GREAT FALLS – “Taste Our Place” advocates for the real Montana experience and Great Falls restaurants are no exception.
The program launched on Monday afternoon at Mighty Mo Brewing Company, which joined Taste Our Place in treating consumers to local products. Mighty Mo expects to unveil a 100 percent Montana-made harvest ale on Saturday, September 29.
The Montana Departments of Agriculture and Commerce collaborated to create Taste Our Place, a branch of the Made in Montana label. Rebecca Engum, the executive director for Great Falls Montana Tourism, said they worked in partnership with the state to bring the program to Great Falls.
Pam Haxby-Cote, the director for the Montana Department of Commerce, said the program is meant to help Montana-grown products became entrees, desserts, beers, spirits, and more that locals and visitors can consume.
According to Haxby-Cote, 12 million people visited Montana last year and research indicates $667 million was spent by those visitors in restaurants and beverage facilities.
“We see an opportunity here to promote locally-grown food made in local restaurants,” she said. “We know that our visitors want an experience when they come here and we know if they’re spending that kind of money, there’s opportunity to enrich their experience that much more.”
Many Taste Our Place establishments will display logos indicating they use Montana-sourced ingredients in their products. The logos are meant to indicate a declaration of authentic Montana quality.
According to Jan Stoddard, the bureau chief for Made in Montana, Great Falls was chosen as the Taste Our Place launch point due to the focus on restaurants and visitors coming to the community.
Montana Department of Agriculture Director Ben Thomas echoed Stoddard’s sentiments that Great Falls is the heart of the Montana agriculture industry.
“It’s kind of a hotbed of access to local food. When you look at where we’re located, we have some of the best beef in the world, some of the best barley in the world, some of the best wheat in the world, and increasingly we’re diversifying those options,” he said. “So it’s just kind of the perfect location to showcase the program like this.”
Taste Our Place continues all week with five more events planned at different Great Falls restaurants.
- The times and places for those events are as follows:
- Tuesday, September 18 at 11:30 a.m. at Jah-T’aime, 1601 2nd Avenue North.
- Wednesday, September 19 at 9:30 a.m. at Electric City Bistro, 319 Central Avenue
- Wednesday, September 19 at 1 p.m. at Al Banco, 202 2nd Avenue South
- Thursday, September 20 at 11:30 a.m. at Roadhouse Diner, 613 15th Street North
- Thursday, September 20 at 2:30 p.m. at Celtic Cowboy, 116 1st Avenue South
Taste Our Place will also roll out in Red Lodge within the next month.
Click here to learn more about Taste our Place, Great Falls program participants, and how to join.
Reporting by Natalie McAlpine for MTN News