For retailers and restaurants with a knack for marketing, the local food trend has offered plenty of opportunities to tell their customers great stories about local farmers and producers. In-store posters, profiles on websites, or even meet-and-greet sampling programs give shoppers a real sense of connection to these producers.
Recently, J.D. Schuyler and Jason Drake, two professional videographers based in Indianapolis, decided to help facilitate the storytelling process, creating craftedspoon.com, a non-profit online magazine featuring a directory of resources for buying and eating local in Indiana, along with a series of high-quality videos profiling local growers and producers, as well as restaurants and retailers that focus on local foods. Recent videos include a profile of the Indy Food Cooperative, which recently opened the Pogue's Run Grocer. This outlet will serve a lower-income area of East Indianapolis that was previously a food desert — an urban area with limited access to grocery stores or fresh foods. In addition to serving fresh produce from local farms, the co-op will offer cooking classes and free nutrition education programs.
One goal of the site is to help build awareness of local producers and projects like the Indy Food Cooperative, in hopes of building a stronger local food economy in their region.
“We realized that Indianapolis could do a lot more with local food,” Drake explained. “We wanted to help create more of a local food economy, where the demand and the desire could be built up, and local entrepreneurs could feel more confident investing in that area.”
Schuyler and Drake create the videos at no cost to the growers, suppliers, restaurants or retailers, and they encourage the subjects of these profiles to use the videos for self-promotion.
“We encourage them to use the videos any way they can,” Drake said. “They can download the videos, embed them in their websites, or just link to us. We're open to anything. Our main goal is just to help promote them.”