These guys want to provide the nation’s capital with a steady source of local food | grist

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y Whitney Pipkin” href=””>Whitney Pipkin

… Jim Epstein, a food-minded real estate developer, founded Blue Ridge Produce with the owner of a small retail market in Charlottesville, Mark Seale, after stumbling upon a common vision … Together, the two men hope to create a food hub much like the many that have sprouted up around the country to help the local food industry scale up in recent years. The difference, however, is that Epstein and Seale are hoping to make a profit…

…. Many food hubs serve as the marketing and distributing arms for growers wanting to break into the larger-scale markets of nearby cities. And many are nonprofits (including Charlottesville’s Local Food Hub). They are often built from the growers up, establishing their own distribution streams that run parallel to the mainstream food system and include deliveries to individual restaurants or homes. But Epstein and Seale want to work within the existing channels, recruiting Sysco and

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Aramark to add local produce to their D.C.-bound truckloads, while aggregating food directly from farmers…


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