I am a huge proponent of the Farm to Table movement. I truly believe that all of the pre-packaged processed food in our country has been one of the greatest contributors to our overall decline in health and well-being. I love when I find a good clean brand that is incorporating their values of clean eating and simple living into what they are creating.
I’m also a HUGE fan of making it as simple as possible.
Laura & Bryant are combining those two things in a completely superstar way. They are partnering with farmers and delivering freshly harvested food right to the homes of their local community, AND Bryant creates recipes to help busy, vegetable-challenged folks (like me) incorporate what is in their bag for the week.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t cook and my current place in life has made me a better candidate for the meal-in-a-box or chef-prepared-meal delivery services, BUT I have used Local Fare at various times over the past few years, and I can assure you that it takes the stress out of cooking and meal planning in massive ways.
As is becoming a clear theme, the more Changemakers I feature here, Laura & Bryant also LOVE what they do which makes it so easy for them to be advocates for their business and the better way of life they are spreading.
They also happen to be two of the most fun people you will ever meet. Over the past 5 years, some of my most favorite times were with these two amazing people. They are always up for supporting fellow entrepreneurs, friends and family - and they always bring the FUN! (as well as some amazing food…). There’s no doubt in my mind that this is one (of the many) reason they have been successful with Local Fare!
My takeaway: Bringing a sense of fun to everything you do is a sure-fire way to reach success in your business.
Website: Local Fare South
Tell us about your business. What do you do? Who do you serve? How long have you been at it? Why do you do it?
We started Local Fare in 2011 with the sole purpose of bridging the gap between farmer and consumer. We have so many hard working farmers in our area that are growing beautiful and healthy fruits and vegetables. It doesn't make sense to go to the grocery store to buy produce that is already several days to maybe weeks old when you can reap the benefits and nutrients of freshly harvested veggies.
We work closely with our farmers, who harvest for us on Wednesday, so that we can get the produce to our customers within 24-48 hours of being pulled from the earth. Then we make it super easy by delivering right to their homes.
Bryant has been a chef for over 20 years so he produces 4 recipes each week using the items in the farm bag. He uses simple ingredients and creates dishes that make the vegetable the highlight.
Over the past 8 years we have found many local artisans with wonderful products to offer and we have added those items to our program. We deliver from St. Augustine down through Port Orange and absolutely love what we do! We are helping to support our community, while at the same time making it possible for that same community to have healthier options in sourcing their food.
Our mission is simply to provide the freshest locally sourced ingredients, showcasing our area's farmers and the commitment we all share, to bring people back to a more natural way of providing for their families. For the health of our environment and your loved ones, we are passionate about bringing the concept of seed to table to Northeast Florida.
What does "social good business" or "values based earning" mean to you?
It is very important to be proud of what you do for a living. Our business has positive effects on everyone that we work with: on the customers we serve, on the small local businesses that we help, and on our local agriculture.
We need to help these farms thrive and educate our neighbors on the benefits of healthy eating.
What is your favorite part about running a social good business or your favorite experience since you started?
We just really enjoy meeting new people and learning how they view the importance of the quality of food that they put into their body. For a lot of people fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables are a necessity due to illness or allergies. They need to be able to trust their food source and know how their produce is being grown.
What is your biggest struggle in running a social good business?
We honestly can't think of anything we would consider a struggle.
The closest thing would be that some people still consider what we do an extra instead of an everyday. They will request to cancel their service because of financial reasons and we think, “Everyone has to eat; so what is it that you are going to feed your family instead of clean, healthy veggies?” Maybe we don't want to know. Do they continue to pay for extra things like Netflix or manicures instead of choosing to buy quality food? That one will always perplex us.
What would you like most to accomplish in the next year? 5 years?
We would like to reach our goal of hitting a certain number of deliveries each week. It isn't an unimaginable goal, it would be just enough so that we can set ourselves up for a simple retirement.
We are entrepreneurs, but we aren't looking to make millions - just to have a happy, not having to worry about money, life.
Who are your business icons, heroines or mentors?
(Laura): I would have to say that my parents played a huge role in teaching me the value of a good job, hard work and the overall way that you should treat another person. They instilled the values that I carry today and I will always be grateful for that.
What's your #1 tip for someone just getting started running a values-based business?
Always take care of your people. They are your business and they control how people perceive your business. They are on the front lines and it is important that they feel that they are doing a good job. Let them know!
What is the last book you read?
Oooooohhhh….I am a murder mystery buff so it may get a little graphic - Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter.