[Market-farming] Restaurant update

Carla Maness manessfarm at gmail.com
Wed May 23 09:09:31 EDT 2012


Thanks again. The more info I get the better I'll be at dealing with chefs.
The chef who approached us told me that he only wanted to deal with one or
two farmers. He had to get permission to do this, and it's on a limited
basis. He will be doing special menus once or twice a month using local
produce. I get the feeling that if this is a big hit they will do more.

The chef also asked for a farm bio and pictures and he printed it out and
placed it on the tables for his customers so  they would know who/where the
produce came from. I think all of this will be very good for our farm.

He's a really nice guy and he keeps saying he enjoys the relationship we're
building, so I feel encouraged by that.  He's only been at the restaurant
since December so I think he's as new at this as I am, so maybe we'll both
learn as we go.

This is one of 3 restaurants owned by the same guy. All 3 restaurants are
very different, but I think the potential is there to expand. I really want
to be prepared to meet their needs, I just don't know yet what that is!

Thanks again, I really do appreciate all the help!

Carla,
Perkins, OK


On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 7:40 AM, Richard Stewart <rstewart at zoomtown.com>wrote:

> Carla
>
> I think that its important that we think of the business we are doing with
> the chefs as an extra hassle for them.  They have been used to working with
> a short list of vendors for their produce and meats.  The more local, the
> more unique, and the more seasonal they lean the more vendors they need.
>  Often times they want to cover their bases so they might have several
> sources for the same product.  Now a chef that is sourcing local might be
> sourcing from 30 different sources not including beverages and meat and
> dairy when they might have just dealt with two or three national suppliers.
>  That takes a skilled person to juggle all those vendors (farmers).
>
> We decided that we would try our hardest to be THE source for about five
> produce items and a host of herbs.  I think working with chefs falls short
> when you try to source everything for them and then tell them you are out
> and they have to go somewhere else even though that item is in season.  It
> also means that they remember you more than the sketchy farmer that
> communicates poorly or goes in and out of availability and you become an
> A-List supplier for them and less likely to be forgotten in the middle of a
> crazy day.
>
> I think you are seeing though, that like us growers and farmers there are
> a wide range of different chefs.  Some folks cannot stand working within a
> system like this others will flourish.  You'll love working more with some
> chefs and less with others but they are all a source of income for your
> business and be treated as equally as possible (especially in pricing).
>
> Richard Stewart
> Carriage House Farm
> North Bend, Ohio
>
> An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855
>
> (513) 967-1106
> http://www.carriagehousefarmllc.com
> rstewart at zoomtown.com
>
>
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