⋅ Advocating for small farms and independent businesses to help build a larger economic impact ⋅ Creating partnerships and facilitating connections in the food system ⋅ Events centered around highlighting the best of what the Richmond food system has to offer ⋅ Education surrounding the importance of sustainable farming ⋅ Creating a recognizable brand community members can trust ⋅ Marketing and storytelling
⋅ Monthly networking meetings with relevant speakers to the local food movement ⋅ Annual Farm Tour and Cookout ⋅ Events highlighting prominent figures in the local food movement ⋅ Community events held to inspire local food purchases ⋅ Educational opportunities to grow business
The history behind Real Local RVA is rooted in Richmond, VA and an effort to grow the local food movement. The group was started as an informal round table in the beginning of 2014, better known then as the Local Food Group. The vision was to create a network of informed, passionate, creative community members working to increase awareness and knowledge of locally grown food. The group was officially established in 2015 by Rick Hood of Ellwood Thompson’s, Donnie Caffery of Good Foods Grocery, Sam Dortch of Libbie Market, Michelle Williams of the Richmond Restaurant Group and Joe Sparatta and Lee Gregory of Southbound. Over the course of Real Local’s evolution, the group has held strong to its core value of collaboration over competition. The unique collaboration between many local businesses who are often in competition is Real Local’s strength, and we believe it is this collaboration that will help us build a better local food system in RVA.