Sourcing Our Ingredients
The quality of our ingredients determines the quality and value of our foods. From our founding in 2006, we have made every effort to source the highest quality, most nutrient-dense ingredients and to cultivate a sustainable, integrity-based food-system while keeping our foods affordable. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns or recommendations about specific ingredients.
Organic & Non-GMO
Almost every ingredient used in our kitchen -- from produce, meat & dairy to spices, oils, grains, beans, nuts & sweeteners -- is certified organic, which also means GMO-free. At the same time, we also focus on building relationships with trusted producers who may choose not to go through the cost and process of organic certification but whose practices meet or exceed that standard. Certain ingredients, like Celtic sea salt, wild-harvested sea vegetables and regional wildflower honey, cannot be certified organic due to their being sourced from undomesticated environments. Sometimes grassfed beef may not be certified organic because of the challenge of certifying hundreds or thousands of acres of wild open pastureland where cows roamthrough the seasons.
Grassfed and Pasture-Raised Animals
Almost all of our meats, eggs and dairy products are from animals that are grassfed or pasture raised. Our animals deserve to be nourished in the way that’s best and most natural for them: on open land. We are learning now that not only is this more aligned with our nutritional needs and the wellness of the animals, it is also a critical component in capturing carbon and rebuilding depleted soils to aid in climate change and water retention.
One area where our sourcing is a work-in-progress is chickens. It's always been our goal to source our chicken meat, livers for pate, and bones for making broth from pasture-raised birds. Unfortunately, because of changes some of our vendors have made, combined with our own staffing shortages since we reopened in August 2020, we haven't been able to achieve this. Because of concerns around GMOs and other aspects of conventionally grown feed, in having to choose between pasture-raised birds fed non-organic feed, and non-pastured birds fed organic feed, we've chosen to go organic. Currently most of our chicken meat and parts are coming from Mary's Organic program. There are organic and pastured birds available from smaller farms, but since they must be purchased as whole birds, we need a large enough staff to be able to process them in-house -- and we're working toward that.
Local and Seasonal
We develop new models for sustainable food distribution and processing when we collaborate with small, local farms and ranches, and cook with an authentic taste of place. Eating with the seasons brings us into closer connection with our land and with the plants, animals and humans in our food system, and provides nutritional qualities suited to our needs throughout the year. We incorporate wild foraged items as well when we can, such as bay nuts, elderberries, nettles, nasturtiums and sea vegetables.
Due to widespread digestive sensitivities and intolerances to local staples such as dairy products, as well as our desire to celebrate a wide range of traditional cuisines from around the world, we do include some far-flung ingredients that provide valuable nutrition, such as coconut products, ginger and spices, occasionally bananas and plantains --always organically grown, fair trade, and sustainably produced.
Our Primary Sources and Suppliers
Marin Sun Farms (MSF) - grassfed beef, pastured pork and organic pastured chicken livers feet and bones for broth
Carman Ranch Beef - grassfed beef, livers, and bones for broth
Mary's Chickens - organic chicken meat, livers and bones
Green Star Farm - pastured, organic, soy-free
Coastal Hill Farm - pastured, organic
Straus Family Creamery - organic grassfed butter, milk, cream, yogurt
Rumiano Family Farms - organic, grassfed butter and cheddar cheese
Authentic Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy - raw, grassfed
Veritable Vegetable (VV) and Earl's Organics - both long-time leading organic produce distributors based in San Francisco, with a strong commitment to local family farms and sustainable practices throughout their businesses. Local farms you'll find on their availability lists include include Tomatero, Full Belly, Happy Boy, Dwelley, Route One and many smaller specialty producers of fruit and vegetables. VV also brings in organic produce from Mexico and points south when not in season locally (which we don't buy), and sources a few items that are not grown locally at all, like ginger and bananas (which we do buy).
F.E.E.D. Sonoma - a wonderful organic produce distributor based in Sebastopol that connects over 50 family farms in Sonoma and Marin to restaurants and kitchens in the Bay Area. Farms we regularly source from include Paul's Produce, County Line Harvest, New Family, Live Oak, First Light, Bernier, Singing Frogs, Shone, Marin Roots, Devoto Orchards, and many more. FEED has grown to offer localy grown grains and beans, nuts, fermented beverages and more.
Riverdog Farm, Yolo County - not only does Riverdog provide the highest quality produce at wholesale prices, they also provide year-round employment for their farmworkers, who can settle in one place and send their kids to the same school each year.
Feral Heart Farm - one of many very small farms located in the 18-acre urban agriculture park surrounding the Sunol Water Temple in the East Bay. Feral Heart provides us with specialty herbs and greens for our pestos and cultured beverages year-round, and seasonal produce during the summer, especially for all kinds of pickles.
Salt - Celtic Sea Salt from Selina Naturally
Rice - Massa Organics, near Chico, CA
Almonds - Kashiwase Farms, Winton (near Modesto)
Walnuts - Double A Walnuts, a small family farm in Colusa County
Beans - Iacopi Farm, Half Moon Bay; Pleasant Grove Farm, near Sacramento
Olive Oil - Seka Hills, stewarded by the Yoho Dehe Wintun Nation in the Capay Valley
Coconut Oil and Butter - Artisana, Oakland
Coconut Milk - Native Forest (no gums or additives in the food service-size cans)
Coconut Palm Sugar (minimally processed) - Coracao Confections, Emeryville
Dried Herbs and Spices - Frontier Organic Coop
Dried Mushrooms and Porcini Powder - Woodland Foods
Almond Flour - Big Tree Organics
Cocoa Powder - Equal Exchange
Sea Vegetables - Pacific Wildcraft and Yemaya Seaweeds
Honey (raw and unfiltered) - McClaughry Farms and other producers in Grass Valley