Alex Jones, Product Manager
On Monday evening, food industry experts and entrepreneurs assembled in Reading Terminal Market's Center Court for Brewing the American Dream, a speed-coaching event presented by Fair Food and our awesome friends and Brewer's Plate sponsor, Sam Adams. We ate some tasty local cheese and winter veggies, enjoyed Sam Adams' refreshing IPA, and talked shop in intensive 20-minute sessions.
I spotted lots of Fair Food vendors and members - like Weckerly's Ice Cream, 1732 Meats, Food & Ferments, Epic Pickles, PB&JAMS, Kevin's Fresh vinaigrettes, and Philadelphia Bee Co. - giving and seeking advice. It was exciting to meet some new faces, too. I talked to a would-be distiller, at least one cidery, a quail farmer, a vegan restaurateur, and two different bakers about how they can make their food businesses more sustainable with local sourcing, seasonal planning, and networking.
At Fair Food, we're lucky to often be one of the first stops a new food entrepreneur makes. That's the beauty of being an independent grocer. And since we share those small-batch, artisanal values and connection to our community, we're often able to help our vendors incorporate local food into their business models. Let's round up some of the new goodies from emerging artisans and entrepreneurs that we've added to our shelves recently.
Bill's Best BBQ Sauce: We first tasted this mouth-watering sauce smothering Stryker Farm's finger-licking pulled pork, but there's more to the story than organic, locally sourced ingredients and tangy deliciousness. Bill - who developed this sauce recipe - now suffers from a rare form of dementia. His family started Bill's Best to honor him and make his dream a reality, and 10% of their profits are donated to fund research on his condition.
Kevin's Fresh: Robin and Kevin Feeny drew on their experience feeding themselves and their four children to develop their line of healthy, tasty, and kid-friendly vinaigrettes. Thanks to their efforts, their kids ate more salad - and you can too! Look for their LEMON VINAIGRETTE and CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE (made with local cranberries!), plus Roasted Peach Vinaigrette in the summertime, at the Farmstand.
Long Cove Foods: Once a chef/recipe developer for a processed food industry giant, Will Ternay saw the light and devoted himself to sustainability. While he identifies as "flexitarian" regarding meat, his VEGAN SCRAPPLE is a hit with vegans and omnivores alike. Made with organic and non-GMO ingredients like locally grown polenta, veggies, and mushrooms, Long Cove's scrapple cooks up crunchy and crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside - all with a savory, spiced flavor.
Stinky Girl Beauty Co.: Carly Dougherty - half of the husband-wife duo behind another new favorite product line, Food & Ferments - has developed a line of handmade, natural body care products that will make you smell, look, and feel great. I'm loving her CREAM DEODORANT (available in WOODS SPICE, LAVENDER, and JUNIPER & SAGE) and infused BODY OILS (inspired by Ayurvedic self-anointing practices), which we're stocking at the Farmstand now. Coming soon: HAIR POWDER (a.k.a. dry shampoo - works better than Pssssst! on my bangs) and a heavenly talc-free ROSE BODY POWDER.