SOURCES +

—  NLB Planned SOURCES 

Please note that all item availability is subject to seasonal harvests, and a myriad of other unknowns.

Bedillion Honey Farm

Bedillion Honey Farm

Hickory, Pennsylvania

Organic Honey, maybe other products…

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

It’s organic local honey! Which should be common place everywhere, but it’s not.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Thy sell all of their products on their website, as well as at their shop in Hickory, if you want to get them direct and with packaging. Plus their product are located in various places across the region. Have patience if you email them, it could take time for a response!

Bestowed Essentials

Bestowed Essentials

South Dakota

Bar Dish Soap, Bar Bath/Hand Soap, and potentially other items made by them specifically.

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

Their bar dish soap (hand wash, not machine) is top notch. It lasts a very long time, and it cleans as good as anything we’ve ever used. Their products are offered “Naked” (package-less), so that is right inline with what we are doing. And their shipping methods are efficient, and minimal. Bestowed Essentials has a positive and purposeful mission, and offers transparency into how they operate and sourcing. Which you can explore via their website.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Nothing right now.

Brenntag

Brenntag

Distribution in Oakmont, PA - Headquartered in Germany

Fleischmann's Organic Vinegar, and potentially Sodium Bicarbonate #1 (Baking Soda) from Genesis Alkali

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

We’d go directly to the source for Vinegar, but it’s not possible. And the baking soda is a back up to Natural Soda if we can’t acquire that effectively. Genesis Alkali never got back to us when we inquired directly to them, so we can’t back their company as of this moment, but It just might be what we have to use/offer.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Their customer service/sales was great!

Broadrun Farms

Broadrun Farms

Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Organic Cheeses (various)

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

Sourcing sustainably made cheese is a tough thing to do here in the Burgh. Broad Run fills a gap in this aspect with their offerings, their practices, and their location.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

They also offer meat and raw milk which you can get directly from them…as well as their cheeses.

Brush With Bamboo

Brush With Bamboo

California <-- Germany <-- China

Bamboo Toothbrush with a 100% bio based and biodegradable (no plastic!) bristles, plus other potential items they make.

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

Out of all the toothbrush companies in the world, BWB might be producing the most sustainable toothbrush. There are maybe a few other companies that are producing different versions of the bamboo brush, but none can compare with how they have pushed the industry with their bristles. The biggest negative in its process (from our research) is the total distance the brushes travel. It’s a long distance when you got China (the bamboo), Germany (the bristles), and the US in the mix for a tooth brush. Unfortunately, almost all plastic tooth brushes come from China as well, so it’s somewhat of a negative wash in travel.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

You can order everything that we will offer at NLB, plus other options they have, via their website.

Century Sun Oil

Century Sun Oil

Wisconsin

Organic Sunflower Oil

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They do one thing, and they do it well; organic pressed sunflower oil. They additionally offer the crushed by-product of the sunflower oil pressing as feedstock. Resulting in a looping system both in the product, and in their business practices.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

They work with about 4 farms that grow organic sunflower seeds for them. And to our knowledge, most, if not all of these farms are all in Wisconsin.

Clarion River Organics

Clarion River Organics

Sligo, Pennsylvania

Asparagus, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprout Florets, Cabbage, Chard, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Garlic Scapes, Herbs, Kale, Lettuce, Melons, New Potatoes, Onions, Pappy Pan Squash, Parsnips, Patty Pan Squash, Peppers, Radishes, Radishes, Rhubarb, Rutabagas, Scallions, Strawberries, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watermelons, Winter Squash, Zucchini

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

As there is very little in the ways of sustainable produce that a small business can acquire around here (there are options, but they are small to tiny), CRO offers an option across the spectrum. Consumers have a wider variety of better offerings with the farms, farmers markets, and CSA’s around here. Which business like NLB do not have access to. And this is as it should be so consumers can get their products directly form the farmers whenever possible.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

CRO is owned by the individuals who also run Three Rivers Grown. CRO’s central warehouse is located Around 100 miles north of Pittsburgh, and encompasses a co-op of about 15 farms, all within a 10 mile radius of the main warehouse (info directly from conversations with CRO).

Doguet's Rice Milling Company

Doguet's Rice Milling Company

Beaumont, Texas

Basmati White & Brown Rice, as well as staple brown and white rice.

