Home Plate: a support initiative for local farmers
By Jim Rice
“Home Plate” is a concept being organized by John and Cindy Lupi, owners of Home Restaurant in Marble Hill, to help support and encourage local farmers who supply the restaurant with vegetables and other farm fresh products.
The restaurant benefits from this initiative by assuring sustainable supplies for its kitchen. The farmers benefit by an expansion of their markets and opportunities for greater sales, with distribution made easy for them by the restaurant being their one point of delivery. The subscription members benefit by having the opportunity of purchasing “picked yesterday” vegetables, salad makings and other farm products.
The concept of supporting local farmers is neither new nor innovative. There are numerous farmers’ markets in North Georgia where farmers can rent space and then display their products awaiting customers’ possible arrival.
So, what’s different about Home Plate?
Home Plate proposes to be a weekly subscription type supplier of these farm fresh products. The “market basket” will be filled each week with whatever is in season and supplemented with Home Restaurant’s other purveyors’ products to make a worthwhile and synergistic mix of products that just might be worked into a wonderful meal or two in your own kitchen.
In the case of Home Plate, the products will be delivered all at once from the farmer to the restaurant for storage in its commercial coolers. They will not have to pay for a booth nor staff it all day—a big savings to them in time and money.
John Lupi and the restaurant’s staff will sort the delivered products from various suppliers into market baskets that the subscribers will pick up at the restaurant every Saturday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. If the basket seems a little light on product for the week or, just as a bonus, Home Restaurant will supplement the basket with other farm fresh products, like spices, eggs, butter, cheese and possibly even protein, fish or meat.
The Home Restaurant chefs will be on hand every Saturday to assist with recipe and preparation ideas for each week’s offering.
Home Plate is a commitment to fresh eating and support of local farmers. If a subscriber is unable to fetch a basket one week; no worries, the restaurant will use the extra product and the subscriber will have a $40.00 Home Restaurant credit/gift certificate awaiting the next visit.
A Home Run of an idea. Home Plate by Home Restaurant.