I wavered on the idea of writing a post about one of my favorite local stores because G.B. Russo & Son in Grand Rapids, Michigan doesn’t totally fit the bill in my philosophy toward growing, buying, sharing, and eating happy foods. I don’t recall seeing much in the organic and/or grassfed department, and a lot of their food is imported. But they do make a lot of what they sell right on the premises. So does that still qualify as buying local?
A family-owned business since 1905, the store was started by Giovanni B. Russo who came to Grand Rapids from the small village of Montelepre, Sicily. His parents and siblings also worked with him. When his only son Frank was born in 1916, the company name was changed from G.B. Russo Importer to G.B. Russo & Son. You can read more about the family history (and check out the great family photos) on their website.
The foodie in me loves having store like this nearby because sometimes it’s just tough to find certain ingredients in Holland, especially a good kasseri cheese (Greek sheep’s cheese) for Bill. And, Russo’s has a great wine selection–including many Michigan wines. Perhaps the foodie in me should have stricter guidelines for her ingredients? It’s a tough call when you love to cook and live in a country like the United States where almost anything is available.