lo·cal·i·ty

noun

an area or neighborhood, especially as regarded as a place occupied by certain people or as the scene of particular activities.

The word “locality” has been thrown around a lot in the culinary world of late. Open any food focused magazine and you will see that, page after page, chefs are stressing and encouraging locality and locally sourced foods, but few are taking as active of a role in the movement as Bacon Bros. Public House and their partner Feed & Seed.

“What is unique about Bacon Bros is that their business plan was modeled specifically on seasonal, whole-animal sourcing. They represent the next wave of restaurant culture in the Southeast, one that is turning back to a rich heritage of local agriculture with a keen sense of responsibility to the community and it’s resources. They’re really the first front of bringing prosperity to independent farmers, and satisfying a widely unrealized economic demand in the consumer marketplace.” - M. McGirr

Feed & Seed, located in Greenville, is a non-profit wholesaler dedicated to the reconnection of regionally-produced edibles to the local population. Feed & Seed is acting as the bridge between the farmers and community, making fresh produce readily and easily accessible. As cohorts of farms establish strong market channels through Feed & Seed, many will “graduate” into direct-consumer and private distribution channels. Feed & Seed will assist them in establishing these relationships, navigating the byzantine regulatory and bureaucratic roadblocks, and fostering product specialization in a relatively untapped market.

In South Carolina, the single most challenge in making regional produce available to the masses is a dearth of proper infrastructure,such as cold storage and light-processing. Currently, the vast majority of farm products are sold in bulk at auction houses and stock yards at the lowest common price, to out-of-state processors, packers and commodity brokers. This provides the lowest possible margin to the farmer, and offers no access for the public or in-state business to consume farm fresh products. Feed & Seed will offer farmers new market channels, and the opportunity for higher profit margins. “Fewer than 10% of farmer in the state sell products into the South Carolina consumer marketplace. While some restaurants and grocers, and a growing number of public farmers’ markets do a noble job of local-sourcing, they represent a tiny fraction of the opportunity that exists.” M-McGirr

Feed & Seed assists farmers in finding specific markets for their products, whether that is public and private school foodservice providers, restaurants, specialty grocers, or light manufacturing companies seeking high-quality ingredients for local production of specialty products. 

Feed & Seed is dedicated to bringing the public community and farmers together through food. The facility is in the final engineering phase now, and will have private partners operating“departments” including a fully functioning produce market, diner, butchery, commissary and bakery. Bacon Bros. has partnered with Feed & Seed and will run all operations in the diner, butchery and bakery – using the produce and products Feed & Seed will acquire from farmers primarily within the 10-County Upstate region, and neighboring communities within 100 miles. Eventually, connecting with GrowFood Carolina in Charleston and a burgeoning network of other like-minded organizations within the state to restore vibrancy to South Carolina’s independent farmers, restaurants and grocers.

“Feed & Seed’s mission is to increase the quality, variety and volume of regionally produced farm edibles in the South Carolina diet. Consequently, we’re focused on wholesale commerce in each of the categories mentioned, and are partnering with private operators who will be housed adjacent to our operation; in effect, creating the impetus of the “new” marketplace in South Carolina. These private companies will serve our produce in traditional and novel ways to the public, in effect measuring and increasing the local demand for and ever increasing diversity ofSouth Carolina products.” - M. McGirr

Also, Feed & Seed, as they purchase the crops from farmers, will introduce wider varieties of alternative crops they can grow to further their income and increase the variety of locally sourced crops available to the public. In this endeavor, another partner, Reedy River Farms, will be growing “alternative” crops on-site at Feed & Seed, demonstrating the seasonal varieties currently in-demand in the premium and specialty market channels. “Farmers are justifiably reluctant to adjust their crop plans and growing practices; by providing in-person evidence of successful varietals, and access to seed and other resources, our intent is to increase seasonal production of hearty, native-tolerant produce.” - M. McGirr

“Bacon Bros, with decades of expertise in premium heritage meats and vegetables, brings Feed & Seed the most important resource for our animal producers: market consultation. The farmers respond enthusiastically to Anthony and team. From selecting breed stock and feedstuffs, to working months and years to improve the quality, and thus the profit, of each product is as important to Anthony and his team, as it is to the farmer. This symbiotic relationship is what will drive regional productivity - and now, Feed & Seed can bring dozens, if not hundreds of producers to the greater market that Bacon Bros has opened in the Upstate. It’s heady to think of the positive growth we’re poised for.

This multi-unit partnership already made a very strong impact on the community with their Reedy River Farms Dinner hosted on XX. The dinner showcased exactly what local, fresh food can tastes like and how it will positively bring change to the Greenville culinary landscape. A hundred of Feed & Seed’s closest advisors and supporters, and patrons of Bacon Bros came together for an exquisite dinner at Reedy River Farms, using only their vegetables and lamb from Johnson Creek Farms, in Abbeville. The multi course dinner was perfectly paired by COO and Sommelier, Jason Callaway, and blessed by a much needed deluge between courses by a 20 minute cloudburst. 

It was an auspicious event; a great sign for an abundant future for the Upstate.

Click here to learn more about Feed & Seed or Reedy River Farms.