TOP 5 TIPS FOR SERVING LOCAL FOOD ON YOUR MENU
With a team focused specifically on working with local SoCal farmers, we go to farmer’s markets to hand pick produce as a means of meeting the growing demand for locally grown and sustainable produce. The company also works directly with chefs to assist in sourcing products to create seasonally based menus.
West Central Produce has always sourced and promoted local growers over the years. The demand for fresh, local food has been growing rapidly in recent years, spurred by celebrity chefs, farmers’ markets, Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaigns, and other initiatives. Many other institutions are aware of the growing consumer demand for fresh, local food and produce, but don’t know how to get started.
Here are our Top 5 Tips:
1. Start small—during the growing season, replace foods that you already serve with the same product from local farmers.
2. Learn about local agriculture—visit farmers markets and invite farmers to your facility to find out what organizations work with farmers in your area, and how you can work together.
3. Work through your existing distributors—ask if they offer any local products and encourage them to do so or to do more.
4. Be patient—buying local can be rewarding yet challenging, so be flexible and set realistic expectations and goals.
5. Advertise—let your customers know what your are doing by labeling foods that come from local farms and tell stories about the products and their producers.