Blog & What's New: December 17, 2020


The Winter Solstice arrives Monday, December 21, bringing with it the longest night followed by a return of the light. This time of year always speaks of hope. Winter arrives and with it a gift of light that extends its reach a little further each day. 


Flip through our flyer by page, by department, or by item. You can even build a personal shopping list as you go! The flyer is also available on our website or you can pick up a paper copy in the stores. (Some items may not be available in our area.)  


This holiday season, like almost every part of 2020, isn’t quite the same as previous years. We missed serving you merriment at the Downtown Petoskey open house. And though we have all forgone that festivity, the tree is lit in the park, the shops are open and downtown Petoskey is looking magnificent. Driving through our little town in the evening is a sight to see. We are open 7 AM-10 PM daily in Petoskey and quite a few stores have been keeping later hours on Thursday nights to support holiday shoppers. Boyne City is decked in holiday cheer and ready to help you with your holiday lists as well! 
Thank you so much for your outpouring of support for the annual Women’s Resource Center’s Giving Tree. It always feels so good to hand over all of the gifts/gift cards knowing that our little Grain Train community has brightened the holidays for those in need of some cheer. Though donations for the Giving Tree have concluded, you can continue to make online donations from $1 on up to our local food pantries by clicking here.
We are busy making sure we have what you need for your holiday table. Beeler’s hams and bacon are here and will make any meal a celebration. We are stocked up on salmon filets and are expecting sustainable shrimp options by the end of the week. Whatever your gatherings look like this holiday season, we have something to make them extra special.
We are offering jumbo take & bake cookies from our bakery/deli. Get them while they last! Imagine the smell of homemade cookies with none of the mess and all of the goodness of Grain Train cookies! Santa surely won’t mind if you cut a corner or two. Keep an eye out for artichoke spinach dip, house made pull apart rolls, and the house made cheese ball from the deli as well! 
All of our pandemic policies remain in place. We will continue to monitor the number of customers shopping and if we are at capacity, we have a new paging system so you can wait in the warmth of your vehicle. Thank you for remembering your masks and maintaining distance while inside of our stores.


 This has been a long and challenging year. We are grateful for each one of you. We wish you and yours all the very best. We have holiday hours on Christmas and New Year's Eve and are closed on Christmas and New Year's Day. We look forward to seeing you at the stores and Curbside. Happy Holidays.  



December 17, 2020 by Mindy Taylor

What's New: December 10, 2020




Start watching for our special GT member/owner deals. Here's the first one! Sale ends 12/16.


Satsumas are a small bright orange mandarin with a delicate, sweet flavor—and it's hard to eat just one! These aren’t just another snack-worthy citrus—the fruit is juicy and sweet, with a tender red-orange flesh that’s easy to peel —which makes satsumas a super kid-friendly snack.


Check out our extended line of Vitamin Code products!



The perfect, thoughtful gift for everyone on your holiday lists.


In the chillier winter months we’re ready to support your safe shopping experience and keep you warm, toasty, and socially distant while you wait your turn to shop. When our Petoskey store is at capacity, you'll be assigned a pager just like you would find in a restaurant. Once you have your pager you can wait in the warmth of your car and we will buzz you when you’re next in line to enter the store—then simply drop your pager off and walk right in!




Click on the image above to find out more!


December 11, 2020 by Mindy Taylor




We are two weeks from Thanksgiving and we can almost smell that holiday meal roasting in the oven. It’s a good thing we have been busy filling our shelves full of holiday staples and favorites alike. Your purchases have been letting us know that baking supplies are really important to you right now and history tells us that they will be even more so throughout the holidays.

As always, please know that we are watching the pandemic numbers in our areas and adjusting how we operate accordingly so we can provide you the safest shopping experience we are able to. We are committed to being your trusted source this holiday season.


Have you been inside the Petoskey store to shop our new baking section? We’ve been hard at working stocking up and rearranging. Baking supplies are where the coffee and tea used to be (don’t worry, those items just moved across the aisle). Now there is a lot more room to pick up what is on your list and maybe even find a new favorite or two. While you are shopping to find key holiday and seasonal items, don't forget to include some treats like So Delicious Coconut Nog and Boom Chicka Pop Holidrizzle.


