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Eat, Drink, Local Week Builds Community

IOWA CITY, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- Iowa City is a town known for its dedication to food, and this week, independent restaurants are celebrating everything they have to offer.

Eat Drink Local Week is Iowa City's restaurant week, highlighting what local restauranteurs, food growers, brewers, and distillers. Local business owners say, it's helping build the community around them.

"Motley Cow does an excellent job. Devotay does an excellent job. Those are two, when I think, local food, local sourcing that pop up," said Wesley Ward, the owner of High Ground cafe.

He is talking about the restaurants that share his block, and he looks to them as a model for where he would like to take his 1-year-old cafe. For Ward, Eat Drink Local Week is a jumping off point.

He wants to "use that as a basis to see where we're going to go next for our local options."

High Ground already makes its banana bread in-house, and its sandwich bread and roast beef come from John's Grocery, but Ward wants more.

"I think it's something we need to do to be a good support of the community," Ward said.

"There is all this product that is available nearby and you just need exposure and figure out how to gain access to it and it makes a lot more sense," said Brix Cheese Shop and Wine Bar co-owner Nick Craig.

Brix is just one-and-a-half years old, but Craig gets as much food locally as he can, from Frisan Farms Gouda and La Quercia meats to Toppling Goliath beer.

"As a business owner, it just  makes my life easier. I've got face-to-face communication with these people as opposed to some corporate headquarters where I'm a nobody," Craig said.

That means his customers get to be somebody, too. And for Craig, that means a lot more than just doing business.

"It's not just one giant world where we're all alone, but we're all interconnected somewhat," he said.

Brix and High Ground are just two of the 30 restaurants participating in Eat Drink Local Week. Find the full list at

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