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

There are multiple rice sources that we may still use with different/same offerings, but we are running with Doguet’s because of location, and how they operate. They are fully transparent with all aspects of their operation that we throw at them. Their location is the most sustainable given all aspects of our sourcing parameters when compared with the other rice options we contacted and tracked down.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

They work with about 25 farms, all in Texas, that are all within about a 2 hour/140 mile estimated radius. And one of those farmers is the owner.

Equal Exchange

Equal Exchange

Massachusetts

Bitter and Semi sweet
chocolate chips,
baking chocolate, hot
cocoa

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

Equal Exchange offers high quality, organic, fairly traded cocoa products through transparent business methods. All the way from the farmers they work with, to your kitchen.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Cocoa beans are grown and produced into chocolate chips in Peru. Baking cocoa is grown and produced in the Dominican republic. The Hot Cocoa uses the same cocoa from the Dominican along with sugar from Paraguay and milk powder from Organic Valley.

Fleischmann's Vinegar (Owned by KERRY in Ireland)

Fleischmann's Vinegar (Owned by KERRY in Ireland)

Multiple USA Locations - Ireland

Organic White Vinegar

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

For organic vinegar, it’s between Fleischmann’s and another multinational conglomerate. Which isn’t great. So, we’ve went after the version that we, by our research, is made in the USA. The customer service / sales person that assisted us was very helpful. And we didn’t want to mess with a chemically dependent vinegar for the risk of untraceable sourcing and GMOs. Thus the organic certification.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Distributed by Brenntag (locally), headquarter out of Germany.

Georgia Organic Peanut Association

Georgia Organic Peanut Association

Americus, Georgia

Organic Peanuts

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

This was our number one choice for peanuts from the very beginning of our research. We did a sweep of other places but nothing turned out better. They are a group of sustainably minded peanut growers seeking to grow the best peanuts you can get in the best way possible. All allergies aside, We are stoked to offer and create food things with their peanuts!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Nothing at the moment.

Global Organics

Global Organics

Cambridge, MA (Brazil)

Organic Cane Sugar

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

While the distance is great as this sugars origin is in South America, and it’s grown in Brazil which is currently destroying the rainforest faster than I can type this, this is ironically the most sustainable organic sugar that we could find. The Native Green Cane Project, which Global Organics partners with, is the most forward thinking of any sugar production in the world that we have found which we can source from. It takes in all factors throughout the process, and looks at sustainability instead of pure profit. We suggest you look up the Native Green Cane Project for more info. If we can locate a better option in the US, we’d jump on it in a heart beat!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Now, there is Organic sugar grown and processed in the US, mainly Florida Crystals, however, their processes aren’t at the level of sustainability and transparency that Native Green Cane Projects are. They are also owned by a larger corporation who’s business practices, other investments, how they operate, and where they put their money, leave a lot to be desired; they focus on profits. There are a few other places in Florida and elsewhere that we found that provide organic, but no one in the states responded to us after many…many attempts to get information in sourcing their sugar. Additionally, we will not source sugar where farmers burn their crops as this is a unsustainable practice…which florida farmers still do.

Great Mississippi Tea Company

Great Mississippi Tea Company

Mississippi

Various organic loose leaf tea varieties based upon what they have available.

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

It’s tough to locate sustainably sourced, loose leaf tea, grown in the USA. There are only two growers in the states growing Camellia Sinensis that also are sustainable, offer loose leaf at the moment, and in also bulk. We didn’t locate GMTC until after multiple failed attempts at other sources. But, this might be the best possible option. Just read about their practices and their philosophy. We think they are pretty awesome.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

You can order off of their site directly if you so choose to!

Green Forest (Planet Inc.)

Green Forest (Planet Inc.)

Wisconsin (California)

100% Recycled Bathroom Tissue

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They are the most sustainable toilet paper company that manufacturers their product in the states coming in at 100% recycled paper (90% post consumer). The only other competition they have in the world for sustainable toilet issue as of this writing is “Who Gives A Crap”. But, their product is produced in China which is a long distance away whereas Green Forest is Made in the USA. And Green Forest’s toilet tissue squares don’t fall apart when torn, nor stick to your nether regions when wet like WGAC. Plus when it really matters, Green Forest toilet tissue is simply much softer on the bum!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

One truth is that toilet tissue isn’t the most sustainable way to clean up after a #1 or a #2. A bidet is. However, the bidet can’t get all the crap (literally) off your bum in “serious situations”, or if your diet or health results is mush a lot. Thus, some sort of wiping situation is still needed. Be it tissue, a reusable toiletry towel, or your hand. Ya, seriously, your hand.