Not only have we been stocking up on key items like flour, sugars, and butter, but on your favorites from our Wellness aisle as well. Be sure to check out our end cap display with wellness products for the whole family.



In addition to stocking up, we are changing up our mix to navigate out-of-stocks occurring in produce and other areas of the store that are a result of the recent wildfires, hurricanes and, of course, the pandemic. We continue to buy local whenever we are able, but that season is waning. As select organic produce becomes more difficult to source, you will be seeing more of the conventional produce that we have carried in the past in our produce departments. We are labeling the growing practices of all of our products so that you can shop with confidence. We know that having fresh produce is important and we are committed to it remaining in stock.


We are running low on Duersken small and medium turkeys. Preorder yours now to receive your bird! We are working on a secondary source should we sell out of those before Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to preorder sides from our Deli along with our Maple Pumpkin Pie.



We always enjoy seeing you at the stores but as the COVID-19 numbers increase in Emmet County please keep in mind our Curbside program. Order online and we will do the rest. There are no minimum orders or fees and and we are happy to deliver your order right to your car.


We look forward to being your trusted source for the holidays. See you at the stores or curbside!

November 14, 2020 by Mindy Taylor



Our mornings are dusted with snow and there’s a chill in the air we have not felt in a long while. It’s that time of year that says “cozy in…winter is almost here.” Halloween is this weekend, and for the first time we can think of we are not participating in the Downtown festivities. This decision is made out of concern for our community and putting our best foot forward when it comes to the health and safety of our customers and staff. Change has been the driving force of 2020 and will be carried into 2021 as well. It has impacted a lot of the ways we do things at the Grain Train since spring. Remaining your trusted source has been and remains our compass along the way.

As the holidays approach and the second wave of the pandemic seems more and more likely—if not already here—our distributors are letting us know that there will be supply issues. The pandemic, recent wildfires, and hurricanes make produce that is sometimes challenging to get this time of year, even more so. This is especially true of organic items. As always, we are sourcing as much locally as we are able, but the season is coming to an end on many local options. 

As a result, we are bringing in conventionally grown produce to remain in stock. Transparency has always been important to us, because we know it is important to you. That is even more true today. We will clearly identify the growing practices of all of our produce so you can shop with confidence.

We are all abustle gearing up for the holidays. As always, you can order your Duerksen’s local free range turkeys here. This year our turkey pre-order form also includes many of your favorite holiday sides from our deli—like herb stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pull-apart rolls. Of course, you will find our maple pumpkin pies on there as well. We are also looking into having more roasting chickens on hand for those of you who will be having a smaller Thanksgiving this year.

Another way we are preparing for the holidays is making sure we have the pantry staples that you depend on us for. We already have a large supply of flour on hand and are securing even more as we speak. You will see brands new to our shelves, like Domino sugars. They are non-GMO and here to help your pantry remain full. This holiday season can still be full of traditions. There will be some differences but know that we are working diligently to make sure that you have what you need for the holidays and beyond.

Thank you for being a part of the Grain Train. We are honored to be your community-owned grocery store. We look forward to your next visit. A reminder that our mask and social distancing policies remain, regardless of any changes to executive orders or other directives. We will do our best to to shop in the moment for anyone who is unable to wear a mask. And if you haven’t tried our Curbside option, please do! See you at the stores or Curbside!

October 30, 2020 by Mindy Taylor


The summer season has all but faded away. We are well on our way to peak color here in Northern Michigan. Most days have a welcome chill to them that has us reaching for a warm cup of soup and our favorite sweater. As we enter into this beautiful time of year, there seems to be a collective weariness in the air. Fall always has a touch of that after a well-spent summer, but this year has asked more of all of us than we ever anticipated. There is more to come. This is the time of year that reminds us to take a breath, put on a pot of tea, and settle in.

We love the harvest season at the Grain Train. The colors, the smell, the FOOD!  Have you had the local apples yet this year? Gingergolds, Honey Crisps and the local favorite, SweeTango—yum! Start your day with this Morning Apple Crumble or this Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake. It’s never too early to start testing recipes for Thanksgiving and this Apple Celery Stuffing is the perfect place to start. 

