Posts tagged Seasonal Food Sourcing
Local + Seasonal Food Sourcing | A Guide to Getting Started
 

Identifying the right food sourcing partners is a key step to creating a successful food business, consistently getting the product quality that you want, and keeping production on schedule. It's also a process that feels very overwhelming to new + growing businesses, but it doesn't have to!

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The process laid out in this guide is the exact process that I use when establishing food sourcing programs for my clients throughout the US, and is designed to take away any of the overwhelm, confusion or 'unknowns' you might be facing as you approach the process of choosing new vendors + ensuring you get the products you desire.

Get your free guide here. And be sure to join the mailing list to be the first to know about food sourcing webinars + workshops.

 
Top 3 (Surprising) Uses for Monthly Seasonal Guides
 
Seasonal Buying Guide

Seasonal Guides are great for planning the next month's menu, but have you thought about these popular (but perhaps not so obvious) uses?


I was so excited to learn about some of the unique ways that chefs, restauranteurs, market owners + other food-driven business professionals are using the monthly seasonal guides that I had to share them with you! 

I hope you find some inspiration, and if you've got a unique use I'd love to hear about it!


"Out of Season" Menu Planning

Planning a menu for 6 months from now? Doing some R&D for a new project or future menu changes? It can be hard to remember when exactly grapes become available, or if Morels will be in season, and when exactly those hot pink turnips show up... so save + reference your Monthly Seasonal Guides!
Caterers + Restaurant Chefs that host large events typically begin working with their clients months, if not more than a year, in advance to plan their menu. As a result it's not uncommon that an event taking place in August will have it's menu developed in the middle of winter. Cue the August seasonal guide for inspiration and to refresh your memory with what's in season in August.
Similarly, clients that are working on opening a new restaurant, developing new menus, or starting a new food business love using seasonal guides as a reference for what will be in season when they open for business or start offering that new menu.  


Seasonal Swaps

Many of my clients are NOT hyper-seasonal or 100% local.  They have a standard menu that doesn't change, but they love to use the seasonal guides for inspiration to swap in a seasonal ingredient here and there to keep their customers interested and their dishes delicious. 
It's a common misunderstanding that I work only with clients that source exclusively local + seasonal ingredients.  In fact, many of my clients have a standard menu that doesn't change throughout the year, with the exception of a few ingredients they swap seasonally - think strawberries in the salad in summer, apples in fall and citrus in winter.  
Seasonal Guides help identify seasonal swaps that keep dishes tasting great AND help keep food costs down. Seasonal ingredients are abundant and are often offered at lower prices than out-of-season ingredients. 
 

Social Media + Ad Planning

Having a social media presence has become part of doing business, especially for food businesses.  And with the advent of tools like Tailwind that allow you to plan your posts for Instagram + Pinterest weeks in advance, you really can have an actual social media strategy and seasonal guides help ensure you keep it seasonal!  
Whether you manage your social media strategy, or you've got someone on your team spearheading your businesses efforts online, having a strategy for what, when and where you post is proving helpful for promoting food businesses of all kinds.  As a big believer in lists + planning ahead I LOVE hearing that Monthly Seasonal Guides are helping chefs and business owners plan their menus and social media content!
 

Never downloaded one of our seasonal guides before? Click here for more info, a sneak peek at their contents + to download a free mini-guide! 

 
June Ingredients
June Plums

It's june, and in california that means summer produce!! here is a PEEK at some early-summer favorites...
 

Summer squash in beautiful shades of green and yellow are popping up everywhere, and so are the delicate + delicious squash blossoms.

June Summer Squash
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At Valdivia Farms you'll find a few of my favorite things. Bright purple and white spring onions, fresh scallions, and the ever-adorable french breakfast radishes.  

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A favorite stop for me personally, and for many of my clients, is Peads & Barnetts. Founded by Oliver Woolley who raises heritage pigs and drought tolerant flowers in Valley Center, CA near San Diego, he and his wife Daniella make visiting the farmstand an absolutely delight.  The pork is out of this world, but we're talking flowers here, and they are STUNNING and other-worldly.  Featured in restaurants and retail markets from Venice to Highland Park, the flowers will stop you in your tracks during the summer months and are available for pickup at markets in Santa Monica and Hollywood, and may also be delivered.

Peads & Barnetts Flowers
June Flowers

When it comes to lettuces, farmer’s market greens can’t be beat. Farmer Romeo Coleman, Mark Carpenter of Coastal Farms, and Shu Takikawa of The Garden Of..... sell a variety of lettuces that are breathtakingly beautiful and range in texture, color, and flavor that will spark salad cravings in even the least likely salad lover.

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The weather has been unseasonably cool this year causing the arrival of tomatoes to be delayed a bit, but Coastal Farms will have cherry tomatoes in June, and we're keeping our eyes open for Munak Ranch from Paso Robles with their beautiful spread of heirloom tomatoes and melons.

June Sungold Tomatoes

Stone fruit arrived in May, and to my surprise has been pretty delicious right from the get-go. There are peaches and nectarines almost everywhere you look, and so much of it is mouthwatering delicious. A sleeper favorite is Betty Kennedy's farmstand - she is quietly selling some of the best stone fruit of the season so far. 

And, while cherries are ending at Murray Family Farm, they are just starting for Andy's Orchard, Tenerelli and others. 

June Plums

Last but not least... don't forget the corn!
This is a snap of Chris Milliken's table about halfway through the market day and it's wiped out! Milliken Family Farm was the first to market with their corn, grown on their Coachella farm.  It's an all-white corn, non-gmo of course and deliciously sweet.  Finley Farm, Tamai, Garden Of and others will follow with their corn in later June and early July.  Wholesalers will also carry Dwelley Farm corn from Northern California to help fill the demand until more local farms have corn on their tables.  

June Sweet Corn

For a complete list of what's in season in June, download the June Seasonal Guide.