Providing food access and closing the food system loop through Community Supported Agriculture.
Based in Lompoc, Sassafras serves up elevated comfort food made from scratch for the community. Food truck owner/Chef Sarah Price grew up in the culinary industry and has operated food trucks with her partner since the fall of 2017. Her passion for cooking started with her dad, who owned several restaurants when she was young. In January 2020, Price opened her own brick-and-mortarBrick-and-Mortar: The term “brick-and-mortar” refers to a traditional street-side business that offers products and services to its customers face-to-face in an office or store that the business owns or rents. restaurant but quickly adapted to a food truck model during COVID-19 so she could continue feeding the community. Sassafras strives to source its ingredients locally while recognizing the need for localized infrastructure to strengthen distribution from the small to mid-sized farms in the valley.
Through her experience as a food business owner, Sarah Price noticed critical gaps in access to locally grown foods and was inspired to address them. In February 2022, Price began developing a proposal in partnership with Route One Farmers Market and the Santa Barbara County Food Action Network to create a food access centerFood Access Center: Place-based, food-centric neighborhood revitalization efforts, and which unite multiple functions (including education) in one or nearby locations. for the Lompoc Valley that would serve as a one-stop shop for sourcing seasonal foods. For many food businesses and institutions, sourcing local produce can be a time-consuming process, but a food hub would provide an easily accessible distribution channel, said Sarah Price. Additionally, Lompoc residents often only have access to large grocery stores that import food from states away, making it challenging to access what is grown in the valley.
The vision is that this hub will be home to a restaurant, a wholesale cooler for local procurementLocal Procurement: Local procurement refers to the purchasing of goods or services from a local supplier., and a commissary kitchenCommissary Kitchen: Commissaries are rentable commercial kitchens where food service operators can prepare and store their food. Many commissary kitchens provide food trucks and mobile vendors with overnight parking and equipment storage. for community use and educational opportunities. This center would establish new markets for local producers, increase access to fresh, high-quality products grown in the valley, improve local food infrastructure, and ultimately build resiliency into the food system.
Learn more about Sassafras Food Truck and take a trip to Lompoc to try their delicious food. If you are interested in learning more or supporting this food system infrastructure project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.