Community Agriculture Alliance: Now is the time to visit the CAA Market

Meredith Rose
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

Seven-hundred and thirty-eight packages of bacon, 3,327 dozen eggs, 1,621 bags of salad mix and 1,458 pounds of ground beef — all local food sold at the CAA Market so far this year.

These numbers are proof that agriculture and local food production are alive and well in the Yampa Valley. The CAA Market, at 743 Oak St. in downtown Steamboat Springs, facilitates these sales by providing a space where local ag producers can sell their product without traveling far distances, working with middlemen or dealing with wholesale prices.

If you haven’t been to the CAA Market yet, now is the time. With a variety of seasonal vegetables, local beef, pork or lamb, loads of farm fresh eggs and plenty of bacon, the CAA Market has local food for everyone. Want to know the secret to eating local? Shop the CAA Market before the grocery store. The odds are we have most of what you’re looking for … except salmon. There will never be local salmon.

We take pride in stocking only locally grown, raised or produced products. This means that your dollars are staying in the community, supporting local families and businesses, and you become a contributing member of a 22-year-old nonprofit organization in the Yampa Valley. With almost 80 different producers and hundreds of local food products, you will be pleasantly surprised at the wide variety of products and seasonal items.

So, let’s practice putting words into action. Imagine you’re at work, thinking of what’s for dinner and the many other errands you need to run, including the inevitable visit to the post office. What’s your first stop? The CAA Market. We have expanded hours and are open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Walk into our storefront at the corner of Eighth and Oak streets and odds are I will be sitting at the desk, waiting to cater to your every local food need. Ask me anything, seriously. Where your favorite steaks come from, which ground beef are grass fed or grain finished, or if the farm uses organic practices. We’re here to help you connect to your food.

You can also learn more online at Every producer has a profile page, listing their contact information and description of how they raise or grow their products.

Interested in bulk orders of food? The CAA can help with that too. We can share contact information for ranchers with custom meat for sale, reach out to farmers if you need a large quantity of veggies or give you chef or restaurant recommendations for how to use local food in their cuisine to cater your next event.

Over the past six years that the CAA has had local food programming, we have brought the concept of being a Yampavore (eating food from the Yampa Valley) to thousands of people, and our mission is far from done. Since expanding our storefront hours last year, the CAA Market has taken on the role of being your friendly source for local food year-round.

We love this role: connecting people to their food, learning more about seasonal eating and seeing regular customers each week while introducing newcomers and visitors to the local food scene in the Yampa Valley.

So next time you’re running to the grocery store, stop in the CAA Market first. Not only will you find lots of fresh, delicious local food, but you can know that you are helping make a difference for local farmers and ranchers. Keep it local and be a Yampavore.

Meredith Rose is the CAA Market program coordinator.

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