Northern Michigan’s food and drink scene is something to marvel at. From wine trails and breweries, to coffee and specialty shops, Petoskey draws thousands of visitors each year to savor the best. If you’re a Northern Michigan “foodie,” there’s a good chance you stock your cupboard with Fustini’s oils or have enjoyed meals at local restaurants dressed with Fustini’s vinegars. They have a full decade of history in downtown Petoskey, providing high-quality culinary ingredients.
Fustini’s Oils and Vinegars has flourished in our region because of their nutritious products, commitment to artisanal craft, and unwavering dedication to their community. That dedication can be seen in founder Jim Milligan’s decision to give back in a big way—to share the 10th anniversary of their Petoskey store with Manna.
In celebration of “One Delicious Decade,” Fustini’s is donating $1 for every bottle purchased this summer to Manna, starting May 8 and lasting until September 15. They also have plans to partner with us in other ways, like donating bottles of olive oil for our pantry clients.
Now, I’ll be honest: before Fustini’s approached Manna, I had never purchased “craft” oil or vinegar. On the rare occasion I spent time making a nice dinner for myself, I used off-brand products (or even skipped those ingredients altogether), thinking that they wouldn’t add much to the dish.
How wrong I was! My first visit to Fustini’s changed my mind—and now I realize with dismay that I could have been enjoying my own cooking a whole lot more.
After sampling vinegar after vinegar—peach, lavender, cinnamon pear, avocado, black truffle, pomegranate, Sicilian lemon—I found my favorite. Never in a hundred years would I have thought to buy a bottle of coconut balsamic vinegar, but that’s the one I left with!
And I didn’t have to feel guilty about it, either. Vinegars are naturally low in calories, while oils are high in antioxidants, and both provide other essential nutrients for a healthy diet. As a health-conscious person, knowing the nutrition benefits made me even happier with my purchase.
During my visit, Charlene, Petoskey’s store manager, proudly showed me the kitchen area, where their chefs conduct hands-on cooking classes and demonstrations. Check out their website at www.fustinis.com for a class that intrigues you. On the third Tuesday of the month, Fustini’s also hosts “Cooking for a Cause,” where a portion of the class fees supports a local charity.
This summer, I plan to take advantage of the $1 per bottle fundraiser. And, since the store is located on Howard Street just a short walk from where I live, I have no doubt that I’ll find a few other favorites before the season’s over.
Jessyca Stoepker | May 7, 2019