Keller’s Green Grocery finding success with local business partnerships

By Helen Conzemius, for SiouxFalls.Business

From carrying locally made dairy products to providing food for a large downtown business, Keller’s Green Grocery is growing its local business partnerships.

The downtown grocery store in the Carpenter building at 221 S. Phillips Ave. is nearing its one-year anniversary and expanding its reach.

A partnership with Raven Industries developed after the Sioux Falls company spent months searching for a place that keeps track of its “green footprint” and could provide healthy food for employees.

Jennifer Schmitdbauer, director of organizational development at Raven, learned about Keller’s and stopped by to meet Travis Petersen, general manager.

“When I talked to Travis, he was so excited to see if Keller’s could help Raven, and we loved the environmental sustainability that Keller’s offers,” Schmitdbauer said.

To get started,  Raven held a tasting event to see what employees wanted to have in the lounge area.

Now, every Monday and Wednesday, Keller’s makes and prepares food for Raven.

After trying it on a pilot basis early this year, two months ago the partnership became permanent.

Keller’s provides sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, Kombucha, beef sticks and cheeses available for sale in Raven’s lower-level break area.

“The volume we need and what Keller’s can provide works out perfectly,” Schmitdbauer said.

Raven also just expanded its partnership to include providing food to its Aerostar division, which operates near the Sioux Falls Regional Airport. For the first two weeks, the company is providing sandwiches and salads free so employees can try out Keller’s.

“Raven wants to say thank you for their work and let the staff there know they are not forgotten, plus give them wholesome food,” Petersen said.

Keller’s also recently developed a partnership with Stensland Family Farms.

The Stensland dairy farm and creamery is eight miles south of Larchwood, Iowa, and 15 minutes away from the east side of Sioux Falls. It has an ice cream shop on West 41st Street.

“Keller’s had an open house and we got talking to Stensland and kept in touch,” Petersen said.

He visited the farm and liked what he saw. Stensland is a family operation and produces dairy products without GMOs or the animal drug Bovine somatotropin, or bST.

“We don’t cut corners and use only the best products available,” said Mark Stensland, general manager of the Sioux Falls store and farm.

The family has been an organic dairy farm for 26 years.

Keller’s carries Stensland ice cream in quarts and single-serving sizes as well as cookie ice cream sandwiches, cheeses, butter and milk.

Stensland and Keller’s mission of helping consumers get quality local foods works perfectly together, both said.

“We were looking for something unique, farm-to-table and local. Keller’s Green Grocery fit the whole bill,” Mark Stensland said.

The next addition hopefully will be half-gallon milk geared toward smaller households, Petersen said.

“We want people to be able to find Stensland milk wherever they are and having it at another location allows that,” he said.

Keller’s Green Grocery finding success with local business partnerships

From carrying locally made dairy products to providing food for a large downtown business, Keller’s Green Grocery is growing its local business partnerships.

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