High Quality Organics

High Quality Organics

Nevada & Weesp, Netherlands

Various Spices, Herbs, and Seasonings / Blends

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

HQO is one of the larger sources that we plan to work with. They source what we want, they know what they are doing, they are transparent, and they are certified in various areas for various products. Thus, there is a level of quality that we seek that they can offer for many spices. Plus the sales rep. was more than willing to answer anything I threw at him.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

The spice trade is riddled with abuse of farmers, labor practices, distribution channels, and big world wide conglomerates. Fairly Traded, Directly Sourced, Organic spices are the ideal. And there are companies that specialize in certain spices, and we encourage you to locate these companies and check out their items. We are searching for the best possible sources for spices, but there are limits given our size, access, and situaiton at the current. Being that, the goal is to get all spices fairly traded with full transparency, and a super goal of direct. We are not there at the moment.

J.Q. Dickinson Salt

J.Q. Dickinson Salt

West Virginia

Salt

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

Location to the Pittsburgh area, transparency, and how they operate. And plus their sales rep. was most excellent!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

All salt, is salt, it it not? You technically could use road rock salt in a dish. It would be the same, only bigger, and with interesting hints of rubber, with a smooth, but bitter, dirt after taste!

James Lake Farms

James Lake Farms

Three lakes, Wisconsin

Organic Cranberries

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They are the most sustainable option for cranberries that we could find. Plus, their customer service is superb as they took the time to go into great detail with all of our questions. Thus, we are pretty excited to offer these Cranberries —Fresh, Frozen, and Dehydrated— at the future location of NLB!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

In Brief— Cranberries are grown and harvested in a bog. AKA: a body of water. Like a lake. Ocean Spray pretty much dominates the market via contracts with farmers. Especially in chemically dependent farming operations. In these chemical dependent practices of growing cranberries, the chemicals used, as well as how the land and water are treated in the process, can cause real damage to the entire ecosystem. Thus, non-Ocean Spray, and Organic, is the most sustainable choice hands down.

Jubilee Hilltop Ranch

Jubilee Hilltop Ranch

Osterburg, Pennsylvania

Eggs

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They practice sustainable methods, AND they will accept their egg cartons (which are already recyclable) back when intact. No other source in the area does that that we have found. Which means the egg cartons can be reused over and over and over again.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Nothing at the Moment.

Marroquin Organics

Marroquin Organics

Germany & Austria

Organic: Dry Yeast, Vital Wheat Gluten, Nutritional Yeast

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

We’d like to say we plan to offer Marroquin because of their organic pedigree, a great product, and sustainability practices, which is all true. But it wouldn’t be the full truth. We reached out to Lesaffre (Red Star), since they are USA made, as well as Lalland in Canada. Unfortuantely after many attempts, we never got a hold of anyone in either company. However, Marroquin responded to our (second) inquiry. And they answered all of our questions in full. Thus, Marroquin it is!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

There are a couple independent makers of organic yeast and vwg in the US, who make either or, and we might reach out to them if need be. But the best option is direct from Germany/Austria from Marroquin. It’s a loooong way to go to get these items. But given they produce all three, and their warehouse isn’t too far from Pittsburgh, and the track record of the company form our research, it’s the most sustainable option for these three items at the moment that we can locate.

Middlefield Cheese Co-op

Middlefield Cheese Co-op

Ohio

(440) 632-5567

Various organic & non-organic cheeses

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

Some of the most affordable cheese, let alone organic, anywhere we looked. They are a co-op of around 65 small farms with around 10-15 cows each. All within a total max distance of 100 miles from their main processing location. And all not too far from us here in the burgh.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

They have no website, email, or social media. But you can give them a call and they should be able to answer any questions you may have.

Missouri Northern Pecan Growers

Missouri Northern Pecan Growers

Missouri

Wild Organic Pecans

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

There are a couple wild pecan farming operations in Missouri that we’d work with. But in our conversation, MNPG goes just a bit beyond for a more sustainable system. One of the examples would be that the shells of the pecans are not simply tossed away, but put back into use in multiple ways after the meat (the pecan) has been removed. Thus, no waste and a looping system.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

There are more than sixty farmers that grow organic pecans for MNPG ranging from 10 to 400 acres and beyond. All but three of their farmers are located within 30 miles of the processing facility. Two of the other three are located in Kansas, within 70 miles, and one is in New Mexico (larger hybrid typical pecans).

