Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2013

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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natural selections Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 967 The farm coordinator for Roanoke Natural Foods is Sean Jordan, a man whose background in retail management comes in handy. When the farm first got underway last fall he worked 125 days in a row developing the infrastructure and nurturing the soil with cover crops and compost made from the 100 pounds of green waste the store produces every day. No synthetic pesticides or fertilizer were used. "There's no reason for me to work this hard at this stage of my career other than to encourage people to experience what's of value to me," Jordan says. He believes his management training at various Fortune 500 companies is fundamental for farming. "If you're not making a profit, you're a gardener," he says. "This is not a hobby. The last thing we need is another demonstration of how farms go broke. I'm trying to show a different kind of model where farmers can have a middle-class income, send their kids to college and retire at 65." So far Heritage Point has harvested Asian greens, baby greens and cherry bell radishes as well as seedlings for heirloom tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. The Easter Egg and Black Star chickens are laying eggs. Soon to come is honey from ten hives. None of it came cheap. Jordan estimates the total investment for the co-op is close to $200,000, including the farm land, fixing up an existing barn, buying a tractor, farm implements, two greenhouses, perennial plants and fruit trees. Then there was $10,000 for fencing, $7,000 for irrigation and another $10,000 for drilling two wells. "Farming is not for the faint of heart," Jordan says. According to his calculations, Total investment for Roanoke Natural Foods is close to $200,000. Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 4163 84 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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