Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Local Foods?
Just off Elston, north of North Avenue, where Willow heads northeast. If you know landmarks better than street names: we’re near both Hideout and Home Depot.
What does “local” actually mean to Local Foods?
In almost every case, it means anything we can bring you that comes from within a day’s drive of Chicago. All products’ place of origin are marked, as are distances. We carry a few things the Midwest can’t grow—like avocados—which are clearly marked “beyond local.”
What is Butcher & Larder?
It’s Chicago’s only whole-animal meat shop where you’re able to buy cuts from animals responsibly raised on small, Midwest family farms. We provide meats that are free of hormones, antibiotics, and corporate interest.
What is Stock Café?
Stock is the café within Local Foods, where Chef Abra Berens brings you dishes honoring Midwest traditions, based upon her own experiences farming at her Bare Knuckle Farms in Michigan, and her experiences running Vie, in Chicago. Menus change daily, and the chefs welcome questions, so ask away.
Can I request Local Foods carry a product?
Absolutely. Please contact us here.
I’d like to work at Local Foods; are there any open positions?
We post open positions here, please contact us! We’re always looking for team members.
What is Handcut Foods?
Handcut Foods is one of our partner businesses, specializing in superior food, service and managment. They build custom menus around seasonal ingredients, from small farms whenever possible, bringing the same quality of food we sell at Local Foods to schools, events, companies… anything requiring larger-scale food-wrangling.
What is Mightyvine?
Mightyvine is one of our partner businesses, using next-generation farming techniques to produce fresh premium tomatoes, year-round, from right here in Chicago.
I produce a product I’d like Local Foods to carry or distribute, can I contact you?
Absolutely. Please contact us here.
I have another question I don’t see answered here, can I contact you?
Butcher & Larder
Are the sausages gluten free?
All the ingredients are on the name tags. There are no hidden ingredients, fillers or additives.
If I don’t cook this today, do I need to freeze it?
Nope. We recommend a 3–4 day shelf life on raw meat. After that, it can go in the freezer.
Is the meat pasture raised?
Yes. All our meat spends time on pasture. Anything they eat that isn’t out in the fields is grown on the farm by the same folks that raise the animals. It is organically grown, non-GMO grasses and corn and hay. The animals love it!
Can I get a whole chicken cut up?
Yes! We’ll cut it any way you like.
Do you sell game/exotic meats?
We can get Duck, Squab, Goat and occasionally Pheasant. It is illegal for us to get wild game that hasn’t been federally inspected. Sometimes one of our farmers will offer us Venison, but farmed Venison doesn’t taste like wild and it is very expensive.
Our Event Spaces
What types of events have you held in the past?
[See gallery of images]
Can I treat my guests to a cooking class, butchery demo, or tour of Local Foods?
Of course! Local Foods regularly hosts classes all about the culture of local food and would be pleased to create a custom offering for your guests.
Can I bring my own alcohol?
All alcohol must be handled by the caterer. We have an exclusive list of caterers and they are all willing to work with you directly on where and how to obtain alcohol for your event.
Is it possible to rent the whole store or facility?
Yes, we can make our entire space available for your event. We can also create a fun and unique “shopping” experience for your guests in our retail area.
Can you supply gift baskets or party favors to my guests?
With a full retail area stocked with unique food finds from the Midwest, it’s simple for us to create unique party favors, gift baskets, and other souvenirs for your guests to take away from your event.
Do you deliver?
Yes! We make everything in-house fresh for your order, so we request 48 hours notice. $200 minimum delivery, service charge of 12%.
Our delivery zone runs north to Chicago Avenue, south to Roosevelt Road, west to Ashland Avenue, and east to the lake. Deliveries outside of that area are subject to an additional charge.
Your food will be accompanied by all the tools you need to eat and enjoy – cups, spoons, napkins, coffee stirrers, and so on.
My question wasn’t answered here. How can I learn more?
Drop our events manager, Sandra Mendez, a line. We’re always glad to help!
Who Does the Final Walkthrough and When Does it Take Place?
We meet with clients for a final walk through 3–4 weeks before the event. At this meeting, we will go over the itinerary for the evening, vendors and their arrival times, and draft a floor plan. If you are doing table assignments, you will be given a list of our table inventory and instructions on how to draft a dining area floor plan.
Can We Schedule a Ceremony Rehearsal?
Yes! You can schedule your rehearsal the day before your wedding date (except holidays). Since we may book an event the evening before yours, we will contact you 2–3 months before your date to confirm the time of your rehearsal.
May I Handpick Inventory for my Event?
We do not allow clients to pick specific inventory. Items may sell between our last meeting and the date. At the final walk through we guarantee inventory numbers for dining and lounge groupings, but can’t guarantee specific pieces.
May I Use Food Inventory/Props from Local Foods for my Table Decor?
Yes! Food makes great seasonal decor and gifts for guests. We ask that the host purchase these items in advance of the event.
Can my Guests Arrive Before the Contracted Start Time?
Your event may not start and the bar cannot open before the contracted time but guests may arrive earlier.
Is Your space Handicapped Accessible?
Yes! All entries and bathrooms are complete accessible.
Can I store equipment or belongings?
We’re happy to hold up to two boxes on behalf of the host for up to one day prior to and after an event.
When do rentals get delivered / picked up?
We are able store rentals one day before and one day after.