A Eureka Welcome to the CALED Rural Exchange

On August 7, Humboldt Made was honored to join RREDC in welcoming the CALED Rural Economic Development Exchange to the Eureka with a waterfront reception. The event featured live music, local foods, and Humboldt Made beers, wines, and spirits.

The rural exchange is an incredible opportunity for economic development leaders from across the state to come together and learn about opportunities for our rural communities and connect with other professionals in the field. Topics at the conference on Thursday included valuable information about USDA grants, small business development centers, and rural broadband access.

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Alanna PowellComment
Member Spotlight: Redwood Curtain

Redwood Curtain Brewing Company produces close to 2,000 barrels of handcrafted artisinal ales a year. Founded in 2010 by Drake and Amanda Mollberg, “premium domestic and imported malts and hops, Humboldt County water, and unique yeast strains” come together to create authentic ales and lagers for beer lovers of all types. Drake and Amanda are here to tell us more.

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Food for Thought Film Premiere

Media producers Jennifer Bell and Jessica Eden invite you to an
evening of Humboldt community food stories on the big screen. The Food
for Thought Film project focuses on three topics – the local grain
movement, coastal foods and farming, and local tuna fishing. In an
increasingly mechanized agribusiness world, healthy food production
and consumption plays a role in fostering healthy communities and
developing a sense of place. This project celebrates the hardworking
people who help make Humboldt the very special place we have all come
to love.

As Wendell Berry said, “Eating is an agricultural act” and we are all
responsible for our choices and the ripple effect of our actions.
Through learning the stories of farmers, ranchers and fishermen, we
develop a deeper relationship with our community and our food.

We invite you to join us at The Eureka Theater on Saturday, September
14, 2019 to watch two of our films. Going With the Grain celebrates
the resurgence of the local grain movement, and Coastal Foods: Sowing
the Seeds of Sustainability explores Humboldt's coastal local food
movement. Doors open at 6:30 and there will be an opportunity to enjoy
foods that were created here in Humboldt county. Tickets are available
at FFTFilms.brownpapertickets.com.

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Alanna PowellComment
The Importance of Supporting Local

Most of us are creatures of habit. We tend to stick with our set patterns; go to the same stores, and make the same dinners for our family week after week. We take the easy route when and where possible because of, well, life. Life for most of us is going 100 mph; where if we can accomplish 30% of our chores or workload, the day is a success. What would happen if we all stopped, took a breath, and reflected on how each one of our buying decisions makes a positive or negative impact on the community we live in today, tomorrow, and twenty years from now? It may be hard to believe our small daily decisions can have such an impact, but they do, and collectively, they have the power to bring prosperity to our entire community. As with most positive changes, it starts with a small personal commitment which spreads first to our family, then to our circle of friends, and ultimately, to the community at large.

Humboldt Made has made “Go Local” campaigns a core focus of our organization’s mission. Whether it’s educating people as to local products on our website; or working with local grocery stores to use signage featuring local products; or doing Humboldt Made “Buying Challenges” for special holidays like Thanksgiving; we do this because we know many of our makers and producers consider Humboldt County their bread and butter. Humboldt provides a secure jumping off point, allowing them to eventually grow outside of our County, which is often key to developing a secure, sustainable business. What’s remarkable and somewhat unique to Humboldt is that we produce a wide variety of products across the board, making choosing local a relatively easy process. Local chocolate, check. Local whiskey, check. Local cannabis check, check. Local ghee, lip balm, shampoo? Check, check, check!

So what if the citizens of Humboldt made a commitment to shop local when and where we can? We start by looking for those local tags, and when we see them, compare them to the national brand, we’re more accustomed to putting in our cart. Look at the ingredients, look at what city they are made in, think about the number of jobs they generate and the taxes they pay into for our schools and roads. Then look at the price point. When I buy a Humboldt Chocolate chocolate bar with a price point of $4.99 compared to a Pennsylvanian produced chocolate bar at $3.99, I know that statically what I spend on the Humboldt bar will remain right here within the County, generating three times the economic activity compared to the bar from Pennsylvania. Here’s what David Morris, Vice President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit economic research and development organization, has to say about it. “If you’re buying local and not at a chain or branch store, chances are that store is not making a huge profit, that means more goes into input costs—supplies and upkeep, printing, advertising, paying employees—which puts that money right back into the community." By making this small choice I am not only getting a delicious, well-crafted chocolate bar but I am also supporting jobs for my neighbors, upping the taxes that are paying for the infrastructure I use daily, and the best part, making a purchase that just feels good, really good! As far as Humboldt Made is concerned, your decision to buy local just made you an economic development professional!

A study done in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which has a population of 191,000 (Humboldt County has a population of 136,754), by economic consultant Dan Houston, shows that if consumers were to allocate 10% more of their grocery bill to local businesses instead of chains, it would create 1,600 jobs with a payroll of $53 million and increase the town’s economic activity by $137 million.

Can we embrace that 10% challenge Humboldt? We think so!

These simple, impactful decisions don’t just stop with our grocery bills. They continue with the restaurants we patronize, the contractors we hire, the news outlets we support, the government contracts we fund, the jewelry we wear, and the list goes on. The end goal? Choosing local becomes a mindset, an added step in our daily decision-making process. Sure, it’s not always possible, but when and where we can, why not?

Our decisions today shape our economy tomorrow. When and where we can let’s support Humboldt business. After all, a few pennies here and there from each of us add up to big bucks for our community. We have everything to gain.

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Alanna PowellComment