Selling to Restaurants
Chefs can be really creative with food, and it is important to establish a personal relationship with the chefs; if you like to cook too, let them know a delicious way that you prepared the food. You can save the sizes of produce they like (for example the very small patty pan summer squash or thin carrots) for them, and check in about the previous week’s delivery. Was everything in good condition? Make sure to replace any produce that was not suitable. Did everything taste good? What is coming up on the menu? If you get in a habit of communicating often with the chefs, then when you grow something that turns out a bit unexpected, talk to them in advance and let them know how something grew, and possible ways they could prepare it.
When delivering food to a restaurant, make sure the produce is VERY clean so chefs can use it immediately. Bacteria can grow in dirt, and the kitchen needs to be a very clean place.
Watch this YouTube video for more tips! Farm to restaurant marketing presentation.
You could also partner with a local caterer to use your produce in their catering events, or host event on your farm (partner with a caterer or chef is cooking is not your skill set).
Selling to Food Stores
Selling to food stores can be tricky, as they often want to dictate the price and the payment date, which can be as long as 90 days later. If you are certified organic, Nature’s Fare will often buy from local producers. Larger food stores like Save On will also buy at wholesale prices, but need large quantities of a few items. There is more information on this Young Agrarians page about selling to retailers.