565 Vest St., Post Falls
The Miller family wants you to come break bread with them, even if you're gluten-free. At their Tree of Life Organic Deli & Bakery, they'll make a believer out of you that healthy can still taste good. Fresh-baked bread, bagels and cookies, deli sandwiches, soups, salads and breakfast items have you covered from 8 am to 6 pm every day except Saturday, which is Shabbat, or Jewish Sabbath.
The lure for this Jersey girl was the promise of an authentic bagel: boiled first, then baked, for a crispy exterior and chewy-but-light interior. Varieties include sunflower seed and traditional poppy seed ($1.50 each, six for $5.25). Sliced, lightly toasted with cream cheese and butter, and I was all verklempt for the deli bagel of my East Coast youth.
All baking is done on-site with loaves available for order. White or honey wheat ($4.25), rye ($5.75) and Challah ($5.25) — a slightly sweet, eggy bread prominent in Jewish tradition — are all organic. The gluten-free combines goat's milk, almond and coconut flour and eggs ($5.25).
A drive-through and convenient location — just off I-90 near Tidyman's in Post Falls — means breakfast of hot cinnamon rolls ($3.50), a breakfast wrap with eggs and corned beef ($5.25), or potato latkes ($4.77). Don't worry about pronouncing sufganiyot ($1.25), just ask for the best donut you'll ever eat (filled with lemon curd or raspberry) and don't forget a cup of their trademark coffee ($1.95). Or drink your meal with fresh-squeezed juices like the tangy-sweet blend of carrot, apple, celery, ginger and lemon ($5.25/16 ounces).
Order between Wed. at 9 am and Mon. at noon, pick-up Tues from 3-6 pm
Browsing stand after stand stacked with carrots, squash, berries and baked goods is the norm when you think of shopping at a farmers market. But a new dimension of clicking and dragging your produce to a virtual shopping basket has become an option as online farmers markets continue to emerge.
"It is a new thing, but it's growing like gangbusters," says Shelly Stevens, founder of Northwest Farm Fresh, a local online farmers market.
Stevens, who helped found the Chewelah Farmers Market in 2008, used the relationships she developed with local farmers and customers to start up an online farmers market called the Chewelah Valley Fresh Market in early 2012. Since, Stevens has expanded her online market and changed the name to Northwest Farm Fresh. She added a drop-off location last year in Colville, and a third drop-off location began in Spokane on Sept. 18 at Lasagna's-On-Ya.
Here's how the market works: Customers register online for free and have from Wednesday through Monday each week to shop — choosing produce, meats and breads from approximately 38 farmers as far north as Orient and as far south as Reardan. Tuesday is pickup day from 3-6 pm. You choose if you want to pick up in Chewelah, Colville or Spokane, and you pay for the order in person. The online market helps solve the problem for folks who can't make it to regular farmers markets because of their schedule but want to buy local, Stevens says. Farmers also benefit from the larger customer base and exposure. The website provides information about each farmer, such as growing practices and how animals are raised.