Local Food Suppliers List

Local Food Suppliers

 

Why Is Sourcing Your Food Locally So Important?

More and more people want to be connected to their food and where it comes from because we're realizing how important healthful food sources and systems are to the health of our communities and ourselves. When you source the food for your business from a local farmer, rancher, or distributor, you're investing directly in the structure that promotes food security for everyone in our city. The more we strengthen our local food channels, the more they will be able to support us.

Get Connected with Your Local Food Suppliers In 3 Steps

Take Inventory of Your Food Needs

Take a look at your regular inventory and start with the basic things you buy every day or every week (meats, butter, cheese, eggs, breads, grains, etc.). How many of those things can you replace with a local version? Ideally, you'll be able to source 100% of your food locally and in season, but don't let the prospect changing all of your buying habits overnight overwhelm you and your business practices. Even starting with just one food product will help support our local food economy. Once you try out your new supplier relationships, you'll be able to see what works and then add more inventory to your order.

Find a Local Producer or Distributor

Use the links below to find the local food producers and distributors who service your area and some of the main food products they provide. You can choose to work with a distributor, or in some cases, work directly with the farmer or rancher. Start by prioritizing the foods from the inventory you made in Step 1. Then look for a partner that can supply what you need, with a schedule that works for you, who accepts the kind of payment that works with your cash flow, and who uses the farming practices that are most important to you and your customers.

Give'em a Call and Place an Order

Many food producers and distributors have an order form to make ordering easy. Some of those are available online, others you'll need to call first. In general though, it's a good idea to start your relationship with a phone call so that you can get answers to any questions or concerns you may have about how this partnership will work. See the section below with some sample questions you may want to ask your new food supplier.

 

Resources for Colorado Food Producers & Retailers

If You Are a Food Producer...

Be sure to connect with these local resources to support your food producing operation. The State of Colorado's Department of Agriculture and its partners provide extensive programs which help farmers begin farming, find financing, get certified and connect with markets. Be sure to check out all of their resources, including these:

For a full map of the various regulations and resources for food producing operations, visit cofarmtomarket.com

 

If You Are a Retailer...

Check out these local resources to strengthen your retail operation.

 

 

Tips for Successfully Sourcing Local Foods for Your Business

  1. Download and Print the PDF of this Page for Easy Reference

    This PDF has the 3 steps for getting connected with your local food suppliers plus a short list of local food producers and distributors.

  2. Plan A Local Menu

    Remember that local meats, butter, cheese, eggs, grains, and honey can be on your menu year-round. Highlight short-season foods by offering a special based on availability.

  3. Buy Foods That Are In Season

    Sourcing food while it’s in season increases demand and builds a healthy market for producers. Check out our handy Colorado Seasonal Foods guide.

  4. Find Ordering Sheets to Make Ordering Easier

    Contact suppliers and distributors for up to date pricing and order sheets, which you can keep on hand for quick processing of your next order.

  5. Tips for Successful Relationship-Building

    Farmers plan their planting schedule in the winter, so it is best to talk in the winter or very early spring. Communication and flexibility are key. Farmers cannot predict the weather, and you will have to be flexible. Good communication and trust will build a successful relationship and experience for all.

  6. Check in With the Law

    Ensure you’re following all of the rules and regulations for health, safety, and licensing in order to sell food. This is a good idea regardless of where you're sourcing your food. More info is at cofarmtomarket.com.

  7. Tell Your Customers

    Include food sourcing info next to each menu item or have a small sourcing and bio section in the back of the menu connecting your customers with your suppliers. Not only are you providing crucial sourcing information for your customers who want to know, you're topping off your menu with a dollop of warm fuzzies.

Find a Local Food Supplier for Your Business

Use these links below to get to a short list of local food suppliers. For the most complete list of Colorado food suppliers, check out this spreadsheet from the DEH's Corner Store program or head over to the Colorado Department of Agriculture's Market Maker online directory.