Local Link brings together a growing network committed to building thriving local economies, vibrant urban and rural communities, and equitable access to good food.
This year, we offered a dynamic vendor fair, followed by two breakout events to continue the conversation on farm to school purchasing and to bring whole hog skills to your kitchen!
The vendor fair was a fantastic networking opportunity, designed specifically for institutional food service buyers and chefs to connect directly with regional farms, ranches, and fishers and good food businesses. See the full list of vendors who participated in 2019.
Vendor fairs are attended by several businesses producing culturally relevant foods, who make fruitful connections with buyers. For example, during the 2018 event, Portland Public Schools (PPS) committed to purchasing 15,000 tamales from Salsas Locas for school lunches.
“One of the ways we express our culture is in the foods we eat. Having culturally relevant foods in the schools is twofold; it reminds students of the foods they eat at home and it teaches other students about new cultures and new foods!” — Lucy De León, owner of Salsas Locas
In addition to an array of vendors, buyers who attended the 2018 vendor fair had the chance to connect with unique service providers. Scott Scales, Executive Chef at Kaiser Permanente, was thrilled to learn that he could easily purchase products from many of the vendors he met at the fair by going through B-Line. This is just one example of how the energy of the Redd can be harnessed to help make connections and facilitate transactions between food producers and institutional buyers.
Going Whole Hog Culinary Demo
Hosted by Chef Andre Uribe and Zack Agopian, this demo provided tips and considerations for purchasing and utilizing a whole hog, as well as a whole animal butchery demo tailored for institutional kitchens.
PDX Metro Farm to School Procurement Hub Gathering
This second annual event brought together farm to school practitioners, advocates, and food producers in the Portland Metro region to increase the purchasing and promotion of delicious, culturally-relevant, nutritious local foods in school meals.
About the Redd on Salmon Street
Spreading across two blocks in Portland’s historic Central Eastside, the Redd is an Ecotrust development designed to support local food enterprises, connect chefs, foodservice directors and entrepreneurs to independent farmers, ranchers and fishermen in the region, and help scale a robust food economy across the Pacific Northwest. The Redd is quickly becoming an integral part of an ecosystem of new ideas around food system reform. Learn more.