LJWorld.com weblogs Localvores
Local Food Retailers Working Together
As our community seeks ways to build a stronger, more sustainable and resilient local economy, there are inevitable challenges related to competition for markets and the desire to be "first to market" with particular products and services. It's great to find an example of local food businesses working together to do what they each do best, rather than simply competing with every product or experience for the same customers.
In this case, several restaurants are collaborating in a way that helps build the "brand" of local foods and local businesses - not just their own brand - by offering their customers some of the best locally-crafted food products created by other food retailers.
In the retail consumer marketplace, competition is healthy - and a robust, sustainable local food and economic system should encourage competition for the best products and services as determined by well-informed consumers. But we aren't just consumers, we are also citizens, neighbors, and friends; and a robust, sustainable community requires cooperation and collaboration - not just competition - to survive and thrive. All of us - including for-profit businesses - have a stake in this community and therefore in one another.
Even better, this example is brought to our attention by another local entrepreneur who is not in the retail food business directly, but supports (by eating at their restaurants) and works with (as an IT expert) some of those food partners.