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The Local Exchange: Centralized brand unites South Shore businesses

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 10:48 AM CST
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HERBSTER, WI. (KBJR) - Just like the waves of Lake Superior, farmers’ crops change with the seasons.

Clare Hintz knows that well.

“There’s nothing like the fresh taste of greens in the dead of winter,” Hintz said. “There’s no flavor like that.”

Elsewhere Farm in Herbster, Wisconsin, is operated entirely by Hintz.

Just like Lake Superior, Hintz said running a 40-acre Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm can be unpredictable.

“If you sign up to be part of my farm, you are not just signing up for a box of produce every week, which you certainly get, but you are also investing in my business, whatever the weather is going to do,” she said.

It has taken Hintz 15 years to perfect her trade, and she is not alone.

The greater South Shore region is rich with creative people working hard to make their passion profitable.

“To make a living here generally all of us have to hustle,” Erin Hutchinson, founder of Authentic Superior, said.

Hutchinson wants to ensure the South Shore’s creative producers do not go unnoticed.

“For a population of certainly less than 20,000 across two counties, there’s just such a huge number of people doing incredible work, and we want to be able to highlight that,” Hutchinson said.

That is why she founded Authentic Superior just before the pandemic.

The nonprofit currently operates as an online marketplace.

“We do everything from sending a photographer out to take pictures of their work or their products to providing the marketing kind of sales support to get eyeballs on the site, drive traffic to it,” Hutchinson said.

Nearly 100 South Shore vendors have their products on the site with items ranging from clothes to jewelry, food, and pottery.

It provides an outlet for centralized networking that takes the burden off small business owners.

“It really speaks to the character of this area, the flavors of this area, and just the talent that’s here and toughing it out in the very difficult climate,” Hintz said.

Authentic Superior is Hutchinson’s way of making life a little easier for creatives of the South Shore; generating more revenue for businesses and creating a centralized brand for the ever-changing times.

Authentic Superior got enough outside funding this year so they did not have to charge a commission for the vendors.

Next year, they hope to host an in-person market for South Shore businesses.

Click here for more information about Authentic Superior.

If there is a small business that has left a big impact on your community, you can nominate them for this segment by sending an email to kjarboe@kbjr6.com.

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