Local Spotlight: Steve’s Chef Kabob & Other Food Finds at the Farmers’ Market

We don’t know about the rest of you, but we’ve been hitting the Des Moines Downtown Farmers’ Market as much as possible this summer! And we’re always looking forward to stopping at our favorite food stands. If you’re ready to try new flavors and expand your taste buds, we recommend these local Farmers’ Market food finds:

1. Steve’s Chef Kabob

Family-owned (three generations working together!), Steve’s Chef Kabob is the one of the first places many market goers stop at to put in their orders. They’re known for their fried tempura vegetables, kabobs with sticky rice, egg rolls, and crab rangoons.

It’s not uncommon for folks to stop by first thing and put in a huge order for crab rangoons, shop around the market, then come back later to pick their orders up. Weekly orders of crab rangoons and egg rolls? YES PLEASE!

Sounds amazing, right? Just wait … there’s more …

Check out these other great food finds

2. Rootz Afro Caribbean Cuisine

Yum … West African-style food like peanut butter chicken, jerk chicken, jollof rice … and when we’re extra lucky, ox tail!

3. Pupusas – El Salvador

You must get at least one pupusa while at the Farmer’s Market! Plus, don’t forgot to try some of the other El Salvadorian-style food, too. You’ll love it!

4. Say Cheese Des Moines

Ready for home-made, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches? (YES!) Made with fresh bread from Gateway market, you’re going to fall in love!

5. Des.Fresh.Foods

Stop by to taste delicious vegan food that’s locally sourced! Try crepes, spring rolls, cookies, and more!

The Des Moines Downtown Farmers’ Market is open May-Oct. Get more information here

Local Spotlight: JMT Trucking

25 years of Hauling

JMT Trucking is a dump truck company specializing in hauling aggregate and dirt for all types of industries, Commercial, residential, heavy highway, and agriculture.

“I started the company in 1994 following the sale of the ready mix concrete business that my wife and I along with her 3 brothers owned. I figured it would be a good way to continue to serve the same customer base that we had built while in the ready mix business.” – Jeff Wangsness

JMT Trucking has always valued the importance of being a good community partner. For example, we’ve always been able to count on them to support causes like the Charity House that Greenland Homes has built 5 years in a row, dedicating profits to the Children’s Cancer Connection.

Their level of service through their business and through the community is unmatched and we’re proud to work with them!

“I believe our customers have come to expect a high level of service from us. They have the confidence that we have always made it a priority to have late model equipment with highly trained drivers that provide a level of safety. Time is money in just about any business but especially the construction business in the Midwest. We only have so many working days since not much can be done during the Winter months. We have built a relationship with a lot of independents in an effort to always be able to respond to our customers demand.” – Jeff Wangsness

To learn more about JMT Trucking visit their website jmttrucking.com.

Local Spotlight: Tom Onnen

Getting Your Home Ready for You to Move In

Tom Onnen’s business specializes in Final Cleans of new construction homes and Rough Cleans of new construction homes. Tom started his business over 30 years ago after seeing a need in the industry. As of today it has grown to over a million dollar company!

“Builders depend on us. We are where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there. We are known for our punctuality and thoroughness.” – Tom Onnen, Owner.

Local Spotlight: Angry Goldfish

Image Source: Angry Goldfish Facebook Page. Follow them here.

South-Side Treat!

You can’t miss this red building when driving down SW 9th street. If you’re downtown, just head south and you’ll see it!

The patio on the north side of the building is covered, breezy, and delightful! If you’ve been to Angry Goldfish or already heard about them then you probably already know that they’re known for their huge, delicious burgers. They did not disappoint!

Merlot Mushroom Burger
Bruschetta Chicken Sandwich

Parking was easy – there is a lot behind the building. If that lot is full then you can park across the street (it’s easy to find and marked with signs). SW 9th is pretty busy, but we found it easy and safe to cross with no issues.

You can check out their menu and daily specials on their website.

Thank you for the delicious meal and amazing service, Angry Goldfish!

Local Spotlight: Redfox Inspections

“No one wants a cold house in the winter and hot house in the summer.”

Clients buying new construction homes probably haven’t heard of Redfox Inspections, even though they play a huge role in their daily lives. They’re a third party that is hired by home builders to make sure each client has an energy efficient home. In the end, their services provide extra comfort to homeowners. No one wants a cold house in the winter and hot house in the summer.

9 years of full service residential and commercial energy compliance inspection.

“Part of me getting into this business was out of necessity. I lost my job in the corporate world and was tired of being in the position of working for someone. I was always interested in building science and was doing research into options and this field was a good fit. I went out of state for training and got started with a few builders and the rest is history. Today we have a staff of 9 people to take care of our clients.” – Corey DePenning, owner.

Redfox Inspections is now Iowa’s only Pearl Certified energy inspection company! You can learn more about Redfox Inspections on their website and connect with them on Facebook.

Local Spotlight: Cook Plumbing Corporation

In Business Since 1978

Cook Plumbing is located in West Des Moines and serves the Des Moines metro and surrounding areas. Their plumbing work includes new construction and the service of residential and commercial projects. No doubt you’ve seen their trucks around Des Moines!

Mark Cook, owner of Cook Plumbing Corporation, started his professional career by graduating from Des Moines Technical High School in 1967. From 1967 to 1969 he was in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and shortly after graduated from Architectural Drafting at DMACC. Mark attended a 5-year Apprenticeship Trade School and graduated in 1975. After trade school, Mark was employed by several mechanical contracting firms, and then started Cook Plumbing Corporation in 1978. We’re so glad he took the leap to start his own business!

