Recently we sat down with Evan Elizabeth Miller from Buy Fresh Buy Local to talk about the Buy Fresh Buy Local Partner Program and how local area restaurants, retailers and growers can develop cooperative relationships for the buying and selling of locally grown foods.
Q: Can you tell us what exactly your new role is with Buy Fresh Buy Local?
A: Well, my official title is Sales & Marketing Coordinator for the Chester County chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local. Basically, this means I oversee the sales and marketing initiatives associated with Buy Fresh Buy Local in the Southeast corner of Pennsylvania. Right now I am deployed in Chester County to oversee our Buy Fresh Buy Local Partner Program. I am really focused on developing cooperative relationships with area restaurants, retailers and growers who are committed to buying and selling locally grown foods.
A: I grew up on a family farm in Elverson so farming is in my blood. Professionally, I’ve worked in the hospitality industry so my involvement with this program was a natural fit for me.
Q: How does the Buy Fresh Buy Local Partner Program work exactly?
A: Buy Fresh Buy Local is a nationwide marketing and consumer education program that exists with the purpose of allowing consumers to easily find, appreciate and
purchase local foods. In Pennsylvania, Buy Fresh Buy Local is supported by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). PASA staff and volunteers coordinate various Buy Fresh Buy Local events throughout the state and work to expand consumer awareness of the program on behalf of the national Buy Fresh Buy Local organization. The local PASA office is located in Exton, PA
in the Chester County Economic Development Building.
The Buy Fresh Buy Local Partner Program is a benefit local businesses
and growers can invest in that allows them the use of Buy Fresh Buy Local branding. Some of the other benefits of becoming a Buy Fresh Buy Local Partner include expanded profiles on the buylocalpa.org website, start-up Buy Fresh Buy Local marketing and promotional materials and features in our e-newsletter. It’s also a great way for our partner growers to develop strong and sustainable business partnerships with our partner buyers. If a Chester County buyer or grower is interested in becoming a partner member, they can visit our website at www.buylocalpa.org or send me an e-mail at
Q: How can restaurants and the producers get involved?
A: Businesses who are committed to buying and selling locally can become Partner members and help spread the word about the important work they are doing. If a business is interested in finding local foods to purchase, they can certainly reach out to me or check out the PA Buy Fresh Buy Local website.
Q: What can the readers of CC do to help?
A: Realize that as consumers they have the ultimate influence over how
we all do business. Choosing to buy locally is a choice to support local businesses and allow our local communities to thrive. CC readers can utilize buylocalpa.org to find new places to enjoy and appreciate the bounty of Chester County. It is my hope that they will find fulfillment in new experiences and satisfaction in knowing they’ve
chosen food that is healthy for the body, natural environment and local economy! They might even make a new friend in their local cheese maker or apple grower!
Q: What are some of the benefits of the restaurants being involved in
A: The food is the freshest possible and as a result, extremely delicious! Plus, there’s a great deal of confidence in the quality of the ingredients when the chef knows the farmer who raises the food. People want to feel good about what they are buying, it’s as simple as that. Buy Fresh Buy Local Partners are given the tools to allow
consumers to easily identify them as part of that feel good, honest relationship that so many people are looking for. Market testing has proven that “Local” and “Fresh” are at the top of the list with respect to consumer awareness. Due to the highly competitive nature of the industry, Restaurants are acutely aware of the power of the
consumer. To be associated with a program so high in consumer awareness can only benefit them.
Q: How can people get in touch with you to help spread the word about
A: Folks interested in becoming Chester County Buy Fresh Buy Local Partners can send me an e-mail at [email protected] If you’d like more information on Buy Fresh Buy Local farmers markets and events across Southeastern PA, contact Denise Sheehan at [email protected] For more information on the Pennsylvania
Association for Sustainable Agriculture, visit www.pasafarming.org.