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Scrumptious Pantry Receives 'Homegrown Business' Award

By Janet Rausa Fuller | December 13, 2013 8:49am
 Scrumptious Pantry, a purveyor of artisanal and heirloom food products, received the Homegrown Business Award from State Rep. Toni Berrios.
Scrumptious Pantry Receives Homegrown Business Award
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LOGAN SQUARE — Shoppers at the Scrumptious Pantry can meet with State Rep. Toni Berrios from 11 a.m. to noon Dec. 14 while sampling some of the shop's small-batch sauces and preserves.

Berrios will be there to give the shop at 3230 W. Fullerton Ave. and its owner Lee Greene the 39th District Homegrown Business of the Month Award for December.

Berrios started the award as an offshoot of legislation passed this summer that designates the first Saturday of every month as "Eat Local, Buy Illinois Products Day." She was a co-sponsor of the bill.

November's award went to the Dill Pickle Food Co-Op, 3039 W. Fullerton Ave. The Logan Square Chamber of Commerce nominated both businesses for the award.

Greene works with family farmers in the Midwest to make pickles, sauces, ketchup and other shelf-stable foods using heirloom produce. Her products are sold online, in some specialty stores and at the new Eataly in River North. Whole Foods recently started carrying Scrumptious Pantry's fruit curds and cranberry sauce in its stores nationwide.

"We all need to eat healthier, and if it's local, it's one step healthier because you know it's fresh," said Berrios, who last year partnered with the Logan Square Farmers Market for a food drive to benefit St. Hyacinth Basilica.

Greene, who started her company in 2010, hopes to use the time Saturday to bend Berrios' ear "on the challenges and situations we face as small food processors in Illinois, the lack of infrastructure," she said.

"When the industry went to gigantic monocrops, they have these gigantic mono-processors. But the small-scale infrastructure that's left can't work with fresh ingredients," Greene said.

Berrios said such discussion is the goal of the awards and these meet-and-greets.

"Starting a small business, especially in this economy, is very tough, so I want to hear what constituents are saying about legislation and what's going on in the community," she said.

Berrios' office welcomes nominations for the 39th District Homegrown Business of the Month from residents.