New restaurant in Henning features locally sourced products
By Chad Koenen
A new restaurant in the heart of downtown Henning is not only receiving rave reviews for the food being served on the plate, but the overall concept of farm-to-fresh food as well. ¶ Brittany and Stephen Springer opened The Farmstand approximately two weeks ago and are focused on bringing locally sourced items to the masses as part of the new business venture. The new restaurant is open three days a week and is bringing a second chance at life for the former JoJo’s Bar and Grill building, which has been closed for several years. ¶ “Local organic food is our passion and this is a great way to bring that to people,” said Brittany Springer. ¶ Last year the Springers opened a food truck called Cornerstone Farms food truck, which served a number of festivals and community events throughout the region. The food truck was also routinely parked on Douglas Ave. in Henning in front of the hardware store with long lines of people waiting to get locally produced items for lunch.
The success of the food truck launched the Springers into their next business venture—a restaurant in downtown Henning.
“We had the food truck last year and that seemed to go over well and we had good feedback from the community,” said Springer.
After working at a restaurant this past winter, Springer gained some experience in the industry and wanted to take the next step by not only offering fresh food on wheels, but in a restaurant as well. The restaurant will serve many of the conventional items people can expect in a small town diner, but with an extra emphasis on locally produced and developed products.
“Basically farm to table concept,” said Springer.
In order to achieve an authentic farm-to-table concept restaurant, the Springers are sourcing products locally whenever possible. The buns are purchased at the bakery in New York Mills and the milk is purchased from 10 Finns Milk in Menahga. Much of the meat that is served in the new restaurant is raised on the Springer’s Cornerstone Farm.
Purchasing items locally not only means fresher items will be on the menu, but also goes a long way to helping other businesses in the region.
“Because then everybody wins,” said Springer of purchasing the items from local producers. “If this restaurant does well it helps 10 Finns. It helps local produce growers.”
The Farmstand will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Thursdays through Saturdays. The days the establishment is open could expand in the future, should the demand for dining options persist in the community as well.
The name of the new restaurant is both unique and direct to the point as the Springers combined the farming emphasis at their establishment with the concept of a produce stand. The hope was to create a place where people can get a hearty meal, while also coming together like is commonly seen at a farmer’s market.
“We thought about Cornerstone Cafe, but we didn’t want to make it all about us because it is a community effort,” said Springer of their former goat dairy business and food truck that both shared the Cornerstone name.
Boasting everything from pastas to steaks, wraps and a wide variety of breakfast items, there is a bit of everything on the menu no matter the time of day. Springer said there will also be options on the menu for people who have sensitive diets, including those who are gluten free. The hope was to create a place where everyone can come and find an item to fit their need.
“We are just hoping it will be a blessing to the community,” said Springer.
The Farmstand is located in the former JoJo’s Bar and Grill at 602 2nd St. in downtown Henning. Dine in and take out items are available.