Rainforest Distribution

Rainforest Distribution

Dist. out of Maryland - HQ in New Jersey

Glass Bottled Milk, and potentially Butter

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They are the only way we can get sustainably sourced and transparent, glass bottled milk in the area. There are other options in glass bottled milk around here, but they either; never responded to our sustainability inquires, are raw milk (maybe later), or their distribution line adds 400+ miles to their distance when they are only located 145 odd miles from PGH…which makes no sense.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

The street in Maryland, where the sales person we spoke was calling from, is called English Muffin Way. Can we finally meet the Muffin Man?

Seven Hills Pasta

Seven Hills Pasta

Massachusetts

Various Italian Dry Pasta Forms

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They were as interested in NLB as we were about them. They are transparent about their products, business practices, and everything else we tossed them.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Massachusetts is a long way to go for bulk dry pasta, when one could make it right at home. But making pasta is time consuming. And it’s the best option we found that uses organic/sustainable methods. It proved challenging to locate the few sources we did, and within in a reasonable distance. So we feel lucky to have connected with Seven Hills for our main source for dry pasta.

South Mountain Creamery

South Mountain Creamery

Maryland

Milk in glass bottles, and potentially Butter

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

If you’re going to drink milk, it should be from a glass bottle. No questions. Yes, the distance from them to us is a bit much. But they answered our questions and were interested in bringing their product to us here in the burgh. Plus, their milk would travel to us via Rainforest Dist. And they are already coming to this area for other delivery spots. So we’d just be hitchin’ a ride in the same direction.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

SMC’s milk is supplied by two farms that they own in Middletown, MD, consisting of about 3000 acres and 600 cows. SMC Owns Trickling Springs Organic as well which they acquired in 2020.

Stutzman Farms

Stutzman Farms

Ohio

(330) 674-1289

Local Ancient and Modern Whole Grains (Berries) and Stone Ground Flours. Spelt, Wheat, Oat, Rye, Turkey Red, Einkorn, Emmer, Sorghum, Rolled Oats, Popcorn, Corn, and Black Turtle Beans. As well as Kamut and maybe other non-local grains.

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They have a wide variety of organic grains they grown with farmers locally to them. And all of their local farmers are located within 150 miles of their central location. Which is about the distance from them to us. Which means we can get a good variety of quality grown grains from one location not too far away.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

They have a store in Ohio at their farm that you can buy directly from if you are ever out that way. And if you should have any questions for them, give them a ring, hit option 2, and leave a message. Be quick as it’s only about 10 seconds. Enough to leave a name and number. What else do you need?

Swedish Wholesale

Swedish Wholesale

Minneapolis, Minnesota <-- Sweden

Swedish Made Biodegradable Dish Cloth

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

To say that this type of cloth is the ultimate dish, kitchen, paper towel replacement, home, bathroom, and all around utility cloth/rag, would be a bit much. However, it’s not far off. It’s made from 30% cotton and 70% cellulose (plant fibers), making it insanely absorbent. It’s just out of time range to be considered compostable, but 100% biodegradable in about 2 months. ONLY put this in your compost if you have not used any toxic chemicals on or with it. Otherwise, toss it when it has been worn out so you do not contaminate your compost. Which could be a year or more depending on your use of it.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

There are a few importers of this cloth from Sweden into the USA. “Swedish Wholesale” is simply the company that got back to us, and provided all the info we sought via great customer service. Why does no one in the USA make this?!

The Vanilla Bean Project

The Vanilla Bean Project

Lakeland, Minnesota

Organic, Direct Trade, Pure Vanilla Extract

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They source their vanilla beans directly from a co-operative of origin farms in Madagascar. Thus ensuring a direct line of fairly traded vanilla beans from the farm, to the co-op, then to the vanilla bean project, on to their customers (us here at NLB), and then to the end consumer…you! Knowing exactly who is involved in all aspects, cutting out any unnecessary stops, and ensuring the farmers who grow the vanilla beans are fairly compensated is at the highest level of sourcing vanilla. Plus, they are transparent in their business operations and are right on board with what NLB is doing. It’s a win win!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

If you see the term “Bourbon” on vanilla, that means a location; Madagascar. Also, all pure vanilla extract must have alcohol in it. And most likely the “Pure Vanilla Extract” that you have, is not pure, but tainted with additional filler additives. Always be a good consumer and read the label, and always do your product homework.

