Created after a meeting of Denver chefs and industry leaders, the Good Food Media Network recognizes restaurants and foodservice businesses with quantifiable sustainable and transparent food practices. Founder Sara Brito said, “In summer 2016, chefs Jennifer Jasinski, Alex Seidel and Kelly Whitaker, as well as Michel Nischan (Founder, Wholesome Wave) and Katherine Miller (Former Vice President, Impact Programs, James Beard Foundation) participated in our inaugural Eat. Drink. Think. series at the Crested Butte Wine and Food Festival.” Conversations inspired the annual Good Food 100 Restaurants and Industry Impact Report, launched in February 2017.
It should come as no surprise that Colorado culinary businesses formed the highest level of state participation in the 2020 list, announced on September 21. This year, 29% of the 131 participants are based in Colorado. Analysis for the Good Food 100 Restaurants list is completed by the Business Research Division at University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business.
Restaurants and businesses are selected for their efforts to build a better food system and positively impact the food chain. “[The list] celebrates restaurants for being transparent with business practices and offers them a badge of honor for not just how good their food tastes, but for their dedication to supporting every link of the food chain: the environment, plants and animals, farmers, ranchers and fishermen, purveyors, restaurant workers and eaters,” Brito said. Using the Good Food Media Network’s survey, they voluntarily submit annual individual restaurant purchase information by food category.
She explained restaurants use their purchasing power and their business practices to help nurture, grow and sustain a food system that is beneficial overall. Actionable steps include buying from farmers, ranchers, fishermen and purveyors who are dedicated to environmental and animal welfare practices, supporting business policies and practices that promote farm and restaurant worker welfare and educating consumers and the community about good food approaches.
There is a significant economic impact from restaurants that choose good food purchases. Brito noted that 38 Colorado restaurants participated in the Good Food 100 Restaurants, and through their $11.5 million in good food purchases, contributed a $22.8 million impact on Colorado’s good food economy.
Brito said, “As independent restaurants fight for their survival in the [coronavirus] global pandemic, it is more important than ever to get to know and support the restaurants, farmers and purveyors who are working to support every link in the food supply chain.”
The organization also distributes the Good Food Farmer & Purveyor Guide curated by chefs featured on the Good Food 100 Restaurants list. This year’s 2020 Good Food Farmer & Purveyor of the Year Award recipients include two Colorado farmers: Anne Cure of Cure Organic Farm and Mark and Ken Guttridge of Ollin Farms.
The following Colorado restaurants and foodservice businesses were named on the list:
To get involved there is a fall 2020 virtual Eat. Drink. Think. webinar series that shares conversations from food business panelists. Former topics include the pandemic’s impact, addressing mental health issues in the restaurant industry and diversity in the good food movement. The series is free, open to all and RSVP is required.
To learn more about Good Food Media, go here. The next webinar is December 9 at 12 p.m and will be about “Looking Ahead: 2021 Good Food trends” and where does the movement go from here. Moderated by Monica Burton, Editor, Eater (National)