[Market-farming] supplying restaurants

John Ehrlich johnkaty at shaw.ca
Sat Apr 9 11:16:37 EDT 2011


We opened a cafe on our farm and we just went through our first winter operating. Our menu is sparse, one salad, three soups, and indiv pizzas.

The salad in February was chickweed, (only because my ghouse was not completed until September, and I was too late on the winter greeens planting). (People loved it btw).  Now the salad is Kale, a mild Dutch variety, sauteed with hot sesame oil and roasted sunflower and raisins. People love this too. Yesterday, we sold 12 salads at 5/each. It was about 2# of kale for $60. And it took me 30 minutes to harvest and prepare.

People are starving for this kind of authenticity, because there is so much inauthenticity now in the world.
Mothers come with their children and they see a real farm.

But we have not had to buy any veggies. The cafe is well received by the community and we are doing really well. We dont even have a cash register yet, and everyone has to pay cash and cash is king. I make way more per day than going to a farmers market. We are only open for lunch and now after one year, we are usually operating at max capacity.

Except yesterday, the build inspector came and said we did not have zoning to operate a cafe and is trying to shut us down. (largely bec he got a complaint either from a competitor or from a redneck neighbour) There is a funny stipulation here that farms can operate farm gate sales or agritourism enterprises, so we are in a grey area. But this is only part one in our battle.


Best, John 
alderleafarm.com


On 2011-04-09, at 4:25 AM, Mike Rock wrote:

> Within a few minutes of my posting I got a suggestion to contact these 
> folks.  http://www.greenandgreenfarms.com/about-us.htm
> 
> It looks like there is just such a service as my quote requester needs, 
> at least for part of the season.  And they are less than thirty miles 
> from me.
> 
> Mike
> 
> Mike Rock wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I just received this shopping list from a Polish restaurant in Chicago.
>> How does one supply this with organic or 'responsibly' grown produce. 
>> Obviously I cannot meet her needs for much of this from here in the 
>> north (SW Wisconsin).  A case of leeks per week?  Yikes....  And this is 
>> only ONE restaurant that needs supplies.  This is a real eye opener to 
>> me.  The reality of large scale warehousing, California supply chains, 
>> shipping and logistics all come into rather terrifying focus.
>> 
>> Here is her list:
>> 
>> "Leeks case each week from May through October, then one case every other
>> week
>> Carrot 40 pounds a week, may through October then every other week
>> Zuchinni 20 pounds a week, may through October
>> Potatoes 40 pounds a week
>> Onions 20 pounds a week
>> Spinach, case per week, more during May through October
>> Mixed greens a case a week
>> 
>> Also I go through a lot of rhubarb, blueberries, cranberries, and apples all
>> year round, I take the cranberries and blueberries and freeze them.
>> 
>> Hope that helps"
>> 
>> This is way beyond farmers market type stuff, and is the day to day 
>> reality of vegetable supply.
>> 
>> I hope this becomes an interesting topic for discussion.
>> 
>> Most respectfully,
>> Mike Rock
>> 
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