Cook Plumbing is a local company that prides itself on providing quality products and services at a fair price to members of their community. Visit cookplumbing.com to see a list of their services and to contact them today. For on-going updates and to connect online, follow them on Facebook.

Local Spotlight: Sugar Lane Soap Co.

There’s a hidden gem in Waukee you need to hear about!

Nothing beats the luxury of enjoying the fresh scents and silky textures of handcrafted bath and body care products. For the past two years, Sugar Lane Soap Co. has been crafting small batches of unique sugar scrubs, lotions, and bath bombs right here in Central Iowa.

Crafting is a passion for Angela Lahr of Waukee. She created the business after a post of one of her creations went viral on Instagram. Since then requests have continued for more of her custom products.

“Each recipe is formulated and tested with your skin care needs in mind, “ Lahr said. “I believe presentation and quality are of the utmost importance.”

Must-have Products

One of the first things we noticed about Angela’s products is how GORGEOUS they are! (Just like Angela! Have you met her? She’s gorgeous inside and out! And so much fun to be around.)

The photos on Instagram and Facebook will make you want EVERYTHING. Whether you’re looking to indulge in comfort or need a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special, these body care items are all available from Sugar Lane Soap Co. We asked Angela to list out the products that have been the most popular …

  • Goats’ milk body bars for men, women, and children (available with loofahs!)
  • Whipped body mousse – a best seller
  • Exfoliating sugar scrubs
  • Facial masks
  • Moisturizing lotions
  • Soothing heat wraps
  • Lip balms
  • Effervescent bath bombs
  • Bath salts
  • Body wash

Each product is available in a variety of scents from the calming lavender heat wraps to the energetic lemon-poppy seed scrub. Don’t see the scent you want? No problem – custom orders are available!

Where to Shop

Have we mentioned how GORGEOUS these products are? You’ll feel proud giving these as gifts and you’ll feel pampered buying them for yourself. Sugar Lane Soap Co. hosts several pop-up events through the year along with in-home shopping (follow on Facebook for her event schedule). All products are also available online through www.sugarlanesoapco.com. A special Birthday Par-tay will be from 6 to 9 p.m. May 31 at Sugar Lane Soap Co. to celebrate 2 years of business with food, drinks, and shopping.

And of course, we had to ask if she had any special products for Mother’s Day … she does! Check out the Mother’s Day JO.y boxes!

All images in this post are courtesy of Angela at Sugar Lane Soap Co.

Local Spotlight: Stensland Sod, Inc.

Sod Farm & Installation

Stensland Sod is a family owned and operated sod farm and sod installation business. They specialize in residential new construction in central Iowa, and also do a few bigger commercial jobs each year including local golf courses, and collegiate and city football, baseball and soccer fields.

In 2002 owner, Justin Stensland, was working for another sod company and decided he thought he could run things better himself …

“Being inexperienced and young, I started a sod company in the Fall, right before the Winter shut down in Iowa. Luckily, I was able to recover from that first bad decision and grow with my company for the last 17 years!”

… and we’re so glad he took the jump and started his own business! We’ve enjoyed working with Stensland Sod and love the way our properties look when he’s finished.

“People are always surprised at how having grass in their yard just finishes their home. We love giving people the curb appeal and finish they desire so they can instantly enjoy the way their new home looks.”

Want to learn more about Stensland Sod? Visit stenslandsod.com to learn more about their services and see examples of their work.

Local Spotlight: Teddy Maroon’s

Image Source: Teddy Maroon’s Facebook Page. Follow them here.

What a fun hangout! Stop in before 6pm for happy hour … get there early, it gets crowded fast. And for good reason – the atmosphere is fun and the food is amazing (we loved the Garlic Fries appetizer). Teddy Maroon’s is self-described as …

“The name “Teddy Maroon’s” is a playful nod to Dowling and Roosevelt High Schools. For generations, Des Moines’s west side has been a major melting pot of families from both schools. “Teddy” (a reference to Theodore Roosevelt) “Maroons” (Dowling’s mascot) represents a long tradition of friendship and the fun-loving rivalry centered on Ingersoll Avenue.”

Fun Ingersoll Location, With Parking in the Back

Parking is super easy with a lot directly behind the building. Just ask to have your ticket validated before you leave (max 2 hours).

You’ll find delicious menu items like the “Teddy Brosevelt” and fun drink selections like the “Corpse Reviver”. Check out their website to see all menu items. Below, Derek, one of their bartenders crafts a delicious drink…

We already have a list of menu items we want to try when we go back!! If you haven’t been there, be sure to stop in for happy hour or make a reservation for dinner. You won’t be disappointed!

Thank you for the great service, Teddy Maroon’s!

Featuring Local Businesses

Stay Tuned … 

We’re passionate about supporting local businesses and are always going out to try new restaurants, stop into new shops, see new artists and of course continuing to support the favorites we’ve had over the years as well.

We want to help shine a light on local business so you can enjoy these businesses, too! Stay tuned … we’re going to start featuring businesses from Des Moines and the surrounding communities on our blog. If you’re a local business and you’d like to be featured, please fill out our form so we can get to know you better.

Des Moines is a special place to live and the strength and growth of local business pre and post recession is a testament to how great we are as a community.   We are Iowans supporting Iowans and it makes us proud to know that local businesses are committed to using local banks and ensuring that the money earned in Iowa gets reinvested in Iowa.”  – Corey Kautz, Owner, Greenland Homes


I was born and raised in the Des Moines area and love supporting local restaurants, events and artists. Des Moines and each surrounding community has so much to offer and is constantly growing! I believe a community doesn’t grow and succeed without local businesses. Staying local is always my first choice!” – Tammy Heckart, Realtor


We’re so excited to get started!