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Thriving on Local 

Sandpoint makes a favorable environment for new Flourish eatery

click to enlarge Flourish bakes their own bread daily in Sandpoint. - CARRIE SCOZZARO
  • Carrie Scozzaro
  • Flourish bakes their own bread daily in Sandpoint.

Even though they'd only been open two weeks, Vicki Reich and business partner Marah Jacobs quickly realized that their hanging chalkboard menu needed to be larger and easier to change, in order to adapt to serving predominately local and organic food.

Although they're able to get some local ingredients consistently, like meat, dairy products and the Wheat Montana flour in their scratch-baked goods, availability of other items varies according to season and farmers' ability to provide volume. For example, Wheyward Goat Cheese Co. in Vay, Idaho, and Ione, Washington's Ramstead Ranch provide the chèvre cheese and pork used in Flourish's pork loin sandwich ($9.50), yet the coconut in their homemade trail mix can't be grown in the Northwest.

Having to adapt to what's available, says Reich, makes them more creative.

So this being winter, hearty greens and root vegetables are in season. Roasted squash appears in a salad ($9) or with Fontina cheese and kale in a sandwich ($8). Other sandwich options include roasted golden beets from Ronningers out of Moyie Springs, Idaho ($7) and grilled cheese with Tillamook cheddar, Willamette Valley Cheese Co. Fontina and Wheyward chèvre ($7.50).

Lacking on-site cooking facilities has been another spur to creativity for the duo, who have decades of experience in the food and grocery industries.

"The reason that I started [Flourish] is that I have been passionate about local foods and growing local food businesses for several years." says Reich, a former store manager at Winter Ridge Natural Foods,

Jacobs, who also worked at Winter Ridge as well as Seattle's award-winning Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe, does all the baking at Flourish's next-door neighbor, Pend d'Oreille Winery.

In addition to the menu giving credit to local providers — Springs of Hope dairy, Selkirk Sausage, Evans Brothers Coffee — all labels and signage includes the percentage of local ingredients, so customers know exactly what they're getting. They also know where their money is going.

"We're just trying to keep our dollars here," says Reich. ♦

Flourish • 301 Cedar St., #105, Sandpoint • Open Tue-Fri, 7 am-4 pm; Sat-Sun, 8 am-4 pm • facebook.com/flourishsandpoint • 208-263-5125

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