Behind the Scenes:
You’ve heard it before: Ian’s Pizza likes to buy local. “Organic,” “local” and “natural” have seemingly become buzzwords that have taken over the food industry in the past few years, but what do these terms actually mean? Tons of our articles and web content talk about how much Ian’s Pizza loves to support local farms, so we thought it’d be fun to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the process of what this means. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty (no, not the restaurant!).
Why Local Farms?
Our main objective from buying local is cutting out the middleman to ensure your pizza has the freshest, most natural ingredients good ol’ Mother Nature has to offer. The less time between harvest and consumption, the better. We aren’t exaggerating when we say the fresh ingredients go straight from the earth into our coolers. We don’t want to serve anything to our beloved customers that we wouldn’t want to eat ourselves.
So, how are these relationships between Ian’s Pizza and local farms established? Believe it or not, for our Wisconsin stores, we utilize the Dane County Farmer’s Market to find local farmers who are willing to partner with us. Other partnerships are suggested by friends or families of Ian’s Pizza employees and sometimes farms that think they’ll be a good match approach us. These relationships don’t happen overnight. In fact, we prefer to start off slow to make sure the partnership is a good match on both ends before diving in head first.
That’s a Lot of Food!
We also have to make sure farms are able to provide enough product for the high volume needed to fuel our two Madison locations. To put it in perspective, we go through around 300 pounds of potatoes, 70 pounds of jalapenos and 150 pounds of tomatoes PER WEEK. Woah, that’s a lot of food! Because of this high demand, partnerships are evaluated annually to ensure both sides are content and want to continue working together. It’s also essential that we sit down with our larger providers and plan out next year’s orders so they can plan how to plant their crops. Although the weather is unpredictable, it often impacts crop growth in both positive and negative ways. We always pray to the Weather Gods so they are on our side!
You’re probably asking yourself what these treasured ingredients are used for. All of our local ingredients are used seasonally, meaning our summer slices often feature fresh produce and veggies while our winter slices feature items that we can get year round, such as beef. Due to the drastic climate change in the winter, we often don’t buy locally when the temperature drops and we make sure our menu features ingredients that are reflective of that.
The Bottom Line
we buy locally whenever we can. It just makes sense to us. We like to support local farms AND we like to provide our awesome customers with the best of the best. Buying locally accomplishes both of those things. If you know of a local farm that would be interested in working with Ian’s, please contact us! Happy farming and happy eating.