The local food expo has been rescheduled for same time and place (5:30, 123 E. Main St at Old Quarters in Jonesborough) for FEBRUARY 23 due to inclement weather.
The famous phrase “it’s who you know” refers to the importance of relationships. It’s no less true in the local food scene, where getting locally produced food from the field to the store shelf is all about trust between farmer and buyer. Thanks to a grant from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and sponsorship from Farm Credit Mid America, the Appalachian RC&D Council—in partnership with Appalachian Sustainable Development and Jonesborough Locally Grown—is hosting the second Tri-Cities Local Food Expo, a chance for farmers from northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia to meet with area restauranteurs, grocers, and food distributors for direct face-to-face networking. Online registration for buyers and farmers is now open for the event which will be held on Monday February 16 at 123 E. Main St, Jonesborough, TN, 5:30-8 pm ($15; arcd.org).
In addition to making business connections, the expo will feature a presentation from Jamie Dove, owner of the Main Street Pizza Co and River Valley Farm (Johnson City)–who operates a CSA and provides farm-to-table options at his local restaurant. A farm-to-table style light dinner will be provided by Main St Cafe and the all-local farm-store, Boone Street Market. Additionally, attendees can sample seasonal offerings from Depot Street Brewery (Jonesborough).
“Serious seasoned growers as well as aspirational ones are welcome,” according to Veronica Limeberry, organizer of the event. “Whether you are the chef at an all-local eatery or a wholesale business, here is the opportunity to get a piece of the local movement which customers are demanding more and more.”
The first local food mixer event, held on November 3 on State St. in Bristol, boasted over 40 attendees, with buyers such as Fresh Market, Rooted in Appalachia, Appalachian Harvest, the Boone St. Market, and Harvest Table restaurant representing different markets. Over 15 local farms were also present, helping buyers connect to local food offerings and potential future partnerships.
There will be one more mixer event held in in East Tennessee in April 2015. All participants from the three expos will have an opportunity to be listed in an online local food guide offered through Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. In 2015 a printed directory will be compiled and distributed to all participants to help maintain local-food purchasing connections into the future.
Attendees meet each other and line up for a light dinner catered by the award-winning Main St. Pizza Co out of Johnson City