BOSTON, June 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, b.good, a fast-casual restaurant business dedicated to creating real food, announces the development of an urban farm on Long Island in Boston Harbor. As the first fast-casual restaurant business to operate its own farm, this marks a step forward for the burgeoning fast-casual movement that is focused on bringing customers a greater connection to their food. The farm will grow produce to be utilized in all 31 U.S. restaurants and by local community partners. In partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission, b.good will lead a two-year pilot program to revitalize the Long Island farm space that will benefit Camp Harbor View. The first harvests are expected in late July 2016.
Under the pilot license agreement, which runs through the start of November 2017, 75 percent of all crop yield will be donated to Camp Harbor View, a day camp on the island that serves at-risk youth. Staff at the farm will also provide weekly educational opportunities for campers to learn about gardening and urban farming techniques, and will host community events for the general public.
"Over the last 12 years at b.good, we've learned that real food has the power to positively transform communities. And we've learned that we want to be a company that helps inspire that change in the communities we serve," says Jon Olinto, b.good Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer. "This farm is the opportunity to combine our core values of real food, community participation, and philanthropy. We're creating a farm to grow our own produce, work alongside our customers and team members, and give back to the community that supported us all these years."
With a significant investment from b.good, the existing farm, to be named "Hannah Farm," will be renovated and maintained by the company, with the help of Green City Growers. Initial yield estimates predict more than 80,000 lbs. of produce farmed using only organic practices will be harvested during each full growing season. Crop selection will feature many of b.good's most utilized produce, including zucchini, green beans, yellow wax beans, kale, romaine lettuce and bok choy, as well as radishes, cilantro, cucumbers and basil to start. The harvests from some crops, including Anaheim chile peppers, will produce enough to serve as the sole source for all b.good locations.
As a pioneer in the fast-casual industry and farm-to-table movement, the ability to grow its own produce brings b.good's mission to provide a real food experience truly full circle. With the help of its strong local farmer and maker relationships throughout the region, local agriculture has always been part of the b.good experience. Guests to b.good restaurants enjoy the local produce in all menu items, including kale and grain bowls, seasonal salads and locally raised house-ground burgers. Herbs grow in nearly every b.good location, and b.good has developed many innovative ways to cultivate produce, including a hydroponic kale farm in a freight container under Route 93 in the City of Boston. The addition of a fully operational farm is the natural evolution as b.good continues to expand and extend its own commitment to making real food.
The pilot program was made possible in partnership with the Connors Family Office, which operates Camp Harbor View. The pilot license agreement was developed after the camp proposed the idea as a way to get the campers involved in education about urban agriculture, healthy eating, and community collaboration while utilizing the land.
"Jon and his team at b.good are the real thing. They really care about the quality of the food they offer and they have always insisted on doing good in the communities they serve. These folks are going to make the City very proud," said Jack Connors, Co-founder and Chairman of Camp Harbor View.
"We're thrilled to pilot this program that will bring the farm back to life and make it part of the Boston community once again," said Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. "This is another opportunity to bring fresh, healthy foods to Boston's youth campers while they learn firsthand the value of locally grown produce."
Hannah Farm will grow produce for all of b.good's restaurant locations, and will also be utilized to bring to life b.good's belief that its food can help positively transform the communities it serves. Interested members of the local community can also join the b.good team in developing and maintaining Hannah Farm by participating in service days where they can plant and harvest the crops. Those farm activations will provide a connection for the community to real food through harvest donations and educational classes about urban farming.
Discover more about b.good and Hannah Farm at bgood.com, and join the conversation by liking b.good on Facebook and following on Twitter and Instagram with #bgoodFarm. Join the b.good family by downloading the b.good App on any Apple or Android device.
b.good is a restaurant business committed to making real food. To b.good, that means their food is made by people (not factories). By being true to their mission, b.good serves delicious wholesome food that people feel good about eating. With kale and grain bowls, seasonal salads, hand-cut fries and sweet potato fries, seasonal veggies and locally raised, house-ground burgers, b.good offers something for everyone. Not to mention the all-natural shakes, seasonal smoothies and fresh juices. b.good's belief that food can positively transform communities inspired the creation of the b.good Family Foundation, which awards micro-grants to help inspired individuals improve their communities. After opening its doors in Boston in 2004, b.good has grown to 31 U.S. and six international locations, and expects to open 20 new restaurants in 2016. Learn more at bgood.com.
About Camp Harbor View
Camp Harbor View enhances Boston by exposing underserved youth to the possibilities of a future they may never have envisioned. The camp and its year-round programs provide unique experiences that let kids be kids, build confidence, unlock creativity, broaden horizons and foster skills for successful lives.
About the Boston Public Health Commission
The Boston Public Health Commission, the country's oldest health department, is an independent public agency providing a wide range of health services and programs. It is governed by a seven-member board of health appointed by the Mayor of Boston.
Public service and access to quality health care are the cornerstones of our mission - to protect, preserve, and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable. The Commission's more than 40 programs are grouped into six bureaus: Child, Adolescent & Family Health; Community Health Initiatives; Homeless Services; Infectious Disease; Recovery Services; and Emergency Medical Services.