| As a local company, Gourmet Dining has always known the value of buying local. Establishing relationships with local vendors is a fundamental element of our success.
We have developed trust in the service and quality of the products we receive locally, and have shared in the success of building local business in New Jersey and New York since 1987.
While local networks have always existed at Gourmet Dining, beginning in 2005, we started an initiative to buy even more local food. Produce and baked goods have been local staples, as we buy local, seasonal produce and local baked goods all year round. With the increased number of farmers markets and selling points of local produce in New Jersey and New York, the nationwide emphasis on buying local, and our partnerships with sustainable groups on campus, we knew it was time to make local food a top priority.
Year-round, we have a company wide initiative to buy local products. June through December, we utilize the abundance of local produce available in New Jersey, New York and the Northeast region. As with all of our purchases, we have try to find the best quality product that is closest to us in geographic region. It is our goal, especially in the summer and fall months, to buy from as many New Jersey farmers as possible. During the winter and spring months, while we purchase produce from around the country, our priority is to lower the distance our produce comes from. This means that when possible, we purchase oranges from Florida because are traveling half the distance as those from California.
The local food initiative also includes purchasing meats, seafood, cheeses, and artisanal goods. You can view a list of local farms and purveyors we use by clicking on Local Vendors. We have redirected our menu to incorporate more local seafood like Brook Trout, Scallops, Scallops and Clams. In addition to seafood, we purchase local chicken, turkey and eggs through out the year.
What are the benefits of buying local? Besides the strength of a local vendor network, there are a host of reasons why it is great to buy local. We develop our local food supply and the communities in which we live. We support local farmers and invest in their food to ensure that we will continue to produce food in New York and New Jersey. We build relationships with the farmers and distributors we buy from, and know how they grow their crops and raise their animals. And, we reduce our community's carbon foot print by reducing the travel time of our food.