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Minnesota made products focus of new natural, organic foods shop

Larry and Beth Rudh don't just see themselves as business owners in the organic and natural foods sector, they see themselves as a sort of conduit--connecting neighbors with one another.

Their emphasis on local connectivity is evidence not just in their new Perham shop, but in the way they live their lives.

"We want to be a part of the community and help in any way that we can," said Larry Rudh. Whether that means supporting a local sports team, assisting with community celebrations, or helping people to eat healthier, the Rudhs are ready to lend their support.

An offshoot of this personal philosophy is the couple's "All Things Natural" business, which opened in Perham on May 22. The store features Minnesota grown, Minnesota made, organic and natural products.

In their mission statement for All Things Natural, the Rudhs write that, "Shopping and buying local organic and natural products will give you a better quality item."

They continue on to add that, "Organic producers strive to preserve our natural resources, working in harmony with nature to build a better environment. We provide a one stop shop to find these products and support the small local producers."

In addition to food items, "All Things Natural" will be selling a variety of products by local artisans. The idea behind carrying handcrafted items is the same--a means to support the work of area artists.

As far as organic and natural foods go, the store sells local organic beef and pork. The beef is grass fed, and comes from Moorhead. The pork is out of Menahga. They carry Class Clay dairy products, seasonal produce, coffee and teas, and a large variety of organic food products. Nuts, spices, dried fruit and trail mixes will be arriving soon, along with a collection of Perham made products.

Every day, the Rudhs offer samples of their food products at a table near the entrance of the store. The coffee pot is kept on for drink samples, with the aroma of fresh brewed organic beans filling the air.

A special area of the store is dedicated to gluten free products, which there is a growing demand for. Vegetarian choices are also on hand. "One of the things we'd like to see the most is for people to come in and tell us what they'd like to see us carry," Larry said.

Bulk items and special orders are available; the Rudhs just need to know what people want. They are currently seeking any opinions on what products people would like them to stock.

In addition to food products, the store's inventory currently includes a line of personal care products and vitamins. Beth previously worked for seven years at Meadow Farm Foods natural foods shop in Fergus Falls, giving her valuable insight into how to best assist people with finding the right products to meet their needs.

She explained how they want to help educate people about the products they are purchasing, instead of just simply selling the items. Brief bios about the people who produce items sold at All Things Natural will also be posted, in an attempt to further inform people about who is making their products and growing their food, and where the products are coming from.

"We want to support local farmers," Beth confirmed. "We have a strong belief in keeping it local."

Another unique offering they boast is a series of products from nearby White Earth Reservation. This assortment of coffees, teas, wild rice, bread mixes, and candies supports the White Earth Land Recovery Project, a nonprofit organization.

Larry and Beth Rudh are lifelong Minnesota residents, currently living in Fergus Falls, where Larry works for the city. They chose the city of Perham for their business after conducting a marketing survey and noting the progressive nature of the area.

All Things Natural is open Monday through Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. It is located at 235 West Main Street in Perham.