from farm to feel-good
High quality ingredients are critical for great food and they’re super important to us as citizens of what we hope is an improving food ecosystem. Yet so much of the talk about where food comes from is full of terminology sleight of hand that misleads instead of educating.
Here's our take: sourcing talk should be straightforward, unambiguous and include as many specific examples as possible.
For us that means cows are grass-fed and grain-finished, meats are free of antibiotics and added hormones, poultry is cage-free with room to roam, seafood is thoughtfully sourced, and everything is raised as naturally and close to us as possible.
We’re also believers in emerging industry standards, like the REAL Certification we’re proud to have earned, that help consumers sort through all the fuzz and find providers who align with their values.
We believe in sourcing good ingredients from good places, and this is why the well-being of farm animals is important to us. We already source many of our meat products from farms audited by independent and credible animal welfare certifications and commit to having more of our meat products meet certification status over time. At our San Francisco location, we source 100% of our turkey from farms with an animal welfare certification recognized by REAL Certified and ASPCA® Shop With Your Heart. By 2021, our goal is to source 100% of our beef for our DC, LA, SF, and Dallas-Fort Worth locations from farms certified by either Certified Humane, Global Animal Partnership Step 2 or above, and/or Animal Welfare Approved.
We’re constantly tweaking our source mix but here’s a representative list so you can see how our approach translates to real-life and judge for yourself:
DC Metro + Baltimore, MD area
- Freebird Chicken – Fredericksburg PA, Mt. Aire, MD
- Martin’s - Lilitz, PA
- Coastal Sunbelt Produce, MD
- Creekstone Farms – KS
- Logan’s Sausage Company - Alexandria, VA
- Pederson’s Farm - Hamilton, TX
- Plainville Farms - New Oxford, PA
- Safecatch Tuna - Northern Pacific/CA
Los Angeles / San Diego area
- Mary’s Chicken - Sanger, CA
- Melissa’s Produce - CA
- Meyers Natural Angus - MT
- Salmon Creek Farms, ID
- Abbotsford Farms - WI
- Safe Catch Tuna - Northern Pacific/CA
San Francisco Bay area
- Mary’s Free Range Chicken – San Joaquin Valley, CA
- Diestel Turkey Ranch – Sonora, CA
- Golden Gate Meat Company – Oakland, CA (distributor)
- Aloha Seafood – San Francisco, CA (distributor)
- C&L Produce – Oakland, CA (distributor)
Dallas-Fort Worth area
- 44Farms - Cameron, TX
- Vital Farms - Austin, TX
- Heartbrand - Flatonia, TX
- Springer Mountain Farms - Mt. Airy, GA
- Pederson’s Farm - Hamilton, TX
- Trident Seafoods - Seattle, WA
- Michigan Turkey - Grand Rapids, MI
And yes, you read correctly, grass-fed grain-finished. We’re big believers in being super clear above all else and don’t want to contribute to the food label fuzz that’s out there.
100% grass-fed, like many of the farmers we’ve visited who raise it, is awesome. But right now we think the best fit for our customers (given quality/cost/availability equation) is really high quality, humanely-raised grain-finished beef from the sources we name.
If/when that changes, we’ll call it out.
For example we can’t yet get our locally focused heads around sourcing grass-fed from Australia or Uruguay. But if we do, we’ll share why and go forward. ‘Til then, we only know the unvarnished way.
Chat sourcing with us
Any questions, email us. We’ve got a dedicated team of food quality experts who constantly work to evolve and uphold these standards working closely with the community of chefs we partner with. Takes constant study and learning… and no small supply of just digging this topic. It’s a complicated, always changing ditty but we straight love this stuff and are happy to chat on it.