We get a lot of questions about why we've decided to focus on connecting farmers and chefs. Here's why: buying local food wholesale is much harder than buying it at retail.
Think about how many outlets we have for buying local food at retail. Farmers markets probably come to mind first. Here in the Triangle, we have amazing farmers markets. The legendary Carrboro Farmers Market has the longest track record, but the Durham Farmers Market has quickly grown to become as much of a local institution. Equally important are the smaller markets in Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, and Western Wake, which provide tens of thousands of Triangle residents with convenient access to local food.
But it doesn't stop there. You can buy local food through the CSAs offered by myriad local farms or delivery services like Bella Bean or Papa Spuds. You can shop through local-focused retailers like Durham Central Market or Chatham Marketplace. There are farm stands and on-farm stores. We even have CSAs and just-in-time distributors for nearby fish.
But what about wholesale? Today, chefs rely on phone and over email. That's great for staying in touch, but it's a really inefficient way to keep sales records, track orders, and make payments. That's where we come in. We designed Mint Market to make it easy for chefs to discover, purchase, and schedule deliveries of local food.
The result is amazing. On delivery day, no one has to go searching for the guy who's allowed to write a check. No one has to go back to their email to figure out what was supposed to be delivered. The farmer and chef can chat as much as they like about the important stuff: how's the rain, when the carrots will be ready, whether the new variety of tomato is working out, how the greens are going to be cooked.
The best chefs love visiting the farmers market. We know that they love talking to farmers about where their ingredients come from and how they're grown. Mint Market doesn't need to get in the middle of that conversation. We just take care of everything else so farmers and chefs can connect more easily, more often.