Since 2008, Braise Restaurant Supported Agriculture (RSA), created by David Swanson Chef/Owner of Braise Restaurant & Culinary School, commenced with the support of the ‘Brico Fund’ and ‘Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin’ grants bringing products from area farms to restaurants in Milwaukee. The RSA has expanded twice since its inception, and the necessity for the larger facility and like-minded partnership that Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin provides is needed. Braise RSA will hand all farm sales coordination over to Feeding America and its Farm Link program to take the lead on. The RSA will focus primarily on distribution of products and warehousing services.
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is the leading hunger relief organization in the state with locations in Milwaukee and the Fox Valley. Farm Link, a community food hub operated and managed by Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, connects local producers to institutional buyers and hunger-relief programs. Through Farm Link’s food hub distribution model, the proposed system change will align the fragmented food system and provide diverse healthy food options to underserved populations. By utilizing Farm Link as a mechanism to repair the fragmented local food system, we will address the community prioritized need to increase local fruit and vegetable access among economically and/or socially marginalized individuals.
Braise RSA and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin will be using Feeding America’s facility at 17th and Fond du Lac Avenue as its base for operations. Feeding America has 80,000 square feet of warehousing space with 8 loading docks to support the services of the food hub. The food hub is fully functional and is expanding further in early spring 2017. A food hub is needed to facilitate the increased demand for local food products; both growers/producers and buyers will benefit from this joint venture.
The food hub will benefit growers/producers by supporting the sales coordination and distribution of their products. Farm Link is the online platform that will provide growers/producers with a direct portal to sell their products to the end user – institutions, grocers, restaurants, retail, and similar buyers. Growers/producers will have the capability to post products online, create invoices, and accept multiple forms of payment. The food hub will reduce environmental impact, decrease fuel consumption, vehicle and payroll costs, and provide for flexible delivery times, all allowing for concentration on their core business. Via the hub, growers/producers will have the capacity for distribution of products, cross-docking products to expand distribution to other areas in the network, and multiple storage options – cold, freezer and/or dry storage.
The food hub will benefit buyers with the Farm Link online ordering platform that provides the accessibility to purchase from multiple producers in one order, pre-sale of items and low quantity and split case purchases. Delivery and/or pickup options are suited to the needs of the buyer. Additional benefits include overall lower costs of products and greater selection of local products. Buyers will be offered multiple storage services to help extend product availability.
The food hub will be operational for the 2017 growing season.
David Swanson is the Chef/Owner of Braise, located in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point. In 2008, he launched Braise RSA (restaurant-supported agriculture), which brings locally sourced foods into restaurants. Braise Restaurant & Culinary School opened in 2011. From this endeavor came 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Midwest.
For more information on Braise and Braise RSA, please contact Dave Swanson at 414-212-8843 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.braiselocalfood.com/rsa/
Braise | Braise RSA
1101 S 2nd Street
Milwaukee’s Walkers Point
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204