Posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 by Lola

Little Pots & Pans plans ahead

Kris Pennella, owner of Little Pots & Pans (LP&P)—a Portland-based company that makes savory tarts—was looking for farms to grow zucchini, tomatoes, onions and butternut squash for tart fillings. She hoped to purchase, process and store enough in the late summer that LP&P would be able to use local produce in their tarts year round.

Kris posted a request to the Marketplace. She notes that her experience in the past trying to find local farmers who would grow directly for LP&P was time-consuming and not always fruitful. “Unless you’ve made previous contact with farmers… it’s tough to gauge if they’re interested in wholesaling their produce and/or could handle the volume you’re looking for,” she says.

Shortly after placing her Marketplace post, Kris heard from about one dozen interested farmers. She is now working out the details with several local farms and looks forward to harvest time, when she will begin “processing, storing and using all the great produce, creating even more phenomenal fillings for LP&P tarts.”

As a buyer, she notes, she hasn’t often thought about when farmers plant their crops. The opportunity to make forward contracts brought that consideration into the fore of her mind.

“My goal is to create on-going connections in order to have a network of suppliers as we (and they) grow,” she continues. “I’m running around telling everyone how excited I am to have local farms grow for us.”

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