Recently, Charlotte Fresh wrote about Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs). Hopefully you’ve contacted your local farmers and signed up to buy a share of the farm’s crop and get fresh food weekly for this season. Some farms may still have a few slots available, so check in with them before all slots are gone.
There is a related concept that’s been taking hold nationwide over the last few years (especially in Vermont) concerning restaurants; it’s called…wait for it…a Community Supported Restaurant or CSR. Restaurants are raising local investment money from the communities they serve to fund their ventures.
It’s a bit like crowdsourcing through Kickstarter where you help a venture raise money and get a reward in return. In a restaurant’s case, it might be investing in shares in return for coupons good on future meals. As a consumer/investor, you should believe in the restaurant’s mission and probability for success within the community before deciding whether or not to invest in it. Some examples of food ventures that went with Kickstarter include: Colonie in Brooklyn Heights, NY; What Happens When in SoHo, NYC; Next in Chicago; the Gypsy Queen/Spartacus Lebanese food truck in Asheville, NC and Mystery Brewing Co. in Chapel Hill, NC.
The CSR is a new model for the Charlotte area, so there aren’t many local examples yet. One that is getting press is Lell’s Cafe in Rock Hill, SC. WFAEats just wrote about it the other day; see the full article here. Some basics quoted from the article:
Most of her ingredients are bought from local farmers. Lell strongly believes in sustainable and local farming, which is reflected in her menu. Eighty percent of her breakfast menu consists of local ingredients, and by summer, she believes most of her lunch menu will also be sustainable.
You know CF will visit Lell’s soon and report back on the yummy finds. Stay tuned….