What is a community supported restaurant?
It's a new method of bringing the customer in as an empowered colloborator with farms and restaurants.
When a community gets together to open a business, great things are possible. Putney is a rural town with rich abundance in farmland and slow food businesses. Why then had no one opened a real farm-to-table restaurant? The Gleanery team had asked this question, but without access to the immense start-up capital necessary to open a full-service restaurant, their question had gone unanswered. Until now. A vast network of individuals has come together to create this Community Supported Restaurant. This is similar to a CSA, where customers pay at the beginning of the season for produce, which they receive weekly at the farm.
The CSR pays its members back in monthly credits at the restaurant. The community supports The Gleanery,the Gleanery supports the farmers, the local economy benefits by having a destination restaurant, and more money recirculates through Putney.
The Gleanery continues to take on many ambitious agricultural, artistic and environmental projects. We do it all based on the slow money philosophy of small investments from people close by. Our approach is to invite the community to invest in us, and in turn, to invest in the community. Membership is an innovative way to further support local farms and small businesses.
The Gleanery approach is that businesses remain accountable to those who bankroll them. We want to remain accountable to the community; the simplest way to do this is to be funded by the community. The CSR model make social and economic investment available to a much wider scope of the community.
Equal Exchange, which uses a similar model, says:
"The conventional model is to go out and raise a bunch of venture capital money. No matter how well intentioned those people might be, a lot of them want to get rich quick, want to 40 percent annual returns, and want you to go public-and those are the kinds of pressure that really shape you business decisions. And even when you're successful, you get bank loans and other kinds of financing that place all sorts of conditions on your business. We had access to that kind of money, but we much prefer to get it from people who are really committed to what we're doing"
Want to be part of this? Learn more about the benifits of membership any time during The Gleanery business hours!