Monday, August 22, 2011

Farm Market Restaurant Pickup

Distribution can be one of the real headaches for making restaurant sales pencil out.  There are real costs tied up in farmer time and vehicle use/wear.  We have seen, however, a number of restaurants are so enthusiastic about sourcing local products, they will go down to the farm market and either pick up a pre-arranged purchase themselves or supplement with what's fresh and interesting available that day.  Farm markets have served as a good central location for buyers and sellers of all sorts to hook up.

Restaurant Pick-up Order at Green City Market - Chicago
Chef doing sampling and talking food with farm market patrons

Most chefs love a fresh food market.  If you already are active at a farm market as a grower, look for ways to get some folks from the restaurant community out for a visit.  Demonstrations can be great promotions for both your farm and the restaurant.

I like what Alfalfa's Retaurant does in Lexington.  Anita Courtney shared these pics - showing how Alfalfa's does what they can to convey their commitment to local and fresh.  It's been a very effective promotion tool for the restaurant located just up the street from the market.  They are now buying year around and buying around $3200 a week in local products.

·         The first is employee, Delaney Gibbs, with the Alfalfa-Farmers Market wagon.  Every Saturday morning she rolls it 2 blocks from the restaurant to the Lexington Farmers Market. 
·         The second is Delaney filling the wagon with eggs from Beth Tillery of Home Pickins’ (Jackson County, and one of our MarketReady alumni!), cheese from Boone Creek Creamery, pasta from Lexington Pasta and fruits and vegetables.

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