I honestly never thought that local food would matter as much to me as it does now. Running my own small business has taught me to really appreciate that, though! I remember when I first went vegan, everyone was starting to get into the “eat local” and “everything organic” trends, and I really didn’t understand. Now, I have a very different perspective, and real reasons to source as much food from local businesses as possible.
It all started last year, when I began doing the farmer’s markets. I thought that it would be fun to incorporate items from other vendors into my desserts. Not only was I personally supporting another person trying to do the same thing as I was, but I also got to share their talents with my customers. It started with using a jam from another vendor for my cookies to featuring locally grown vegetables in my dinners! Every chance I get, I will work with another small business to use their product in my food.
Of course, the taste makes a difference, but there is something that changes in me when I get to work with an ingredient that is produced by someone I personally interact with. I take a lot more care and the final product is something that I am a lot more proud of. I love getting to highlight and elevate the product that someone worked so hard to produce whether it is a vegetable, a jam, or a spice.
Overall, the biggest reason I will always support local farmers and food services is because it promotes growth. It helps grow the local economy, but it also shows that there is more of a demand to support individuals living their passions. That is one of the main reasons why I started Vegan in Wyoming. I wanted to somehow give back to the community, do something I’m passionate about, and fill a huge void that has been long overdue here in my community. Lucky for me, Casper is a small town and all three of those things came pretty easily.
I hope that this tip inspires others to support local business, whether they are food or retail. I know for years, I didn’t think that it mattered much, but it makes a huge difference for the whole community!