Local squash is also here, and it is oh so delicious!. This year we have acorn, pie pumpkins, delicata, red kuri, butternut, kabocha and, of course, spaghetti squash. This Kabocha Squash Soup is just the thing for a cool fall day. These Spiced Squash Pancakes are sure to get the whole family excited about breakfast! How about trying the best of both worlds with Cinnamon Apple Stuffed Squash or  Butternut Apple Bisque!

Of course we need to talk turkey!  We will be taking pre-orders soon for Duerksen, fresh never frozen, local free range turkeys. Keep an eye out for the launch of the preorder season. We will also have delicious options from our Bakery/Deli on the pre-order form as well.

We also need to talk about what is a little different this fall. Due to the pandemic, wildfires and hurricanes, a time of year where we always see a more limited produce supply available, is amplified. Especially when it comes to organic items. We are sourcing locally as much as possible but not all products are available within our area. As a result, we are bringing in conventionally grown products to remain in stock. These products will be clearly identified for your convenience. We will continue to work diligently to bring you the best products on the market.

We are hard at work on the holidays and are confident you will be able to find what you are looking for and so much more. We know that baking is a big deal over the next couple of months and we are already securing what you will need to have your holiday tables full of your family favorites. As the weather gets cooler, keep our Curbside program in mind. We would love to shop for you so you can stay in your slippers if you like. We won’t tell. See you in the stores or Curbside

October 01, 2020 by Mindy Taylor

Hello September!

Though September means we are beginning our fond farewells to summer, we can look back with gratitude for the many sunny days and the endless bounty that summer brought. Yes, this summer has been like no other and has had its challenges, but we can rightly say it felt good to keep the focus on being who we are—your trusted source for local, natural, and organic foods.

There is a lot of talk about getting back to normal and finding our new normal, but today we are here to celebrate the here and now. There is no going back or rushing forward, today we are filled to the brim with the local season’s harvest. Our stores are open and taking every precaution to keep our community healthy and safe, and we can’t wait to see you!

Did you know that September is National Family Meals Month? As your family is going back to school—however that may look to each of you—we are here to help make sure that getting food on your table is one thing you don’t have to think too hard about. For some, a family meal might be pulling out grandma’s favorite recipe and learning all about how she made it. For others, it's picking up your favorite foods, ready to heat and eat, and sitting down with each other and sharing the stories of how our day went. The only ingredients that are a must for a family meal are appetites, eaters, food, time & place.

 So many delicious local goods have just come in or are about to arrive, and they are destined to make even the simplest meal stand out. Tomatoes from Bear Creek Organic Farm and Coveyou Scenic Farm are still going strong, though their season will soon begin to wane. Local sweet corn from Bolts Farm is in and ready for the grill this holiday weekend. Last week we saw local and regional apricots, peaches, and nectarines arrive. Unfortunately, some of these items—like the nectarines—are here and quickly gone. This week we are expecting local rainbow carrot bunches from Zibimijwang Farm, garlic from Bluestem Farm, sweet onions from Bear Creek Organic Farm, and red potatoes from Providence Farm. We can’t wait to see the first local apple and winter squash arrive!

 Make sure you check our Grab & Go case for fresh food straight from our Bakery/Deli. Keep an eye out for options made from the season’s apples, delicious winter squash, roasted chicken dishes, and of course, root vegetables. With our heat & eat options, you can get a hot meal on the table in minutes. We don’t even mind if you take the credit. 

Check out this selection of Labor Day Recipes and Tips for the weekend. We hope that you and yours have a happy, safe, and relaxing Labor Day weekend. We will be closed on Monday, September 7, to give our staff a much needed day of rest. We are open all weekend and will open again on Tuesday at our regular hours. Stay safe out there! We look forward to seeing you at the stores or Curbside

September 02, 2020 by Mindy Taylor

Hello August!

