Did you know that locally-owned restaurants create 51% more local economic activity per dollar than chain restaurants? And, of course, you know that we here at Boundary Bay Brewery are locally owned and run…providing jobs for over a hundred people right here in our own Bellingham community! Those of us lucky enough to live and work in Bellingham know that food plays an important role in this region. We are surrounded by fertile lands that offer us fresh and local seafood, meats (including local bison!), produce of all kinds and dairy products a-plenty! We are rich in agriculture…and just plain culture in general. Here at Boundary Bay Brewery, we are continually working on finding ways to honor our local food industry.
We have pledged to source 20-25% of our food budget from local vendors and to buy consistently from local producers to help support Washington agriculture. We are fortunate to use ingredients from local businesses like Ralf’s Bavarian Bakery, K & M Farm, Breckinridge Farm, Barlean’s, and Avenue Bread, All items on our menu that include local ingredients are marked with a “Think Local. Buy Fresh” logo so our customers can make informed decisions with their dollars and their forks. We try to strengthen our local economy through responsible management of our resources as well. Our spent grains go to local farms for livestock feed, the oil from our Beer Garden fryer is converted to Biodiesel by a local company and we have committed to move Toward Zero Waste within our business.
Within our local food industry, 32 participating farms, food producers, restaurants and retailers make a big difference by composting food scraps, collecting recyclable items and using recycled and compostable to-go containers. You can see real and substantial changes like these when you support Toward Zero Waste participants throughout Whatcom County. To find other local food businesses working Toward Zero Waste, check the Whatcom County Food and Farm Finder for the TZW icon.
This week, the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the Washington State Farmers Market Association (WSFMA) are celebrating Farmers Market Week here in Washington. There are 140 farmers markets in our lovely state of Washington and our brewery is fortunate enough to be located directly across the street from the Bellingham Farmers Market! Statewide, farmers markets reported $55 million sales in 2008, up from $38 million in 2006. Most of these dollars go directly to Washington family farmers. According to the WSFMA, farmers markets are located in more than 30 counties in the Evergreen State. “People are watching their budgets today,” said Jackie Aitchison, executive director of the WSFMA. “They are getting value at farmers markets near their homes as farmers bring fresh, nutritious local foods directly to consumers.”
This week, come down to the Saturday Farmers Market here in Bellingham and support this rich community we are a part of. Stop in to the brewery and enjoy locally handcrafted beer with menu items containing fresh, local ingredients! Doesn’t a nice cold Pilsner and a Pesto Salmon Sandwich (with LOCAL wild salmon and LOCAL foccacia!) sound good?!? Celebrate Farmes Market Week by enjoying the best that our state has to offer! For more information on Whatcom County’s farmers markets, visit bellinghamfarmers.org