Recipes and descriptions of what is fresh and in season at the local Farmers Markets. A celebration of life, food, travel, my restaurant and gardening.
You might have already figured out that these produce baskets are my passion. I opened the restaurant 10 years ago, and have been doing the catering for 14 years now. I hit a point a couple of years ago where the restaurant and the catering pretty much ran themselves. I have the best staff in the world (all friends). I found myself in a place where I didn’t have that much to do anymore. For months and months I tried to come up with something to do. Another restaurant-no way! If I were 20 again, I might have the energy to do it all over. But as you probably know, it is really hard to start a restaurant. I didn’t want to have to do it all over again.
While visiting New York a few years ago, I came up with the idea for the produce baskets. Everything in New York City is delivered! Dry cleaning, groceries, sheets, furniture, plants-everything. I would sit in cafes sipping coffee and watch chefs from all of the local restaurants wheel carts of food to office buildings. This really got me thinking. I would bring the beautiful produce from the local farms to my customers who cant get to the farmers markets. This, I knew was not reinventing the wheel, but I wanted to personalize my service. Give recipes, let customers know what farms their food is coming from, pick all of the produce myself, and really inspire people to start cooking again and get them excited about food. Most importantly, the service would give back to the community. It would support local, small sustainable farms; it would keep the money local, giving it to small local farms rather than a big corporation. Which also means that there are less people in our area having their food shipped in from who knows where. Less demand for food that has no taste, that is sprayed with pesticides, that is grown by giant corporations that only have regard for making money and don’t have a passion for what they are actually doing. Less demand for it means they sell less, produce less and ship less!
I also wanted the service to offer “cute” boxes, and not crummy grocery sacks; something that could be re-used over and over. This, to be honest, was the hardest part. I searched and searched high and low for an appropriate box. I finally designed and had made the boxes that you get today.
I wanted a grass roots company. Not a giant company that needed backers with lots of money to start it. That is how I started my restaurant. When we got more customers I would get more boxes made, and so on. I am happy to report we have a new space to pack the boxes. We grew out of the space that we used in the back of the restaurant. We have tripled the amount of customers that we started with. Yes, my team has grown from one (me) to Tommy and Scott (your delivery people), Michelle (handles new customers and billing) as well as Fabian and Virginia (who helps pack the boxes). The farms and farmers that I buy from are ecstatic. I am helping bring their hard work to more people.
Most of all my customers are happy. I get so many emails about what you are cooking, how much your kids love it, how this produce has totally changed they way you and your families eat and how you are introduced to produce you have never had before.
I set out to do everything I wanted and much more. I have a little community of healthy eating foodies, more friends that I am employing, happy farmers, and my little contribution to a healthier society.