During this year’s Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting and celebrating the women-owned Farm to Fork vendors who supply our teams and the communities they serve.
In 1999, Bon Appétit was the first food service company to formalize our commitment to local farmers, artisans, and fisherfolk through the launch of our Farm to Fork program, which tasks our teams with purchasing 20% of their ingredients from small, owner-operated vendors within 150 miles of our cafés. Fast forward 23 years, and Bon Appétit now spends more than $45 million dollars annually on products from Farm to Fork vendors. But more than just a pioneering sustainable sourcing commitment, and beyond abstract spending statistics, the Farm to Fork program allows our teams to purchase food from real people – including many female entrepreneurs.
This Women’s History Month, we’re making the concept of Farm to Fork more tangible and connecting faces and farms to the numbers by highlighting women-owned businesses that our teams partner with across the country.
These businesses come in all shapes and sizes. Common Market, a local-food aggregator started by Tatiana Garcia-Granados and her husband Haile Johnston in Pennsylvania, now operates in Georgia, Texas, and throughout the Northeast, connecting food purveyors and institutions like Bon Appétit at the University of Pennsylvania and Emory University to a small army of local farmers. Equator Estate Coffees and Teas Inc. was founded by Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell in a Bay Area garage in 1995, and now distributes their mission-driven coffee nationwide. Thankfully, despite their tech-like start and ensuing decades of success, they still have time to supply the Bon Appétit teams at Mills, Uber, and Twitter. In the Midwest, SEEDS Farm, started by St. Olaf College alumni Rebecca Carlson has cultivated a relationship with the Bon Appétit teams at Carleton and St. Olaf for years, providing hyper-local produce to both schools’ kitchens. The Bon Appétit team at Carleton even catered Rebecca’s wedding last year.
Wherever in the country these vendors might be, we’re thrilled to call them our partners.