Taste the Difference Local Can Make
Taste of Huron highlights the benefits of buying local food from Huron County
Buying products locally is something that has become increasingly popular over the last several years. At Taste of Huron, their goal is to promote local food by highlighting its availability, quality and positive impact on the community. Celebrating the food and culture that Huron County has to offer, the Taste of Huron program has been around for many years. Not only does Taste of Huron encourage individuals to support local growers, but they also empower businesses to do the same. If a business utilizes over 70% locally sourced products, they become a verified local food producer and receive an official verification logo from Taste of Huron. The Taste of Huron logo lets customers know that this restaurant, farmers’ market, butchery, retail store or other establishment supports the local economy. The easily recognized logo also helps to encourage potential customers to shop at these officially verified businesses.
With such a valuable purpose behind the program, Taste of Huron knew that it was essential to continue to spread their message of supporting local to other communities in the area. Almost immediately, they knew they required funding to create marketing campaigns and fund operations. They reached out to the Community Futures Huron office for advice and help with creating a financial plan. “The Community Futures Huron office provided us with some much-needed support. They helped us secure a two-and-a-half-year grant that really kept us going. We were also able to invest some of this money into marketing initiatives to help get our message out to a wider audience,” says Cathy Bieman, program coordinator for Taste of Huron.
The objective of Taste of Huron is two-fold: increase tourism in the Huron County area and inform local residents that they have unique and special local businesses right in their own backyard. Community Futures Hurons’ support has helped Taste of Huron achieve these goals. “Community Futures is a wealth of information. They provide financial support and talk strategically with you about next steps for the business. They have so much advice to offer and they are a huge local resource available for small businesses.”
The biggest piece of advice from Cathy to someone looking to start their own business is to investigate the concept of your business and use all the tools that are available to you to test its viability. “There’s people, like at the Huron Community Futures office, who have knowledge of how to start a business. That’s what they do – they help small businesses. It’s important to utilize resources like this.”
Huron County’s Taste of Huron program is an important reminder of the benefits of shopping locally. “The level of quality that is available locally is so high and despite what people usually think, these products are not more expensive than other options. Shopping locally is so important and is necessary to keep the small businesses in your community operating,” encourages Cathy.