Three Springs Fruit Farm

Three Springs Fruit Farm

Aspers, Pennsylvania

Apples, Berries (various), Cherries, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They are fully transparent, operate using sustainable methods, and if they should need to spray something for some reason, they open about it. But from our conversation, they would much like to not spray anything at all.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

It’s hard to acquire local sustainable fruit when you are a small business around here. There are a lot of places that do grow fruit much closer to Pittsburgh, but they are almost all direct to CSA (which we encourage you to do), at least one that was simply not transparent about their practices, and almost no one offering organically grown fruit.

Timeless Seeds

Timeless Seeds

Montana

Organic: Black Beluga Lentils®, Black Butte Chickpea®, French Green Lentils, Green Lentils, Harvest Gold Lentils (Decorticated), Whole Red Lentils, Spanish Brown Lentils, Sunrise Red Lentils™(Decorticated), Petite Crimson Lentils (Decorticated), Garbanzo Beans, Farro, Semi-Pearled (Emmer), Purple Prairie Barley® Whole Grain, Purple Prairie Barley® Semi-Pearled

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They are fully traceable, fully transparent, and operate under a fully organic and sustainable mission in their operation, and especially in their farming practices. No other Lentil matches their quality.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

They work with around 50 farms, which are mostly all in Montana, and are from 20 to 300 miles from their main processing location. Oh, and they are The “Lentil Underground”. Need I say more? Probably…but i’m not.

Trickling Springs Creamery

Trickling Springs Creamery

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Organic Milk in a glass jug

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

It’s the most sustainably sourced, higgh quality, organic milk we can get.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

TSC is a co-op of farmers within a 50 miles radius of Chambersburg, PA. South Mountain Creamy bought them in the summer of 2020, more than a year after their previous owners got caught running a fraud scheme reportedly around $60 million dollars against their own farmers, investors, and company.

Tru Earth

Tru Earth

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Biodegradable Laundry Detergent Strips

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

As far as our research has taken us, the laundry strip is the most sustainable method that can be purchased to do ones laundry with. No plastic. No Packaging. Light on shipping costs and materials. No additional return refill shipping trip. And Tru Earth’s strip is certified biodegradable, thus no harmful chemicals put back into the system once it has dissolved. Additionally, Tru Earth is fully transparent on all ingredients, why they are used, and they have an in-depth Q&A section on their website for newbies to the strip. We double dog dare you to show us a more sustainable method, from a more sustainable and transparent source, to wash ones cloths with.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Most people use far too much laundry detergent, liquid or powder, for each load; total waste of cleaner, water, energy, money, and time. You only need the minimal amount per load, and suds are not a way to measure such amounts. With the strip, it’s tear, toss, and chill. And with no suds! (mind blown) Also, in whatever you choose to use, or make, to wash your laundry with, always use “Laundry Detergent”…never use “Laundry Soap”. They are not the same thing.

—  Possible NLB SOURCES 

Please note that all item availability is subject to seasonal harvests, and a myriad of other unknowns.

Image-empty-state.png

Baugher Ranch Organics

California

Organic Almonds

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

Honestly, it’s almost by default. They state a solid organic and sustainable process on their site, but they are big Almond Ag. and they sell only large to massive amounts. If we do collaborate, we have to get a lot of Almonds. There are other possible farm avenues for almonds, but it’s simply to costly for a bulk almond option. Good for customers to purchase direct, not good for NLB to purchase at wholesale and then resell/use. There isn’t much of a middle ground for organic US almonds for NLB.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

We didn’t go after, and choose not to offer at this time, non-organic almonds. Almond growing, production/processing, and the demand for almonds worldwide, adds to the necessity of a more sustainable source. And organic is that pat.

Image-empty-state.png

Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms

West Grove, Pennsylvania

Dried Organic Mushrooms

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They are the only mushroom company that we have found that’s focus is on Organic and sustainability. And while they are far, they are not REALLY far away from the Pittsburgh area.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

They offer both fresh and dried all year long, but they have no direct distribution to Pittsburgh. And since fresh mushrooms aren’t an item with a long shelf life, it’s not feasible for us to bring in fresh via pick up or shipping. However, we can get a whole mess of dried organic mushrooms in single large pick-ups, which is feasible. Plus, dried mushrooms can be rehydrated and used in almost any way fresh mushrooms are. They are not the same, but are pretty darn good! Oh, and save the mush broth when rehydrating to add to a soup, stew, or to pour over another dish! (We are searching for a fresh grower in the direct pgh area as this is being typed.)

