Specialty Food Magazine


Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/282647

Contents of this Issue


Page 46 of 131

traveling the world visiting producers and attending international trade shows such as SIAL in Paris. "It starts with a conglomera- tion of thoughts from me and my sales team as to what they think they can sell and what trends they're hearing about from their chefs," Wainer explains. Wainer spends time learning his pro- ducers' history and passion. "We have to share those stories. They put their heart and soul into their farms and products," he says. "I go to France and see the woman who makes my olive oil and see aqueducts on her farm from the Romans. I don't want to lose that in the mass-produced world we live in." Jansal Valley Farm: Testing Ground for Local Crops In recent years Sid Wainer & Son has emphasized growing fruits and vegetables locally. To that end the company oper- ates 49-acre Jansal Valley Farm in nearby Dartmouth, Mass., where it grows about 300 crops in small batches. The farm allows for test marketing of experimental crops; once a crop proves successful, based on Massachusetts' climate and topography, and quality of the harvest, Sid Wainer & Son contracts a local farmer to grow it on a larger scale. The company works with hundreds of farms around New England that range in size from a half-acre to 300 acres, as well as farms around the country, to grow its Jansal Valley First Pick line of produce. "Our goal is to grow as much here as possible," says Simas. "We had been ship- ping a lot of product from the West Coast and were having a hard time bringing it in on Mondays and getting it to our customers fresh. We needed to find closer sources or do it ourselves." "We put a lot of farms back into busi- ness," adds Allie Wainer. Every January, the company reviews which crops worked and which did not. Sid Wainer & Son also accommodates special requests from customers. "If we don't have the produce they are asking for, we get it or we grow it," she says. The farm is also home to Jansal Valley International Kitchen and Hospitality Suite, where chefs can train, participate in tastings or harvesting, or experiment with menu development. The space doubles as a venue for conferences, events, and com- petitions, plus an annual party for all 500 employees and their families. "My suppliers come to the farm from all over the world, and they see that we understand what farming is about and what it takes to grow something," says Henry Wainer. "I grew up around farms and kitch- ens and apply that knowledge to the indus- try. We may not always think of it this way, but 90 percent of the foods at the Fancy Food Show started on a farm." Urban Farming: Inner-City Greenhouse In 2004, Sid Wainer & Son opened a 10,000-square-foot greenhouse on two acres across the road from its facility on the site of a vacant box factory. The greenhouse also operates as a testing ground for atypi- cal crops for the region and season. "We started off growing microgreens, which were becoming popular in the early 2000s," says Simas. "We had a demand to grow locally and farmers said to us, 'If you show me how, I can do it.'" Today the greenhouse is run by Warren Sylvia and one assistant. With about 20 crops grown at a given time, pro- grams start here and then are delegated to another farmer. "We give them the specs, they begin growing, and I move on to the next thing. This year, we're doing kale our- selves instead of getting it from the outside," Sylvia says. Other popular crops this season are pea greens, baby white turnips, elegance factory tour The greenhouse grows about 20 crops at a given time Edible flowers for sale at The Gourmet Outlet 44 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com FactoryTour_Spring2014.indd 44 3/18/14 2:38 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Specialty Food Magazine - SPRING 2014