Imagine eating chef-made meals from food grown right around the corner. That’s the dream Brian Doyle had when he created
last year, which is a catering business built around locally-grown food.
”Last year my wife Jennifer and I wanted to create a business that was full-circle,” Doyle explains. “We wanted to add a farming component to our catering business because we were interested in adding food in areas considered food deserts.”
Doyle found a plot of land on W. 47th Street and Lorain Avenue in the Cleveland area using the land bank. There, he has created a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model that combines local farming with catering.
Members buy a share in the farm in exchange for gourmet meals prepared by chef Doyle. During the growing season -- June through September -- members get three meals for two people each week. The cost is $1,520 for 16 weeks of food presented in re-usable containers. Subscribers pick up their meals each week at the farm.
Doyle creates the meals from the farm produce while supplementing it with other locally grown meats and cheeses. “We try to feature other local producers of value added goods,” he says. “You’ll never find a national brand item in our bag.”
Last year, Sow Food had 10 customers. This year, the company already has 10 customers signed up. Doyle hopes to get to 30 customers, but will cap it at 50. “We’re thinking in small increments of growth,” he says.
Sow Food has two full-time employees and two seasonal employees. If they reach their targeted growth, Doyle plans to hire an additional full-time employee and two part-time employees.
Sow Food sub-leased kitchen space from a couple restaurants. This year, Doyle is hoping to find a permanent space.
Source: Brian Doyle
Writer: Karin Connelly