In the somewhat big business model that Bon Appétit works in , we value relationships with suppliers as a true partnership. Especially with the smaller, local, non-corporate types like our farmers, ranchers and artisans. The cultures are very different and we work hard at understanding each other. We forgive when them the strawberries come in a bit over-ripe or the greens a little dirtier then usual. They understand when we get a little huffy about late deliveries. We are grateful when a farmer calls at the last minute to tell us they are sitting on 500 cases of beautifully sweet ripe peaches that need to move. We believe we’re getting something special and we act quickly to create a region wide promotion. They are grateful when we send our managers to the orchards to pick up and deliver the peaches to our cafes.
Sometimes, our partners get in trouble and we feel compelled to jump in give them a hand. This week I talked with one of our many partner David Evans, who owns a small ranch operation in No. California called Marin Sun Farms. His grass fed beef is served at several of our San Francisco units. We’ve watched him grow his business with us and we feel a responsibility to his success. I called him because I had heard that the local slaughter house, where David takes his animals, is on the market for sale to an urban developer. This is typical of what is happening to much of our farm land in this country. The loss of a local slaughter house in this region would be devastating to small ranchers like David AND to the many eaters who enjoy the great flavors these ranchers send our way.
I called because I wanted to know what the issue was. I wanted to understand how this would impact his operation. I wanted him to know that we would do what we could to help him through this. Fortunately David is bright young dynamic man who is moving fast with a solution for himself and his small ranch peers in No CA. Not surprising. When I first met him a few years ago, he had a strong vision of how he was going to change the supply chain. Just less then a year ago, floods in No. CA destroyed a new business venture and set him back big time. Now, while facing another challenge, he is even more determined to keep moving his business moving forward. After our phone conversation, David knows that if he needs to he can call on us. See, we’re partners. We’ll put on our somewhat big business 10 gallon hat, and figure somethin’ out.
– Marc Zammit, Director of Culinary Support and Development
Face the Farmer: David Evans