Pre-pandemic thought to convey wholesome meals to Philipsburg

PHILIPSBURG – Historically, Philipsburg miners were more interested in gaining reach than buying organic products. But today’s residents, visitors, are a different race.

One idea that popped up during the pandemic last spring is on its way to becoming permanent. But proponents of the idea of ​​sharing food here in Granite County say they could use a new location.

Leigh Dollard and her friends were just starting Philipsburg Food Share when the pandemic broke out, using social media and innovation to push their way and grab the attention of two local shoppers.

“I didn’t know it was the nonprofit time,” explained new co-owner Brock Long. “I think if they ever sell this, I want it. Let’s buy this.

And last winter they got their chance. Now the Longs are continuing the pipeline of fresh and organic products.

Dennis Bragg photo

Ashley and Brad Long bought Philipsburg Food Share last winter and are hoping to expand

“We use two main sources,” said Ashley Long. “The first would be Western Montana Growers Co-op. And then our other is Charlie’s Produce, which is from the Northwest.”

What defines their shop is their absolute love for food and how to prepare it.

“There’s a guy who owns a supermarket in an old western and someone comes in and says, ‘Have you tried this product? No, I’ve never tried it.’ We’ll try everything and probably suggest recipes. And we try to combine the food that’s in here every week so that there are things that go well together and cook well together. ” – Brock Long

Ashley says it’s great fun meeting people.

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Dennis Bragg photo

Brock Long speaks to visitors from Durango, CO

“I really want to start sharing recipes like Brock said. And I mean, there are only certain things that people haven’t even heard of. And then they come here and then ask questions. And it’s kind of fun to have experimented and made a meal with it and then shared it with the person. And then they’re super excited. “

On a recent visit to the store, customers came from all over the valley, but also from other parts of Montana and Colorado, all to appreciate the variety and unique offers that are often not even available in the cities of Montana.

“It’s a lot of fun finding out your background and why you’re visiting Phillipsburg,” says Ashley enthusiastically. “And of course we have a huge selection of locals. But it’s really fun when the tourists come in and then hear their stories. It’s also very exciting to find out what made her come to our store. and yes, it’s fun. “

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Dennis Bragg photo

Ashley hopes to bring healthier take-away options to all of these visitors.

“I think it would be great if we could offer some kind of take away to everyone who walks around town. I mean, they come here and do all the fun things, but they also have to eat. And why not use our fresh products? Our local products and create something for them? “- Ashley Long

The Longs really appreciate that the Philipsburg Theater allows them to use the lobby several days a week. But they are actively looking for a larger location with more kitchen and cooling. They will continue to donate surpluses to the blackboard every week, but hope for a place with a kitchen and more cooling.

“But we are looking for a space that we can expand, where we have a real kitchen and that allows us to expand what the Food Share gives back to the community, to grow and the sky is the limit” says Brock. “We’re looking for a kitchen.”

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Dennis Bragg photo

The food is sourced locally, from producers in Montana and the Northwest

Heard from more and more local farmers and producers. “I mean, that’s the ultimate goal. The more local, the better.”

With their love of cooking and the amazing ingredients around them, I ask them how they decide what to have for dinner each night with all of these delicious foods.

“It’s pretty awesome.” My parents are in town. We cooked like the last six nights in a row so that we might get pizza tonight, “admits Brock with a hearty laugh.

Philipsburg Food Share is a growing number of local food cooperatives and smaller not-for-profit, independent grocers serving the smaller communities of Montana.

For more information, visit Philipsburg Food Share on Facebook and Instagram, or stop by the Philipsburg Theater Building at 140 South Sansome Street in the middle of the week.

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