FamilyFarmed At Play: A Toast to… Toast

Since we launched Good Food on Every Table in 2013, FamilyFarmed has presented numerous in-depth, informative and sometimes inspirational stories about the farmers, entrepreneurs, businesses, investors, activists and others who are fueling the rise of the Good Food movement. But we have come to the realization that we haven’t shared much about…. us. Introducing FamilyFarmed At Play.

Frontera 30

Matthias Merges and Good Food, From Trotter’s to Solo Stardom: A Frontera 30 Story

Matthias Merges is one of the most important figures in the rise of Chicago to its status as a world-class culinary capital. after a 14-year stint at Charlie Trotter’s — the last 12 of those at the world-renowned restaurant’s chef de cuisine — Matthias went out his own in 2010, and soon after opened Yusho, focused on Japanese street food, and it quickly became the flagship of his extensive Folkart restaurant group. Matthias will be a participating chef at the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration fundraiser on April 30 at The Art Institute of Chicago

Kitchfix Crunches Numbers for Granola Success: A Good Food Business Accelerator Story

Josh Katt, a Chicago chef, came up with the idea for his eight-year-old Kitchfix company while working as a personal chef and creating healthy meals — made from anti-inflammatory superfood ingredients — for customers who were fighting cancer. Kitchfix enabled him to expand the concept to a broader customer base. He grew a business that delivers prepared meals to homes and dropoff points, does catered events, and even has a small store in the Gold Coast neighborhood just north of downtown Chicago. Along the way, Katt and his team hit upon a product they learned had serious commercial potential: a grain-free, superfood-loaded variant of granola. His desire to grow this part of his business led to his participation in FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator.

Farmer’s Fridge and Its Salad Vending Machines: A Good Food Financing Fair Story

Vending machines. Not exactly what comes to mind when you think of Good Food… Until now, that is, thanks to companies such as Farmer’s Fridge, a business that is selling same-day-fresh jarred salads and healthy snacks from vending machines in dozens of locations around Chicago. This fast-growing company got a boost from participating in FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference and its Financial Fair.

Local Foods retail store in Chicago

The Promise of Local Foods’ New Chicago Retail Store Is Right In Its Name

Local Foods, a Chicago distributor of local and regional farm and artisan food products, has opened a 27,000-square foot store not far from the city’s downtown. It is carrying produce, dairy, eggs, and meats from farms in the Midwest region centered on its biggest city, along with fresh, frozen and packaged foods from top regional artisans — and is considered a big step forward in local food retailing by advocates of the Good Food movement.

Rick Bayless Demo at GFFC

Ten Delicious Facts About Chicago’s Good Food Scene — Tell Us About Your Town

[The original version of this article was published May 1 on the Huffington Post website.] As FamilyFarmed prepared for the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on May 4, we decided to welcome out-of-town attendees with an article providing “10 delicious facts” about the blossoming Good Food scene in our hometown. We found we had created a pretty sweeping guide to Chicagoland Good Food, so we’re making it a standing feature. And we’d love to hear about the Good Food scene where you live — let civic pride rule!

James Beard Awards 2015 logo
Rick Bayless Demo at GFFC
Dave Miller of Baker Miller at the Good Food Festival
Rob Levitt of Chicago's The Butcher & Larder

Chicago Butcher Rob Levitt on the Meaning of Good Meat and His Local Foods Move

Rob Levitt established himself as a major figure on Chicago’s food scene when he and his wife Allie opened The Butcher & Larder meat shop four years ago. Here Rob Levitt discusses his somewhat unexpected career as a butcher and his hopes for bigger things with his upcoming move, expected this spring, into a larger space in the new Local Foods retail store.

Robert Birnecker and Sonat Birnecker Hart of Chicago's Koval Distillery
The Big Jones Cookbook
The National Restaurant Association's Top 10 Food Trends for 2015