Image-empty-state.png

Natural Soda

Colorado

Sodium Bicarbonate #1 (Baking Soda)

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

Our research revealed that the method they use to recover the mineral in it’s purest form, and the lack of chemicals used in the process, is the least evasive and damaging to our world when compared to the type of mining operations in Wyoming. If you have contradictory (independent) evidence that says we are wrong, show us!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Mining Sodium Bicarbonate causes damage in all cases. This company, to us, seems to do the least amount of damage. But, it’s possible we might not be able to acquire their product. They only offer their items in full pallet form via a distributor, and we can’t use a full pallet. There is a chance that we could get smaller quantities from the distributor if an issue with a pallet occurs. If not, then we will go with our back up for this mineral; Genesis Alkali. Which we can get from a local dist. by the bag.

Image-empty-state.png

PATCH Bandages (by Nutricare)

Australia

Compostable Bandages

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

No other bandages on the market are compostable. Nor even biodegradable and plastic free that we know of. And this goes for their entire line, and packaging. We won’t be able to take back the used bandages in our take back system as it then becomes a medical and hazardous waste situation, and it’s not at all safe for us to do so. BUT, we will take back all of the packaging, and you can compost the bandage yourself properly in your own compost. Or, dispose of it properly.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

These are coming, currently, from Australia. They are not, as of this writing, prepped to be distributed in the US. Although they are working on it. But it would be great if an American company did a version, that was made in the USA, that was top quality!

Image-empty-state.png

Pleasant Grove Farms

California

Organic: Yellow Popcorn (Butterfly and Mushroom), White Popcorn, Multicolor Popcorn, White Corn, Blue Corn, Dark Red Kidney Beans, Black Beans, Mung Beans, Urad Beans, Hard Red Wheat, Soft White Wheat, Triticale

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

For the red kidney beans, their regenerative organic farming practices, and transparency. We’ve tried to locate and connect with multiple bean growers closer to the area, but it’s been unsuccessful. They offer multiple other items that we can offer and use in conjunction, but it’s still a long ways to go for organic red kidney beans.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

95% of their products are from their own farm. At times they do work with smaller farmers within a sixty mile radius to fill out that percentage. And their customer service/sale was on point, answered all of our questions and then some, and just provided a real great sales/customer service experience in a few short exchanges.

Image-empty-state.png

Red River Commodities

Fargo, North Dakota

Organic Sunflower Kernels

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

It’s the only source that we have found thus far with the most sustainably grown and sourced sunflower kernels in the US. We are 100% sure that there is a more direct and better method than going through a commodity dealer for sunflower kernels in the US, but as of right now, we have not found any. There are a few places that never got back to us that might have been better, but we can’t do anything about that at the moment.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

You would think that since sunflower kernels are generally anywhere you go, and sunflowers can grow in loads of places in the US, that a more sustainable and direct sourcing method could be located. But this isn’t the case, for reasons we can’t explain for certain at the moment. Maybe it’s controlled too much by bigger players (like commodity dealers)? Or perhaps the process/infrastructure to de-hull isn’t currently possible to run on a smaller scale? Or maybe it’s a financial thing? Whatever the case may be, we hope to see smaller, sustainable, independent sunflower seed and kernel operations appear in the future here in the US of A.

Image-empty-state.png

Rustic Rock Maple

Claysville, Pennsylvania

Organic Maple Syrup

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They are within our local range, offer all 4 (when available) of maple syrup (we like the dark!) grades, and we can return the steel drum back to them when empty! I mean, for this product, this would be somewhat of an idea collaboration.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

If we are to offer their product in our market though, it’s their call. They are hesitant at our bulk offering and storage operation/practices —which are higher than any other bulk section in the area, and have been ok’d by PA and Allegheny health and safety personnel— as it’s a new concept in this neck of the woods. So, it’s a situation where we wait and see if they want us to store, and offer you their products, in bulk form. For the sake of pancakes and french toast slices everywhere, we hope they jump on board.

Image-empty-state.png

Stony Brook Wholehearted Foods

New York

Organic Pumpkin Seeds

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

There are only two places/farms in the states that we know of that can offer us organic pumpkin seeds. New York is just a hell of a lot closer. We will have to purchase a ton of pumpkin seeds if we do to get the best price. Which might not be feasible in the beginning. But we shall see, as we think it will be possible!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

And a big warning about organic pumpkin seeds: if it does not say “grown in the usa” then it’s almost certainly grown in China. Beware, and always know where your food is coming from. It might be a great price, but it could be coming from a different country with an untraceable origin.

