Locally grown movement offers fresh idea for new business
By Lana Bortolot
Special to amNewYork
Youre trying to eat locally grown food, but are wondering what produce is available in the dead of winter. Or maybe you just got some fresh chervil but dont know how to cook with the obscure herb.
Carlin Greenstein and Annie Stranger manufacture simple guides that will answer both those questions. The entrepreneurs have designed two informational wheels: one reveals how to use different herbs and the other shows what locally grown produce is in season.
I spend a lot of time at the farmers market, and the common questions I hear are: When are fiddleheads in? or What do I do with this rosemary? said Greenstein, 34, who has a culinary degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute and a masters from New York Universitys Food Studies and Nutrition Program.Greenstein, a chef and nutritionist, and Stranger, a freelance graphic designer, combined their talents and interest in the locally grown movement to start their company called Chew on This.
Their wheels are popping up in a few city markets that cater to organic lifestyles such as Stinky bklyn, Urban Rustic and Sustainable NYC. The women also maintain a Web site, www.chewonthis.org.
Christian Remy, a co-owner of Stinky bklyn in Carroll Gardens, has carried the produce wheels for four months.
What we like about it, we try to push as much local [food] as we can, so this wheel is very much part of that idea, he said.
Chew on This is also committed to green manufacturing. The wheels are made in New Jersey using 100 percent post-consumer waste paper and minimal packaging.
Greenstein and Stranger, 29, have recouped about 40 percent of their initial $10,000 investment, they said. The wheels sell for about $11 each. So far, there has just been soft launch, the women said, and they are working on a plan for wholesale pricing and greater distribution.
Its very much an organic process and were trying to make the best decisions we can with what we know, Stranger said. Greenstein added: Its hard to be a small business its like wanting to be in an underground band and doing some cool stuff but make some money, too.