A restaurant is nothing without quality ingredients, and some of the best eateries get their produce, meats, eggs, and even dairy straight from local farms. The relationships forged between restaurant owners and farm proprietors are intrinsic, and farms suffered when restaurants closed their doors.
Some restaurants, however, found a way to support themselves and the farms they relied on by putting together farm baskets. For example, when Anna Frumes of The Borland House had to shut her doors, she put together farm baskets that were delivered weekly. Frumes told Hertelier, “I felt like I was building a new business every day — take out, pre-packaged meals, and farm baskets. I collected products from farms I like and curated them throughout our low season.”
Similarly, when Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters had to close her Berkeley, California, restaurant, she didn’t want the same fate for the farms she had forged a relationship with for almost 50 years. So waters put together a Sunday Market where she would feature a different farm each week. “It’s our priority to take care of the farmers that provided for the restaurant over 49 years,” she told Nosh.
This was a boon to the public as well. Everyone was cooking at home, and no one wanted to be inside a grocery store. This offered a symbiotic relationship for all, with a healthy bounty of food as a delicious reward.