Though in some ways this summer is like no others, there are so many things that do remain the same; sunny days, warm nights, temperate lakes to swim in, and an abundance of fresh food all come to mind. We wait all year for our favorite crops to arrive each season and then they are here for such a short time it's important to celebrate them in the moment. And since we haven’t talked much about products this spring and summer, it’s time to dig in to the Taste of the Season

Right now we are all about tomatoes! We have local, organic heirloom, slicers, and grape tomatoes from Bear Creek Organic Farm and Coveyou Scenic Farm. This is one crop we have around for a little longer than others, but be sure to get your fill while they are here. We have what you need to make your own Pesto, Caprese Salad, or Bruschetta. Or give these Stuffed Tomatoes with Pesto and Orzo a try. Looking for a showstopper? Try Cherry Tomato and Pesto Galettes!


We are stocked right now with local and regional organic blueberries. We have 10 lb, 5 lb, and pints from Better Way Farms in South Haven, and Mitchell’s Organics from Grand Junction, MI. Blueberries are here and gone so quickly. Mitchell’s Organics let us know that this is likely our only delivery of their 5 lb boxes. So this is the perfect time to fill the freezer. Just put them in a single layer on a sheet pan, freeze, and once they are frozen, bag them up to to enjoy year-round. There's nothing better than a little taste of summer straight from your freezer on a wintry day! Of course, you'll want to enjoy some fresh as well.

You don’t hear from me, Mindy, all that often, but my summer go-to breakfast has been a simple parfait made with layers of Stonyfield Organic Banilla Yogurt, Tiera Farms Granola, and fresh, local organic blueberries. So easy and so good. And there is always the classic Blueberry Pie or Mixed Berry Crumble to bake. This Banana Berry Baked Oats recipe works great with fresh or frozen blueberries and is the perfect make-ahead breakfast. Grilled Salmon with Blueberry Salsa for dinner has summer written all over it—and it's an easy recipe that only takes 30 minutes to prepare.

If you want to be thinking ahead—we are just waiting to hear from Farmer’s Daughter that their peaches are in—then this Blueberry Peach Bread Pudding is something to look forward to!

So keep an eye out for our Taste of the Season e-blasts and social media posts to know when we have new arrivals. Remember, some of these are here for a day or two and gone until next year. We expect local peaches and corn to be next and are looking forward to apples and winter squash later in the season. So as you enjoy all that August has to offer, stop by to stock up on all the flavors of summer! See you at the stores or Curbside

August 06, 2020 by Mindy Taylor

Concern For Community

The Grain Train exists to inspire our community to make well informed health choices for both people and planet.

Today, the Global Ends visioned by our Board of Directors takes on a little different meaning than just the food we sell. You may have seen our No Mask, No Entry, No Exemption policy. We do not make this decision lightly, as we know there is much division in our communities and in the country around mask wearing. We also know that there are individuals who are not medically able to wear masks. The bottom line for us is that we are committed to the safety of our staff and the customers in our stores, and at this time everyone wearing a mask when inside the stores is the highest level of safety we know.

We sincerely care about each and every staff person, customer, and community member. Concern for Community is one of the 7 Cooperative Principles we follow as a Natural Foods Cooperative. Today, requiring masks and social distancing in the Grain Train is one way we are putting this principle into action.

We know that not everyone is able to wear a mask and we are committed to serving these customers. We would love to help anyone get set up with our Curbside Program. We have waived any fees associated with this program so there is no extra cost for us to do your shopping. We have added the option of paying online so you don’t even have to sign for your order when you get here. We want this to be an easy, contactless option.

For us, this policy isn’t because we have to, it is because we think it is the right thing to do for our staff and customers—the right thing to do for our community. Our intention is not to discriminate or say who is right or wrong, it is simply a safety measure during a global pandemic. Thank you for being a part of the Grain Train community. We are so grateful for your business and understanding. This policy is just another way we can care for one another.

See you at the stores, masks on or curbside! 

July 16, 2020 by Mindy Taylor

It's July!


It's the peak of summer here in Northern Michigan. The lakes are getting warmer, we are seeing more and more of our summer friends coming to visit, and the forecast is sunny and HOT for days to come. There is a lot to celebrate this holiday weekend. This year we all are celebrating a little differently with the health of each other, our communities, and humanity in the forefront of our minds. First off, we are here for whatever your 4th of July celebrations look like this year. You can always take a peek online to check out our selection at the Petoskey store. You have the option of shopping in our stores or you can use our new curbside service. Just order online and pick up curbside. Order by 8 PM to pick up your order the following day.

