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Lemon Tree partners with Iowa Food Cooperative

Marks new distribution site in Newton

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 10:28 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 11:05 a.m. CST

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Shopping local and eating fresh is a popular concept in today’s world. Newton residents can soon look to The Lemon Tree Tea House & Restaurant for a variety food grown by Iowa farmers.

With farmers’ markets wrapped up for the season, the Iowa Food Cooperative will have a pick-up option beginning Thursday. The Iowa Food Coop is an online ordering system for Iowa-produced food. Members have access to more than 1,500 Iowa-produced products, which they order on a bi-weekly schedule.

From baked goods to fresh herbs and gluten-free products, the coop’s products are 100 percent fresh. Customers will place their food orders online and then pick it up at the Lemon Tree, 309 First Ave. W.

Restaurant owner Megan Pryke said the coop sparked her interest because they work only with Iowa farmers.

“I decided on this partnership about three weeks ago because it’s really important to support small farms,” Pryke said. “You will get one week to order and they will bring it here and all you have to do is pick it up.”

According to Pryke, the food is fresh from the farm and nothing sits on the shelf.

“I think it provides a strong sense of business community because anyone who grows these products can use the coop as a resource for your small business,” Pryke said.

Courtney Tompkins, of Newton, said she was excited to see a drop off location for the Iowa Food Cooperative coming to town.

“I know it’s pretty popular in Des Moines, and I never had a chance to try it,” Tompkins said. “My order has been placed and it’s a pretty handy system, it’s basically like shopping online.”

Tompkins said she was interested in products such as organic squash and milk.

“It’s all about giving an outlet to local farmers,” Tompkins said. “I hope enough people utilize it so it stays here in Newton.”

There is a six-month free trial that anyone can try out and see how they like receiving food from the coop, according to Pryke. There is also a $10 off the first order.

When the weather makes it unsafe to drive, it’s not uncommon for people to seek online methods for grocery shopping or if they have a lack of time.

“When our consumer members place an order online they are ordering directly from the producer,” the coop states. “When the cart closes the producer gets a list of everything that was ordered that cycle and brings it to our Des Moines location the day before or morning of distribution.”

Pryke said she encourages residents to check out the website and free trial as it’s a unique opportunity.

“They have been really enthusiastic and terrific to work with,” Pryke said. “I’m excited to see what local feedback will be once we try this a few times.”

To check out the Iowa Food Cooperative website, visit iowafood.coop. The Lemon Tree Tea House is located at 309 First Ave. W. The cut off day for orders are on Mondays with the food delivered the following Thursday.

Contact Kayla Singletary at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or ksingletary@newtondailynews.com

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