Photo Credits

Taste the local difference

TLD Asks You To Buy Local, Supporting Local People

We have a passion for local people and local communities. Without these, local food would not exist. Since 1979 George and Sally Shetler have been running thier dairy farm south of Kalkaska, Michigan.  Like many dairy farms around the country they sold the milk from their cows directly to a large dairy processor.  In 2000 this adventurous couple had an epiphany of sorts that has transformed their business and to some degree the dairy industry in northwest Lower Michigan.  In June of that year they started bottling and selling thier own milk in the now iconic "old-school" glass bottles.  George and Sally are symbols of the changing face of value-added agriculture in this country.  They are local food heroes.  To learn more about George and Sally and their Shetler Dairy, click here.





George and Sally Shetler of Shetler's Dairy by John Russell

Background image by Tricia Phelps


TLD supports...the entire food system value chain

Taste the Local Difference® partners with businesses like Carter's Compost & Bay Area Recycling for Charities to ensure that food waste is composted to continue the cycle of healthy, locally grown food. 

Photo by Bill Palladino



TLD celebrates local in Washtenaw Coaunty

Taste the Local Difference® is working with Think Local First & the Washtenaw County EDC to bring this exciting work in local food to Washtenaw County!

Photo of Tantre Farm tomatoes by Tricia Phelps



Sign Up Now... For the 2016 Season!

It's the time to renew your TLD partnership or sign-up for the 2016 Season!

Autumn Bike Ride by Kristin Celeste Shroeger of The Intentional Minimalist


The TLD Goal: 20% x 2020

The emphasis on selling more local food does not come without deep consideration.  We are proponents of the Michigan Good Food Charter and are signatories to their resolution seeking to have 20% of all food sold in Michigan come from Michigan farms and food businesses by 2020. We are working with the entire food system value chain in Michigan to make this a reality. Our most important partners in meeting this number are the retail stores where most food is purchased.  Christy Kuhnke is president of Tom's Food Markets in Traverse City. Her support and leadership have been instrumental in TLD gaining a foothold in hers and other retail food stores across the state.  Learn more about Tom's Markets here.





Christy Kuhnke of Tom's Food Markets by Gary L. Howe Photography


Find out more... about the area's best local restaurants. 

2015 marks our 12th year of publishing a food and farm guide for northwest Michigan. This year the guide is bigger and more useful than ever. We're collaborating with MyNorth Media and Traverse - Northern Michigan's Magazine to produce the guide. You can find the guide in all of our participating partner businesses, chamber of commerce offices, and convention and visitor's bureaus around the region.  Click here to view the magazine online or request one be sent to you by mail.

Photo of Whitefish Tacos from Northern Table, in Boyne City by Christina Carson of TootSweet



TLD Helps Food Businesses Blossom

Taste the Local Difference has been assisting farms and other food businesses to grow and thrive for over a decade. Our work doesn't stop with just marketing.  We create lasting relationships with food businesses that help to manifest connections, partnerships, and real-world sales.

Photo by Bill Palladino

TLD is... your resource to find local food & farms

TLD's job is to help sell more locally grown and produced food in the communities we serve.  We do this in many ways.  Our Guide to Local Food is our annual magazine that includes listings of all TLD participating farms and food busiensses.  We print 45,000 of these for distribution throughout the region.  We also host an onlne searchable database here on this website.  Like the website, our TLD smartphone apps provide detailed descriptions of our parnter farms and businesses with the added benefit of hand-held convenience and turn-by-turn driving directions. Learn more about TLD here.