The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

October 13, 2012

At Maker Fair, a lovely bunch of coconut oil

A Vernon Center native who enjoys sharing a bit of her paradise home with Minnesotans each fall has found a way to help other creative entrepreneurs living around her hometown.

With some help from her parents, Patricia and Wayne Krosch, Sara Krosch organized the first Handmade in Vernon Center Maker Fair Saturday. She was hoping to find a handful of other craft vendors to join her while she sold her homemade Just Coco virgin coconut oil products. It turned out that there were so many people who make pottery, jewelry, other handcrafts and food that the Krosches had to expand to a second room in the town’s fire hall.

“There are a lot more people around here doing handmade things than we even realized,” Sara Krosch said. “We started in Vernon Center and worked outward. It’s great to have a very full fair that filled up so quickly. We had to turn about 10 people away.”

Sara Krosch, who graduated from Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial High School in 1994 and Minnesota State University in 1998, hasn’t lived in the area for more than a decade. She taught high school English for a couple years in St. Peter and Le Center before signing up for a tour with the Peace Corps.

That was the beginning of a career that has taken her to villages all over the world to help educate people about communicable diseases. She and her boyfriend of 10 years, Scott Sweet of Flint, Mich., now live on a two-acre piece of property on the coast of a small island in the Philippines.

He has a business doing ocean mapping for government agencies. When Krosch in between education contracts with the United Nations, she picks coconuts from her property, processes their meat into oil by hand and turns that oil into body oils, lotions, lip balms, candles and other naturally fragrant products.

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