Asparagus sales grow across Midwest

TRAVERSE CITY — Meijer stores across the Midwest last week doubled their asparagus sales, a trend expected to continue as the retail chain gears up to sell more than 2 million pounds this summer.

Asparagus season typically begins around Mother’s Day, but cooler temperatures delayed the beginning of the 2021 harvest by about a week. Some of Meijer’s asparagus is sourced from North Bay Produce in Traverse City.

“Customers at Meijer stores from Bowling Green, Kentucky to Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula began to take advantage of the late harvest season last week in a big way,” Meijer Producer Buyer Scott Calandra said in a release.

Michigan farms harvested 26.6 million pounds of asparagus in 2020, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, a total value of about $23.8 million.

Michigan ranks second in the nation in asparagus production, according trade organization Michigan Asparagus, and has about 120 active growers.

Earth Labs grand opening slated

TRAVERSE CITY — Earth Labs will holds its grand opening celebration June 5-6 at its new location at 317 E. Front St.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days and will be held in the Earth Labs Wellness Lounge.

The event is free and open to the public. Earth Labs will provide complimentary food and drinks. There will be free gift bags and prize raffles during the event.

For more information on the grand opening, visit the Earth Labs Facebook event page.

Sam’s Club brings sampling back

BENTONVILLE, Arkansas — Sam’s Club’s sampling and demonstration program, Taste & Tips, has returned to its stores nationwide.

Taste & Tips allows members to sample food and review products in Sam’s Club stores. The program will return on weekends “and in limited quantities, using new safety measures, such as sealed samples,” according to a release from the retailer.

Sam’s Club’s paused the program in March 2020 during COVID-19 because of health and safety concerns.

For more information on the nearly 600 Sam’s Club locations in the United States, visit

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