Startup satisfies chefs' huner for locally grown, organic food

South Florida restaurants would offer more locally grown produce on their menus if only there was an easier way to get it. That’s what Daniel Lessem, a chef himself, has heard over and over.

Lessem won second place in the Business Plan Challenge FIU Track for his plan to supply these restaurants by working with micro-grower partners. His company, called Urban Forager, would do the “foraging” so restaurants themselves would not have to expend staff time or energy to do so.

Now, small organic growers typically sell their products in farmer’s markets and to subscribers who buy weekly “shares.” They aren’t set up to service chefs who need deliveries at least three times a week and an efficient ordering system where customer service is key, says Lessem.

“Chefs know that consumers are demanding healthy food and they know that it would benefit them if they could tout locally grown on their menus, but it is completely inconvenient to try to run a business and at the same time try to source and locate all the products. There is a real problem that Urban Forager is going to solve.”

Currently, his research has found, high-end restaurants that do their own foraging have to pass on the added costs to the patrons, something moderately priced and family restaurants can’t afford to do. He wants to change that. “That’s really my goal. That’s what gets me really excited about this business. Right now those customers are priced out of the organic market,” Lessem says.

Read : ” Startup satisfies chefs’ huner for locally grown, organic food ” an article by The Miami Herald

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