NO FARMERS, NO FRIENDS, NO FOODWithout good ingredients, it's impossible to make good food. We are lucky to live in a corner of the world with an amazing assortment of people dedicated to producing the finest forms of their crafts, whether that's raising beef cattle or baking bread, talking turkey or bringing heritage beans back. Only with their help are we able to create deliciousness for you.
Todd and Loretta Swickard/Five Dot Ranch
Ever since Andrew Swickard and his family sailed from New Orleans via Cape Horn in 1852, and homesteaded in the Santa Clara Valley, the Swickard Family of Five Dot Ranch have been in the business of producing grain & livestock in California. They know what premium beef tastes like and are proud to provide a product bearing their family name.
They are committed to providing a product that is always 100% free of antibiotics or added hormones. With low stress handling, proper nutrition and holistic management practices they have been raising cattle for almost 150 years through 7 generations.
The Swickards own and trace every animal they produce, guaranteeing they are born, raised and finished on the finest forages that California has to offer.
Quality reigns from birth to the market place, believing that in order to raise all natural cattle, healthy open grazing spaces must be provided, that are sustainable for both the cattle and the environment. Five Dot Ranch is proud to be certified by the Food Alliance, the highest level of certification today.
The farmer-owners of Heritage Acres Foods in Missouri raise the hogs become the pork in our brats and "hot" dogs. The company was cooperatively created by 52 farmers, each of them dedicating their lives to sustainable agricultural production practices. This not only preserves our environment, but means good health for people and their communities.
Their hogs are humanely handled and treated with care. Heritage Acres Pork is from animals that have never been treated with antibiotics, and only eat feed free from them too.
We are often asked why our pork does not come from California sources. Hogs thrive on a mixed diet that does include corn, and it is the most sustainable practice to raise hogs as close as possible to their source of food. Our hogs are fed corn, grain and legumes from crops grown on the same farms they are raised on.
Diestel Family Turkey Ranch
Jack Diestel started Deistel Family Turkey Ranch in 1949. The secret of these delicious birds is that the farmers walk the flock every day and concentrate on the health of the birds. The freedom of the range provides plenty of exercise and fresh air while good husbandry and strict sanitation eliminate the need for artificial substances and techniques.
The Diestels give the turkeys time to develop flavor naturally. Instead of a high fat, high protein diet, Diestel turkeys enjoy a wholesome vegetarian diet of grains mixed daily on the ranch, cool clean mountain water and an extra two months of growing time. Diestel is one of the last small family-owned turkey grower-processors in the United States. Let’s be Frank tried many turkeys before finding that it takes a Diestel to make a great Bird Dog
Steve Sullivan, founder and owner of Acme Bread, first started baking bread at Alice Water's Chez Panisse. He opened his own bakery in 1983 and after all these years, Acme's goal remains the same - to bake outstanding bread. The bakery uses only organic flour and works closely with farmers in evaluating and selecting the grain varieties for its flour each year. In 2005, appreciating that the key to a great hot dog experience isn't just the hot dog, Let's be Frank approached Acme and experimented with Steve and his team for months to create the perfect hot dog bun. The result, an organic pain de mie dough creates the lightly bronzed, and perfectly chewy buns that San Francisco so enjoys.
The beans that are cooked into our chili in our San Francisco shop are grown by Steve Sando, the visionary behind this groundbreaking farm centered on preserving and spreading the deliciousness within heirloom beans. As Steve says, "All of my agricultural pursuits have been based on being someone who likes to cook but gets frustrated by the lack of ingredients, especially those that are native to the New World. American cuisine seems to be in a position of re-inventing itself and I'd love to include ingredients, traditions and recipes from south of the border as part of the equation. I love the concept of The Americas. I feel as if it's just as important as the European heritage many of us share." We are proud to support the tasty efforts of our neighbor in his mission.
Mariquita Farm & Veritable Vegetable
Mariquita Farmis a small family farm near Watsonville, CA growing specialty vegetables for its large community of CSA (community-supported agriculture) members and a lucky few fine restaurants in the Bay Area. We get some of our produce from Mariquita and look forward to using their fabulous Early Girl tomatoes in the fall. Andy, also listed as one of our Heroes, writes an excellent and informative monthly newsletter, available at http://www.ladybugletter.com/
Veritable Vegetabledelivers our fresh produce, and is the nation's oldest distributor of certified organic produce. Through the creativity and hard work of many people who have worked there since 1974, they have earned a reputation for quality, integrity, and leadership. Veritable's business model is based on principles of diversity, advocacy, integrity, and a rigorous work ethic. The employees and managers see their work as an opportunity to be both individually creative and cooperative, and they see themselves as both a business and an instrument for social, economic, and environmental change.