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Local Vendor Fair Oct. 26 celebrates Miami's local foods partnerships
Written by Susan Meikle, University News and Communications
Miami students are among the many Millennials - Generation Y - who value locally sourced food. Diana Bryd, manager of Market Street at MacCracken, has responded to their interests by increasing the number of local vendors who distribute at the market. The Miami community is invited to a Local Vendor Fair to meet some of the vendors and sample their products 3-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, in front of MacCracken Hall (on Maple Street, just south of Shriver Center).
“The students here understand the importance of local vendors and appreciate what they provide,” Bryd said. “We want students to know we support local vendors; we want students to get to know vendors and have conversations and connect with them,” said Jon Brubacher, purchasing and operations analyst for housing, dining, recreation and business services.
The Miami and Oxford communities will have a chance to connect with local vendors, enjoy free samples and purchase products at the Local Vendor Fair. Miami’s bakery and Butterfield Farm Market will provide refreshments and local musicians will provide entertainment.
Among the vendors will be:
• Butterfield Farm Market (Oxford; produce)
• Good Greens (Cleveland; vegan, organic, gluten-free energy and protein bars)
• Little Dipper Company (Cincinnati; gourmet dipping oils, flavored pastas)
• Madisono’s Gelato and Sorbet (Cincinnati)
• The Organic Farm at Bear Creek (Clermont County; salsas, sauces, soups, salad dressing)
• Reserve Run Farm (Oxford; poultry and beef)
• Sustain Brand (New Richmond; jams, salsas, soups)
• Windy Acres (Wilmington; candy)
• Youngs Jersey Dairy (Yellow Springs; ice cream)
Increased Focus on Local Foods
The Local Vendor Fair is just one of many ways Miami’s dining services has increased its focus on local foods this year. The first Farm-to-Fork dinner, held in September, was hosted by Butterfield Farm Market and featured Reserve Run poultry and beef and Madisono’s gelato and sorbet.
A new partnership with Drew Johnson (a fourth generation Miamian) of Reserve Run Farm in Oxford has been established this fall, with the farm’s all-natural beef and pasture-raised poultry served exclusively now at Panache (located in Harris Hall). Panache features a new menu based on local and fresh foods. Reserve Run products are also now sold in Market Street at MacCracken.
Madisono’s gelato and sorbet, made in Cincinnati from all natural ingredients, was introduced to Market Street at MacCracken at the beginning of fall semester and sold more than 300 pints in the first three weeks. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams were introduced last spring semester – the first shipment of 45 pints sold out in a few hours, according to Brubacher, and more than two thousand pints were sold during the semester.
The market also sells ice cream from Graeter’s (Cincinnati; CEO Richard Graeter is a Miami alumnus); fruit from Downing Fruit Farm (Oxford); and handmade soaps and lotions from Tapaahsia Farm (Liberty, Ind.) – Market Street’s first local vendor.
Satisfying Millennial customers: locally purchased foods 24 percent of Miami’s food budget
Miami’s dining services is dedicated to seeking out locally purchased foods: during the 2011-2012 academic year, dining services sourced approximately $2.4 million in local/Ohio companies, representing 24 percent of its annual food budget.
Nancy Heidtman, senior director of dining and culinary support services, says that their customers - Millennials 18-24 years old - typically purchase only 51 percent of their food from traditional grocery stores. The rest comes from other sources such as local farmers markets, according to Iconoculture, the global consumer research and advisory firm that dining services contracts with to help identify their customers.
Millennial food trends also include “ethical eating” (organic, local); seeking healthy options and “performance eating”; an increase in multicultural foods; and increased options to deal with food allergies.
The Market Street at MacCracken is open to the entire Miami and Oxford communities; community members regularly shop there, according to Byrd.
Faculty and staff receive a 10 percent discount with their Miami ID and students who have a meal plan receive 30 percent off with their Miami ID.
The market, staffed by eight “top notch” student managers and 35 student employees, is open 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.