Mixes From the Heartland is a line of gluten-free products that in the past have mainly been available online. Now they’re available at Martin’s Country Store a scant hour from Cedar Rapids in Tipton and at area farmers markets.
Martin’s Country Store opened in May 2011 in the old Tipton State Bank building. Martin’s carries a wide variety of freeze-dried foods, flours and coffee as well as dessert, meal and soup mixes and Amish cheese, butter and spreads. Adjacent to the store’s large main room is a gluten-free area where you’ll find Mixes From the Heartland products and other gluten-free brands.
Although Mixes From the Heartland’s products are all gluten free, many of the packaged-from-bulk products in the main area of the store are gluten free as well. These foods are packaged in the company’s gluten-free plant, and they’re sealed in clear plastic so they can be clearly seen. Many of the packages have resalable zip tops. Be sure to ask a salesperson to point out gluten-free foods in the main area, or request a printed list of gluten-free products.
The Mixes From the Heartland company is owned by two families and currently has 17 full-time employees. In early 2011 operations were relocated to Tipton from Amarillo, Texas. Tipton is now home to their two production plants, one completely gluten- and allergen-free, and the other that handles products containing gluten. The company has rigorous standards for ensuring that their gluten-free foods contain considerably less than the minimum allowable gluten, generally less than 2 parts per million. (The Gluten-Free Certification Organization’s standard, for example, is less than 10 parts per million.) Company CEO Teri Whisenhunt’s sons, Jesse and Clay Martin, are the owners of Martin’s Country Store.
The company has a booth at the Des Moines farmers market every Saturday from May through October at space 433S and at the Cedar Rapids farmers market every other Saturday from June through October.
You may also purchase Mixes From the Heartland online. The Mixes From the Heartland site offers a buying club with flexible options and near-wholesale prices. The products are also available online in gluten-free emergency kits that have a five-year shelf life.
Martin’s Country Store is located at 501 Cedar Street at the intersection of Cedar (Iowa Highway 38) and 5th Street in Tipton. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Phone number is 563-886-3637.
If you’re making a special trip to Tipton to go to Martin’s, note that there are a number of historic places and a self-guided driving tour of 25 Victorian homes that takes 25 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your pace. Printed guides for the driving tour are available at many downtown businesses.