Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Trouble with Being Local...

Good evening Blogoverse,

There has been quite a bit of discussion regarding buying and eating local.  As a Streatery conscious of this movement we strive to offer local products whenever possible.  There is a very fine line that we have to walk in offering local product but still keeping our final cost to our customer down.  This past week I have heard some very odd statements regarding "local" product.

To reach our goals we do have to make compromises.  In some cases it is purchasing a local product that isn't necessarily an artisan good.  There are a number of companies in the Treasure Valley that are well established, make a solid product and make a lot of it.  We are proud to feature Dairygold Cheese and Gem Pack meats.  These are the companies that the little guys want to grow up to become.  Dairygold is a farmer owned company that keeps the vast majority of Idaho's dairy farmers working.  Gem Pack is one of the oldest Meat Packing plants in Idaho and has been in business since 1947.  It is a family owned and operated facility for the past 60 plus years.  I was told a couple days ago that Gem Pack Hotdogs (a fantastic product, by the way) was not a local product.  In fact, Gem Pack was compared to McDonald's.  It was this statement that prompted this blog post. 

If whether a locally owned company uses only locally produced product or not determines their "locality" then Cafe de Paris and Zeppole's can't be considered local.  I proudly support and use both bakeries for our sandwiches and happily list them as a local product, no matter where their flour comes from!

In other cases, we have to expand our concept of what is local.  Or more specifically, the concept of what is regional.  We buy the majority of our pork from Utah.  The reason for this is that Utah has the largest pork processing facilities in our area.  Yes, we are bringing in product from out of state.  But look at it this way:  if you drink beer from Rogue or Widmer, the beer is traveling as far as my pork.

B29 Streatery does use artisan products, both for breads and proteins.  We have offered Snake River Farms Kobe Beef, Double XL Farms Pork and M&N Kobe Beef.  We will continue to offer both what the big guys and the little guys have to offer from our locality and our region. 

B29 Streatery, coming right back atcha!

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