By Beth Gallo.
This October, thousands of events will take place all over the country to celebrate National Food Day, recognizing the growing interest in healthy, sustainable, and affordable foods. While most events will take place on October 24, others will be held throughout the week.
Join the Dartmouth Grange Shared-Use Kitchen as they join the celebration with “A Taste of the Grange” on Saturday, October 26 from 1 to 4 pm. The goal of the event is to help the community learn about businesses making artisan foods in the Shared-Use Kitchen and bring awareness of some of the many reasons to buy locally produced foods.
For years, there has been a growing movement to buy locally grown, locally raised, and locally produced foods. While it may be difficult to live only on foods that fall into these three categories, the goal is to look to theses sources first.
Buying from local, rather than national, companies have many benefits for the community and the consumer. On the community level, money spent on local products tends to stay invested in the local economy and promotes a unique, regional character. Small businesses often try harder to source their ingredients from nearby suppliers. Since they live within the community, they tend to forge committed and professional relationships with other business owners and source from local employment pools. And there is also the potential for using less energy and resources in transportation when people buy from local producers.
Consumer’s benefit by direct interaction with a grower or producer, which is not possible when dealing with large national chains. This personal interaction often results in greater input into the product, integrity in business relationships, and higher customer satisfaction knowing that their purchase is helping support neighbors the local economy.
Small food producers face many obstacles. Two major hurdles that a new or growing food venture faces is finding a space to produce their products that meets all the many local, state and federal requirements for food production and finding one that is financially viable. Building or leasing a commercial kitchen on their own can be costly and pose a big financial risk. This alone often deters people from starting their own food venture. The South Coast has a unique resource that helps with both of these obstacles. The Dartmouth Grange Shared-Use Kitchen provides the necessary certified space, a supportive environment, and the opportunity to rent a commercial kitchen by the hour. There are no minimum number of hours required and the hourly rate is based is on a sliding scale depending on the equipment used and time of day.
During The Taste of The Grange, the public will have the opportunity to meet a group of local entrepreneurs who make a wide variety of artisan foods. Visitors can talk with them, sample their products, and buy foods produced at the Shared-Use Kitchen. Among the businesses committed to sampling their foods to date are 1773 Roasters (Coffee), All Friends Catering (Catering), Doves and Figs (Jams, Conserves and Fruit Mustards), Essentially Coconut (Stone Ground Coconut), Herban Table (Catering), Mad Hectic Foods (Protein Oatmeal), Matt’s Magic Brownies (Handmade Gourmet Treats), Smackadoodles (Cinnamon Rolls), and Wicked Good Pastry (Custom Cakes, Cookies and Cupcakes). Other businesses may join in as the day approaches.
The public is invited to come support these local entrepreneurs, taste their food, and buy local on Saturday, October 26 from 1 to 4 pm at The Dartmouth Shared-Use Kitchen, located at 1133 Fisher Road in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
For more information about “A Taste of The Grange” or The Dartmouth Grange Shared-Use Kitchen, contact Beth Gallo, Kitchen Manager, at 508-636-1900 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org