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THE EATBEAT: Amazing Grains deli offers homemade, healthful choices

Longtime Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty and her review of Olive Garden going viral is the Herald's 2012 story of the year. Grand Forks Herald photo by John Stennes.

They make their own soup stock and create healthful combinations each day at the deli in Amazing Grains natural food store in downtown Grand Forks.

Amanda Preuss, manager of the deli, says the place attracts all ages. Customers include people who work downtown as well as hockey players and other athletes. Among the healthful offerings, they enjoy the high protein cookies baked on the premises.

The deli features Mira's sweet buns that go well with the soups of the day. The pastries and baked goods are baked daily by Jocelyn Miner and Craig Christianson.

The soup of the day on my visit in early December was sweet potato and kale. Unlike any other soup I have tasted, it was right for a bitterly cold day.

In a thin broth, the soup was laden with tiny cuttings of white onion, celery enriched with cumin, salt, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, vegetable stock and cayenne. The customer knows all of the ingredients because they are posted daily by the soup kettle. The soups are $2.50 for a cup and $4.25 for a bowl.

Along with Mira's sweet buns, there is a variety of breads baked daily. The choice on Dec. 9 included cheddar and mozzarella crescents. The buns were introduced to Grand Forks before the Flood of 1997 by a woman from Bosnia who sold her baked goods in Grand Forks. When she left, Amazing Grains continued her recipes.

Along with the soup and bread lunches and salads, the deli offers a choice of sandwiches. They are listed on a board and include various combinations. The first sandwich on the list is made with hummus, cucumber, carrot, sunflower seed, red onion, tomato greens and sprouts with a goddess dressing.

Customers help themselves at the deli and pay on their way out of the store. Most find time to browse through the natural foods stocked by Amazing Grains.

The store recently has been reorganized with Heather Schneider as manager. She succeeds Betsy Perkins who continues as part-time bookkeeper. The general manager is Ashley Decker.

Amazing Grains has been located downtown since January 2000. The food co-op was organized here 40 years ago.

Amazing Grains Deli

214 DeMers Avenue

Owners: 1,500 members who pay a one-time fee of $100 to Amazing Grains Food Co-op

Deli manager: Amanda Preuss.

Hours: Opens 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday. Closes 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Telephone: (701) 775-4542

Deli seating capacity: 16

Report card: Unique offering of homemade soups, sandwiches and salads. Pleasant corner in deli area with four tables. A favorite place for people seeking vegan and gluten-free foods.

Reach Hagerty at or (701) 772-1055.