The prohibition on non-local products many farmers' markets enforce is understandable and fair and -- sometimes -- discouraging to food entrepreneurs.
Steve Smolek uses Canadian oats for his Grapevine Grains, a fantastic product he sells at the Grapevine and Keller markets. There are Texan oats, he tells me, but he's had better luck with the Canadian variety.
But that's where the outside influence ends. Smolek mills his own grains for his granolas and muselis, including a pumpkin seed version he makes for customers with nut allergies. Since he launched his business last year, he's run 4,000 pounds of grains through his coffeepot-sized hand-cranked beechwood mill. He's also hired workers with disabilities to help him.
I tried the honey almond granola, milled this morning, and thought it was terrific. Smolek's cereals taste clean and fresh, and they're not overly sweet. I picked up a museli that's made with nothing but oats, nuts, seeds and a bit of raw honey.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Smolek also runs monthly specials: For July, there's a patriotic cherry and blueberry granola on offer.