Image-empty-state.png

Sun Valley Raisins

Fresno, California

Organic Raisins: Selects, Midget, Zante Currant, Flames

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

Almost all of the raisins in the united states come from California. And from those only a tiny percentage grow organic. And from those, even less responded to us. Sun Valley is one of those farms / producers. They got back to us, and answered all of our questions, and were open to anything else we sought to know: transparency. And they can offer 4 different types of raisins —generally just a size difference in laymen’s terms— which will provide more options for you the customer, and for us in how much we are able to order. It’s still a lot of raisins, so we shall see!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

While grapes -and therefore raisins- could potentially come from this area of the country, there isn’t anyone growing sustainably sourced table grapes that we have come across as of yet. There are a few vineyards growing grapes for wine that are using sustainable methods, but not for raisins. There are some interesting experiments going on with organic grapes in eastern PA that we read about, so we shall see! Local PA sustainably grown grapes sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

Image-empty-state.png

Weatherbury Farm

Avella, Pennsylvaia

Organic Whole Grains, Flour, Black Turtle Beans

PRODUCTS:

WHY?:

They are a single farm. Real close to the Pittsburgh area. Their product is top of the line. And they have a pretty transparent and sustainable operation.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

It’s really about wholesale price and what they have to offer. For individuals around here, it’s great and I encourage you to purchase from them. But for our situation, the cost of their product at wholesale (which in-turn accounts for what we would offer it to you the customer), and what items they grow/offer at wholesale, isn’t the most efficient or sustainable option for us. Thus, we will see to collaborate with them as a secondary option to Stutzman farms in Ohio. And obviously if they have items available when we reach out.

—  SOURCES Being Located 

 

Agar Powder:  This is possible to get from a distribution source. However, we are trying to track down an origin so we at least know, and have contact, to the respective maker. (This is a non-meat substitute to make things gelatinous. Items Like Jello and Marshmallows which are typically made using a meat derived equivalent.)  
 

Cream of Tartar/Potassium Bitartrate: This is one part of the two chemicals that makes baking powder. The other is Baking Soda. Cream of Tartar can be gotten via a distributor, but we are trying to track down a source. Which is a chemical manufacturer. But no one has gotten back to us as of yet.

Dryer Balls:  Dryer Balls replace dryer sheets & fabric softener (which both are toxic), and can decrease drying times by creating space in the tumbling where heat can access more areas of the clothing. They last (Well made ones) a minimum of 1,000 drying cycles. 3 is recommended per load at a minimum. And they are compostable when they are at the end of their life cycle, as they are made of wool.
 

Dental Floss:  Unless a superior option arrives on the market, we are aiming to offer either Bamboo, Peace Silk, or Bio-Based Corn. All at the very least, biodegradable. And some are fully compostable.  
 

Grapes:  Good luck to us trying to find local and sustainable grapes! 
 

Fresh Mushrooms:  Searching...
 

Pet Food/Snacks:  Haven’t even checked in on our research yet for this, be it’s a full possibility! Human food first.
 

Quinoa:  While a “Super Food”, it’s in a second tier of items we seek to acquire. Not that we don’t want it, but there are better options. Such as Lentils, which we already have. Just gotta dive into a source…
 

Soy Sauce:  There is really only 1 option for this. Maaaybe 2. And with bulk, there is a life span for peak freshness. Just gotta figure it out. 

Sunscreen:  The best form of sun protection is not sunscreen, but to cover up. True. However, all the sustainable plastic free, harmful chemical free, reef save, palm oil free, no filler, min. 30spf, and many other positive and protective options we have found are just too expensive for the amount offered for an average person, and especially a family. These are still somewhat in a overpriced market. Still searching…
 

Toothpaste/tablets/powder:  Arguably, toothpaste is the best option. But, people use too much (you only need around the size of a pea to be effective), the plastic tube as well as the added chemicals are a no-go,. Aluminum tubes are good in theory, but in practice metal does not roll, cracks and holes in the tube form easily, and flakes of the aluminum can come off in the tube and out onto your brush. Dangerous and potentially toxic.  Powder isn’t a bad option. But it can cake up, and it doesn’t last as long as advertised. Plus you’d ideally want separate jars for each person. Tablets are interesting and provide the right amount of substance, but are way to expensive for the average person/family to use on the regular at the moment. The search continues!
 

