Everyone wants to try and eat a little healthier these days. You want to try and cut out preservatives and fast food, to try and balance what you’re putting in your body so that it runs longer. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what is health food and what is just more processed chemicals on the store shelf though.
Just because something says “all-natural,” does that mean it really is? Well, if you’re buying your groceries at Sanders Dairy Store, in Chesterton, then the answer to that question is a definitive yes.
Sanders Dairy Store is one of those little secrets that you can drive by every day and never even know it’s there, despite the large, bright red barn and the fairly obvious sign. The shop sells fresh milk, from both cows and goats, as well as eggs, butter, cheese, honey, meats and in the Fall corn and pumpkins. The store also carries all natural soaps and body lotions, jams and homemade pies. A lot to take in, considering that the store’s only been around for two and a half years.
“It was about three years ago that the price of milk went down,” said John Sanders, who owns and runs the store with his mother, Shirley. “I never thought I’d have a store. Now that I have one I’m not allowed to sell my milk commercially anymore. But I’m doing better now than I was before.”
It has always been John Sanders’ passion to work with cows and dairy. His grandparents had a dairy farm in Crown Point, he raised a calf as a 4-H project, spent time working on dairy farms when he was in high school, and now he’s still living that dream. With 18 cows that can produce between 90 and 100 gallons of milk every day, Sanders and his store are both doing well. No small achievement in these tough economic times.
Much of what you find in Sanders Dairy Store actually comes from the farm itself. In addition to the cows, Sanders also raises goats and chickens on his 27-acre farm, for milk and eggs. All of his charges are a big part of the reason his days start at a quarter after four in the morning. However, many of the products you find at the store come from surrounding farms and communities, ranging from farms in Portage and Kouts, as well as Amish communities that provide jams and cheese. The store even carries everyone’s favorite Valpo Velvet ice cream for those that have a sweet tooth.
“We carry a better grade of cheese and meat then you’ll find in a supermarket,” Sanders said when asked what customers should know about the store’s products.
Smaller, local farms and communities, and Sanders vouches for the food being free of chemicals and additives that you often find in the products of bigger commercial industries produce all of the products.
This can kill two birds with one stone; supporting local merchants and getting fresh, organic food to keep in your kitchen and to serve to your family.
Even though it’s only been around for a few years, Sanders is open to the possibility of expanding the store and the products it offers. “Farm Fresh” is the motto of Sanders Dairy Store, and it’s living up to that commitment.
Sanders Dairy Store is open daily from 8-10 a.m. and from 3-5:30 p.m. The store is closed on Sunday mornings and on holidays. Sanders Dairy Store is located at 3 East 900 North, Chesterton, one mile north of U.S. 6, on the corner of Meridian and 900 North. For more information call Sanders Dairy Store at 219-926-3230.