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Laura Cavender: Oryana Food Sample Host Extraordinaire

Laura Cavender, Food Sample Host Extraordinaire at Oryana Food Co-op | Jane Boursaw Photo, 2015
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While shopping at Oryana Food Co-op one day, I took this photo of Laura Cavender, who was hosting a little food sampling there – Honey Roasted Beet Salad, which is delicious – you should try it.

We got to talking, and I learned that Laura Cavender actually lives on the Old Mission Peninsula, and I’d met her previously when she worked for Sally Van Vleck (my yoga teacher) at the Neahtawanta Inn. Laura’s family lives on the Peninsula, as well.

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We also talked about how she’s somewhat of an anomaly on the Peninsula, because she’s a youngster (my words) who bought a house on her own and is fixing it up. People generally think of the Peninsula as a place filled with farmers who’ve been here forever and wealthy people in large homes. And let’s face it – Tim and I go to a LOT of funerals, and it’s because much of the population here is getting older, without a lot of youngsters coming in to fill the void.

I love the idea of folks like Laura who are finding ways to buy homes and live on the Old Mission Peninsula. I wish it was easier for that younger demographic to make a living and raise families here.

In fact, many of the people I graduated from high school with moved away because they couldn’t afford to live here, and have been trying to get back here ever since. Tim and I have always been so rooted here, that moving away – even to Traverse City – was never really in our mindset. But there have been plenty of sacrifices along the way. We’re not rich, but we love having our family around us and, of course, we love this Peninsula.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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