Edible Ojai made Saveur's Top 100 in 2004, attracting national media attention. The newsletter is distributed at the Ojai Valley Inn & Resort, to the 8000 annual visitors there. As people returned home with the newsletters, Tracey and company found themselves beseeched: "Can you teach us how to make an Edible ______?" (Chesapeake, Montana, you name it.)
They did some research and came up with a unique business model that is, loosely speaking, a democratic franchise. From their website:
Our mission is to transform the way communities shop for, cook, eat, and relate to the food that is grown and produced in their area.
Through our newsletters and web sites, we connect consumers with local growers, retailers, chefs, and food artisans, enabling those relationships to grow and thrive in a mutually beneficial, healthful, and economically viable way.
There are currently seventeen publications in production (or nearing production), the result of some intensely devoted and intelligent people in these communities:
Edible Cape Cod
Edible Twin Cities
Edible East End
Edible Central Coast (California)
Edible East Bay
Edible Monterey Peninsula
Edible Peninsula (Silicon Valley)
Edible Santa Cruz
Edible San Francisco
Other Interested Regions:
Edible Low Country/Charleston South Carolina
The Hudson River Valley
Yesterday at Cowgirl Creamery at Ferry Plaza, Suzanne and I were delighted to pick up the inaugural issue of Edible San Francisco, which is edited by Bruce Cole. (You know what? Bruce Cole is HANDSOME.)
Articles include: a conversation with Paula Wolfert, pieces about Café Gratitude, Coffaro Wines from Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley, Q&A on pastured hens at Eatwell Farm (written by Heidi Swanson, famed SF food blogger/cookbook author), the Eat Local Challenge (by "Life Begins at Thirty" blogger, Jen Maiser), and an essay by Andrew Griffin, a farmer who is a gifted writer. The last piece in the issue is a Kenneth Rexroth piece from 1965, about French versus Californian wines, which I am certain will generate controversy merely from its inclusion, as it begins, "Almost all French wine is very bad indeed."
Edible San Francisco is produced in full color, and is strewn with beautiful photography, appealing graphics, and snippets of poetry, recipes, and more. It's lovely. (I see a Rancho Gordo ad in there, too.)
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Bravo, Bruce. Post your photo on your website and watch the stats soar. Hubba, hubba.