Real Local RVA’s November Meeting at Väsen Brewing Co.
“The Realities of Sourcing Local”
with Kevin Jamison of
Kevin Jamison opened his first restaurant knowing what he wanted. He wanted to support the local economy by sourcing as much as possible from local food producers and farmers. While he admits it’s not easy, it’s a process they are committed to and they work hard to make it happen. For Commune, the positives far outweigh the challenges they face, and they feel good about the product they put in front of customers every day.
Kevin discussed just a few of the benefits to locally sourced food:
- It’s important to today’s customers. More and more people are paying attention to where their food comes from
- It’s a higher quality product – it’s fresher and more flavorful which makes it easier for chefs to create tasty food
- Local food builds a positive community not just between restaurants and farms but also with customers
- It’s better for the environment – it often creates less waste, and there are far less emissions from shorter shipping/travel distances
Kevin stressed the importance of being flexible as the variations in quantity and availability of local food changes so quickly. He proposed an important question for businesses: How far are you willing and able to go, both physically and metaphorically down the path of committing to local food?
For Commune, supporting the local agricultural economy is a full-time commitment. Just a few of the things they source locally include:
- Nearly 100% of their produce is from the Virginia Beach area (with the exception of their salad mix which is sourced from VA)
- 100% of their eggs are from Virginia Beach
- All meat and seafood is from within 100 miles of the restaurant
- All beer, wine and liquor from is VA, most is from the Virginia Beach area
- All milk is from VA
The team at Commune is working hard to build all the parts involved in a functional food system. Thank you to Kevin for sharing your passion for local food with us. To see a little more from Kevin and meet the chef at Commune in a short video click here.
We also enjoyed a brief session with Woody Tasch, the founder of Slow Money. Woody introduced us to a whole new way of thinking about investing in our food system. If you would like to donate or learn more, please visit Slow Money Central VA.
This was our last meeting of 2018! We’ll see you next year!