses afloat. Please consider shopping in your areas local shops whenever possible.
As the holidays approach, consider buying and/or gifting from a local business.
Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food company. Pat's Granola is sold online at www.patsgranola.com and is also available at selected Northeast Ohio businesses including:
Troubadour Coffee Roasters www.troubadourcoffeeroasters.com
Sports and Spine Physical Therapy www.sportspine.com
Locle Box www.loclebox.com
Made Cleveland www.madecleveland.com
Mister Brisket www.misterbrisket.com
Nature's Oasis Lakewood www.naturesoasis.com
Happy Cows Group Share Happy Cows Group Share
The Corner at The Van Aken District The Corner at The Van Aken District
Sweet Bean Candies Sweet Bean Candies
Hear Pat's story on Food Founders Podcast.
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