From the beginning, Rosemont’s principal goal has been supporting Maine’s local food system. Fifteen years ago, when we opened our first market on Brighton Avenue, we would walk the rows of the Portland Farmer’s Market and invite farmers to sell us what was left from that day’s haul. Today, many of those farmers remain valuable Rosemont suppliers and some of our closest friends. At present, over 60% of the products in our markets are grown or produced in the state of Maine. While this has always been the Rosemont way, right now the mission to buy local must extend far beyond our circle of influence. Supporting Maine farmers, producers, and distributors is no longer just a tagline, it is a critical need for the security of our local economy and food supply.
Livelihood at Stake
Across our state, small to medium sized farms are coping with considerable loss of revenue due to the widespread shutdown of restaurants. Without guaranteed income from Maine’s booming tourism industry, the livelihood of many farm businesses is at stake. If Maine farms are unable to plant seeds due to a loss of confidence in projected income, our local food system faces great risk.
Together, we can help.
The success of a local food system has many spokes. It depends on farmers to plant seeds, trucking companies to move product, retailers to make food accessible to the public, and consumers to complete purchases. Here at Rosemont, we are committed to our role in making local food accessible to our customers. In return we ask that you, the consumers, consider your role when making future purchases. If there has ever been a time to “shop local” it is now. Whether it be at Rosemont or elsewhere, the decision to choose locally made and grown goods can, and will, be hugely impactful to keep our system moving.
Let us not be naïve. With this new way of buying, we will brush up against uncomfortable edges. We may not be able to enjoy a juicy, ripe tomato from South America mid-winter. However, we can still pour sauce from the jar of last summer’s local bounty to serve over fresh pasta. Our carrots from the Farmer’s Market may be crooked, but they will never taste sweeter. What we eat will ebb and flow with the seasons, the way nature intended. We can find small moments of joy washing remnants of soil from local vegetables, and sorrow when the last of Maine’s strawberries fade from the store shelves. By eating Maine grown food, in season, we’ll remain anchored by our sense of community and by our ability to consciously choose where our food comes from.
From all of us at Rosemont, thank you for shopping local.