On the Farm: VSAG BarnStorming 101

What better way to pave the road to sustainability than developing a working farm to supply product to your restaurant… and beyond?

As curious, inquisitive restaurant consultants we’re always looking for new, exciting opportunities to improve upon our client’s businesses and poise them (i.e. you) for growth and long-term success.

We wanted to share a recent information gathering “BarnStorming” (yes, we believe we coined this farm-related term) session we conducted for our Farmers Restaurant Group client Founding Farmers restaurants.

Our goal was to not only investigate opportunities to take their already successful farm-to-table concept to the next level, but to also gather useful information to educate and inspire all our clients – and prospective clients.

The BackStory: BarnStormingWe sought out to explore how to best build relationships and plant seeds to grow into realistic ideas/practices to use in pursuing the idea of developing a Founding Farmers-owned farm.

The MissionTo create a working, fully sustainable, DC area farm to enhance our commitment to American family farmers and farming by having the ability to supply the FRG restaurants with farm-fresh ingredients. And beyond that: to possibly one day provide local area school children, families in need, and communities at large with sustainable food products, education, and industry job training.

The Focus GroupOur first step? Conducting honest, useful dialogue with sustainable food and farming experts from not only the National Farmers Union, but also representatives from local non-profits and thought-leaders such as:

The OutcomeThe seeds, as they say, have been planted on developing an FF-owned farm and even more importantly, we’re on our way to creating a successful model for farmers, restaurant businesses, sustainably minded consumers, and local area communities to follow. Stay tuned!

Our RecommendationWhether you’re inspired to take on the challenge of developing a working farm for your restaurant business or not, there are plenty of sustainable opportunities to seek and pursue.

From regularly supporting local supply chains like farmers markets to growing your own ingredients on a rooftop space and incorporating a sidewalk garden into your restaurant locations or simply designating planters on an outside patio … let our sustainable practices strategies and restaurant business planning experience guide you in your endeavors.

ps: here’s a sneak peek into the BarnStorming session, complete with VSAG‘s Dan Simons welcoming all and engaged attendees sharing ideas.