Walnuts / Cashews / Pistachios / Other Nuts:  These are great nuts. But at this point they are secondary in our search for products. It doesn’t mean we won’t carry them, but given sustainability, cost, storage, and use, they might not be present when we open our doors.

—  Potentially NLB MADE 

We plan to make anything we can think of using only the ingredients we sell.

Here are a few in the plan:

 

Bars & Bites; Granola, Snack, Energy, Protein, etc.  -  Crackers  -  Custom Made items  -  Dehydrated Vegetable and Fruit Chips and Pieces  -  Graham Crackers  -  Granola / Cereals  -  Ground Flours  - Roasted / Seasoned Nuts & Seeds  -  More to be added...

— — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Sourcing is EVERYTHlNG
We could simply call up a distributor, order up what we need from whatever offerings they have, never check in with the source, and be done with it. This would be so quick, convenient, and easy!

But that’s not the best way. It’s 100% the “Easiest”, but not the best.

What we have, are, and will continue to do, is source meticulously using all avenues at our disposal for each and every item. Every aspect that we can think of is gone over. Aspects such as;
- location from proposed NLB site
- chemical dependent farming practices
- sustainably regenerative stewards of the land
- loop agriculture and manufacturing systems
- treatment (and pay) of employees
- treatment of animals (technically, humans are animals too…)
- made/grown in the USA
- transparency in practice
- integrity and character
- quality of customer service
- and much more…

This process —research and data collection, individual source review, contacting the sources, waiting for responses (or rejection/ignored), winning over the source into what we are doing— is a fun and challenging adventure where no two collaborations are the same. But it all takes a massive amount of time and energy per item or source, give or take a couple hours…or weeks.

You don’t get this quality of sourcing when you shop at a typical food market.
 


Chemically Dependent ORganic

We didn’t start out with a goal of being heavily loaded with organic offerings. The goal was, and still is, for the most sustainable option, period.

But time after time, farm after farm, source after source, the organic method (certified or not) is the more sustainable option in almost every way. Organic farmers seem happier, and more eager to share information about what they are doing. Even if it costs them more time, energy, money, blood, sweat, tears, and more.

The organic practice is better for the land, for the over all environment, for the people who are eating the crops, for the economy…it’s a win win for all. Well, besides the chemical companies and the pushers of farming chemicals.

Not all organic farming is the same either. Some do the bare minimum to get a certification, while others go way beyond into Biodynamic and Rodale Institute Regenerative Farming territory. And organic farmers still pack their products in plastics, thus defeating the purpose of a more sustainable farming method. (Plastics are a whole nother subject!)

So, it all depends on situation.

Sustainability in farming and the food supply chain isn’t just in organic (certified or not) practices. It’s in ALL aspects. It just so happens that organic practices are rooted in protecting the environment and being transparent, thus more sustainable from the start.

Seriously though… why are we even farming with chemicals in the first place? We did just fine right up until 100 years or so ago without them. Poisoning the land, our food, and us… is just a bad idea.


Get to THE SOURCE

Currently we are towards the end of sourcing our product offerings, but we have a load of possibilities still floating around in limbo to which we are in talks, or simply waiting on. This still could take some time to finalize.

We don’t expect to nail all of them down. It’s our goal to, but for certain items it will be tough for varying reasons. We are only willing to bend or compromise so far before it’s no longer worth it for us given all involved.

It’s all part of the plan. We have our main product sources that we must have, then it’s what we can get from then on.

On this page you will find a list of all the sources that we have currently contacted and locked in. In addition, we’ve also listed the sources that we are working with to get their product into NLB, products that we are still seeking a sustainable source for, and products that we plan to make in-house


And ALL of this depends on the time of year when we start actually buying and opening our doors. As we will be following what is in season as close as possible, not everything will be available to NLB when we open. That’s just reality.



SOURlNG on the source

If you feel that we have not made the most sustainable choice for any particular source, or product, for absolutely any reason, and you think or know of a better source or product, please reach out to us via our contact page!

If there is a product or source out there that we have missed (more than totally possible) that is a better more sustainable option, we want to know about it so we can switch gears and try to bring it into NLB!

 

Annnd, if you don’t see something on this sourcing page that you feel we should be offering (keep in mind that we plan to make a lot of things in-house), we want to know as well, so drop us a line and ask us about it!