It’s no secret that I’m a local food lover. My longtime readers know that I could talk about food for hours. That being said, I’m under no illusion that the local & sustainable food I crave is easily accessible to the everyday person, and even less convenient for the busy Bay Area parent.
Enter my new company crush, Good Eggs, who are hoping to change the local food system with their new online marketplace aimed at connecting eaters and producers.
I recently spoke with Good Eggs co-founder, Rob Spiro, about their mission, and specifically about some of their producers that Little City parents will find most attractive. Top of my list; some really incredible pasture-raised meat companies, my two favorite baby food companies, and for all the allergy-sensitive kiddos, the most delicious gluten free bread I’ve tasted.
A Chat with the Co-Founder, Rob Spiro
Jill: What are the biggest challenges in trying in connecting food makers with their local community?
Rob: Awareness & convenience. First people have to know about all the great local food they can buy — including farm-fresh fruits and veggies, ranch-direct meats, fresh bread and other bakery goods, etc. Then they have to actually get the food, and it’s that last-mile piece of the distribution chain, and the most difficult in many cases.
Jill: How can the average person support local food makers in a more meaningful way?
Rob: Make it a part of your weekly routine. Find the producers that you want to be feeding your family, and then buy from them every week. Becoming a “regular” is the best way to build a relationship with a food maker, help their business, and ultimately have a more rewarding experience.
I swear, it’s like he read our last blog about supporting local food makers.
To begin addressing these challenges, Good Eggs has established a few “food hubs” around the Bay Area where you can order items online from multiple producers and pick them all up at once. Some of the locations include Good Eggs HQ (Mission), Food Craft Institute (Oakland), Berkeley Ironworks (Berkeley), among others. It’s not a perfect system yet as every producer is not available at every food hub, but definitely a step in the right direction.
The Parent’s Guide to Producers
Now back to my fabulous Little City parents… If you attended any of my cooking classes or demonstrations, you’ll know I’m a die-hard advocate of pasture-raised meats and eggs for the whole family. Here are some Good Eggs producers that you’ll want to check out:
- Round Valley Raised: $300-$400 pasture raised pork and beef share boxes. Get some friends together to split if needed, that’s what I’m doing if anyone wants to get in for September, $100 portions.
- Harley Richter meats: Founder John Richter does A-mazing things with sausage. A tasty and relatively inexpensive way to get high quality pastured meat into your kiddo’s diet.
- Pastoral Plate: has it all from pastured eggs & chicken to pork & beef.
- Jablow’s Meats: Finding pastured lunch meat is always a challenge for me, but Dan’s got some incredible corned beef and pastrami coming out of his kitchen.
- Bread Srsly: For all the gluten free kiddos, this GF sourdough bread is a must buy! They have awesome muffins and other breads too, but Sadie’s sourdough seriously rocks.
- i love blue sea: seafood caught using sustainable methods and sourced directly from local & trusted fisherman. I heart their oysters.
And for the brand new mommies and daddies out there…
- MamaKai: Prepared meals made for growing families and perfect for the busy parent. I can tell you from personal experience, Angie’s food is nutrient-dense and amazing – the perfect way to nourish your family.
- Big Dipper Baby Food and Fresh Baby Bites: you guys already know about my two favorite baby food companies since Little City stopped making it ourselves. They’re both available here too.
I asked Rob why he feels food is so personal. His response: “Food is elemental. It’s an expression of caring for the people around you, and being cared for. It’s the centerpiece of the most important social rituals in our lives, as it has been throughout history. It’s the most important contributing factor to our health. It’s the fundamental way that we, as humans, participate in the natural cycles of the land.” Well put.
So, check out these great producers, try out Good Eggs when you can, and tell your friends there’s a new way to get local food in town.
- I’m Egg-stremely Confused: Part 1
- A Guide to Mindful Meat Consumption
- A Guide to Supporting Local Food Makers: Knowing the People who Make & Grow Your Food
Jill Epner is a recovering food entrepreneur, advocate for early-stage food startups, and Bay Area food blogger. Follow her on Facebook, or sign up to receive her newsletter where she gives a candid peek into the world of starting her own food company, Little City Kitchen Co.