A lover of fresh and local produce from a young age, Bridgett Blough was shocked when she left her home in Berrien County, Michigan’s fruit belt, that not everyone had that type of access. “I grew up thinking it was normal to have access to local fruits and veggies that are just so much more delicious than what you can buy at a grocery store,” said Bridgett. “I thought it was normal to have all these farm stands and that kind of access to local food.”
After completing her education as a certified natural chef in California, Bridgett returned to Michigan and opened her food truck built from the bones of vintage camper “Dotty,” in 2008 as the first leg of her business called Organic Gypsy. Shortly after, she began offering meal services, private cooking, catering, and a soup club.
Offering delicious meals with made from scratch sauces, Bridgett uses organically grown vegetables, pasture-raised meats, and locally sourced grains which not only makes the food healthy but also great for the local economy.
During 2019, 70 percent of Organic Gypsy’s revenue came from the food truck. This year, the truck has been out less than five times. To support the business during social distancing restrictions, Bridgett relied on preparing and delivering meals to local families. “This meal delivery service has been our bread and butter through COVID just to try and help of us keep our doors open,” said Bridgett.
While Bridgett never thought of herself as an “essential worker” before the pandemic, she does now. “Feeding our community healthy and nourishing food, that’s one of the most important things that we can do as a community business,” said Bridgett. “If you don’t eat, you can’t work. If you don’t eat, you can’t take care of your kids. You can’t live if you’re not well-fed.”
In addition to the weekly mini-market hosted in the Food Dance parking lots on Saturday mornings, meal services, and catering, Organic Gypsy has just launched its Souper Club for the fall. Although the future is more unknown now than ever before, Bridgett hopes to continue providing the community locally sourced, organic food, and expanding accessibility.
“If you have a place in town that you like going, you have to go there and you have to spend money right now because we are not alone in our situation of holding on the edge of the table, just bracing for impact,” said Bridgett. “Do whatever you can, within your means. I would say now is the time to show up and buy stuff from the places you like to go.”