What is it, to be a Rochesterian?
I grew up in Churchville just west of Rochester and attended the U of R for a degree in English and French. My post graduation was spent in both Paris and Toronto, studying and developing my French speaking skills. That’s what I told my parents anyways – my real passion for travel stems from a search for truly great foods.
During this time I frequently discussed culture and my own origins. Rochester was a community, whose reputation was built as
much on its people and industry as it was on its aesthetics. At the time, I didn’t feel like food was integral to being a Rochesterian. Area farms were regarded as an industry and part of the landscape, but not directly linked to the meals on my family’s table.
By the time I moved back regional food was all of a sudden front and center. The community was stronger than ever – I wanted to be a part of it.
Within a few months, I began work as the Local Goods Coordinator for Hart’s. I was thrilled when I started work. I found that although I was the person in charge of sourcing local goods, every single team member held an interest and opinion about these local companies, their products, and how to use them.
Customers and staff, alike, seem to find a commonality in the local products. Maybe it was that these goods are made by people you run into on the street, or even by those who regularly shop at Hart’s, but the connection was there.
Soapbox moment. There is, of course, another advantage to local food sourcing, one that goes beyond the community aspect to something more global. When you purchase local products, there is an opportunity for more control over not only what you put into your body, but also how the consumption of that food affects the planet. End soapbox.
I work with hundreds of wonderful and passionate people constantly showing me new methods, inspiring me to try new recipes, and inviting me to taste new foods. They’re doing it right, and through our shared experiences and unique cuisines, we are all part of the same community here in Rochester.
Our passions, experiences, and resources are all based in the same space, and the very act of learning about, and using those resources, is a huge part of what binds us together.
It didn’t used to be about the food, but now I can safely say that it is.