When coming to the stores, please remember to bring your mask. We are upholding a no mask/no entry policy. Those medically unable to wear a mask are an exception, though in this case we would be more than happy to shop for you. We also are continuing to limit the number of shoppers in the stores to make social distancing possible. We monitor this at the door, so if we are not there asking you to wait, come on in. We appreciate your mindfulness to maintain a 6-ft. distance from other customers and staff. As the COVID-19 virus is on the rise again throughout the country, we continue to uphold all of our practices to keep staff and shoppers safe. Thank you for your patience and compliance.

Our 4th of July hours are 8 AM - 6 PM in Petoskey and 9 AM - 5 PM in Boyne City. Both stores will be open regular hours on the rest of the weekend. We also have senior and immune compromised hours now on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays in Petoskey from 8 AM - 9 AM, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Boyne City from 9 AM - 10 AM.


On this holiday weekend with celebrations taking place around freedom and independence, social justice and humanitarian rights remain at the forefront of many of our minds and conversations. Here are a couple of local events that might be of interest. You can virtually stop by the Skill Swap brought to you by Crosshatch and Title Track. This Saturday’s program is Decolonizing Our Thoughtlife from 11 AM - 12:30 PM. You can find it here on Earthwork Harvest Gathering’s Facebook page.

Another event taking place on Saturday, July 4th at 11 AM, at the corner of US 31 and Mitchell St.—which has become known as the People’s Corner—is a sit-in with social distancing and mask wearing observed. Anishnaabe jingle dancers and drummers will gather to perform a community healing dance specifically focused on racial equality and the BLM movement. More information here. Though these are not Grain Train affiliated events, the Grain Train stands with organizations and people who strive for a more just and equitable world. However you are celebrating, we wish you safety and a weekend of good food! Stop by and see us or place an order online. We look forward to seeing you at the store or curbside! Happy 4th!
July 01, 2020 by Mindy Taylor


It sure is exciting to have our Grain Train Curbside program up and running! You can now shop online for your favorite Grain Train goods and pick them up curbside at the Petoskey store. If you haven’t checked it out, here it is. We know you've been waiting for this program and we thank you for your patience as we worked to make it happen. Many of you who reached out to us early on about a curbside program became our test team. Thank you to everyone who helped us with that. We sure hope you enjoy this service. It is here to stay!

When the pandemic hit our area in March, our Boyne City store was able to quickly offer a grassroots curbside program that they are still operating today. In Petoskey, we are just big enough that adding this program too quickly would have added too much stress on our team who were working hard to keep the doors open with safety and sanitization as our main priority. We knew that we wanted our Curbside program here for the long run as we worked towards that end. The results of that work is Grain Train Curbside.

One of our new realities is that we don't have as many staff working on the sales floor during open hours. This is so you can safely shop and maintain a safe distance from your fellow shoppers and staff. We knew that having an online marketplace was going to be an important part of our Curbside program. If you want to know if a product is in stock, you can check on the website. That goes for customers who are coming in to the store, too. If you are coming from out of town and want to know if your favorite product is in stock, just check our website before you come. Currently, we just don’t have the same capacity to answer the phone and check on products during open hours as we did in the past, so we are working hard to make sure that the answers are clear for you to find.

Grain Train Curbside is open to everyone, just like shopping in our stores. Being a member is not required. Here are a few other things you need to know:

  • Grain Train Curbside orders are picked up at the Petoskey store only.
  • Orders placed by 8 PM will be ready for next day pick-up.
  • Pick-up days and times are Tuesday through Saturday between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM. You choose your day and time when you place your order.
  • For now, payment will be taken at your vehicle at time of pickup. We are working on taking online payment.

So, please check it out. Follow the instructions here to create an account, read the FAQ page here, and place your first order! Grain Train Curbside is just one more way we are Making a Difference One Bite at a Time. We ask for your help in utilizing the FAQ and online platform to answer some of the questions we would have gladly answered in person just a few short months ago. We move forward together with the health and safety of all as our priority.

Until next time, see you at the stores…or curbside! 

June 18, 2020 by Mindy Taylor