by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Is there anyone in the greater Rockford area who hasn’t taken a cooking class hosted by Chef Robin Toldo? If not, all is not lost for soon you will be able to have all your cooking queries answered face to face by the charming and delightful Chef Robin in her soon-to-be opened boutique food pantry – Food Art. Last Wednesday evening, Chef Robin hosted an invitation only soft opening of her Belmont storefront located at 1259 Post Drive, right next door to Flo’s Italian Ristorante. It was standing room only all evening as Chef Robin’s many friends and adoring fans sampled the local, West Michigan sourced foodstuffs she plans to offer. Perhaps Chef Robin is better known for her 100% fresh, all natural ingredient, hummalicious hummus which she produces and distributes locally to many fine food marts such as Forest Hills Foods, Kingma’s, and the upscale Plum Markets of Ann Arbor and Bloomfield Hills. Others know Chef Robin from weekly appearances as a regular vendor at the Saturday morning Rockford Farm Market where she, more often than not, sells out of hummus. It was at Rockford Farm Market that the “seeds” for her Food Art store were planted. This was America’s Favorite Farmers Market after all, and Robin was surrounded by purveyors of quality West Michigan produced foodstuffs such as, Great Harvest Bread, Maisy’s Pie and Cookies, and Local Epicurian organic herb infused hand-crafted noodles, to name a few of many. Chef Robin thought, “Why not make all this great food available locally year-round?” Seeking a space for a larger hummus production kitchen of her own, she decided to also include a retail storefront and make this dream a reality. In a Grand Opening scheduled for Thursday, October 11, Chef Robin plans to also offer Veggie Bites – all natural pickle chips, Daily de-lish Organic Oat Granola, Amos and Maude’s seasoning mixes, Grassfields organic cheeses, Englesma’s Apple Barn cider, and the Dancing Goat Creamery’s goat cheeses – fresh chevre, traditional Greek feta, soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese. This is but a partial list. There you have it! Food Art – local food for local people.