Eddie Patella is an industry-leading expert in the field of restaurants and food sourcing. In recent years, he has created a few unique processes that help to source niche food and equipment nationally and internationally. His guidelines are critical to understanding because they have helped many niche food companies and restaurants strive where other rules and concepts have continually failed.
Eddie Patella Examines Niche Food Sourcing
Niche food has become a huge market in the industry, with options like Chinese food and sushi often leading the market. These niche fields often require a specialized array of different food ingredients, all of which can be hard to find fresh. Sourcing these ingredients is something that Eddie Patella takes very seriously, and he’s created a multitude of methods that help make this process smoother.
For example, it is almost always best to draw on local sources when identifying food options. These can include specialized supermarkets in your area (such as Asian or Latino food stores) or even farmer’s markets. Often, there are farmers growing niche foods to sell in these markets, and they can set up a direct connection with you that makes your ingredients as fresh as possible for niche food.
In some cases, Eddie Patella knows this type of connection will be hard. For example, things like squid for sushi or niche ingredients like ghost peppers don’t grow naturally in your local area. Instead, you need to seek out those companies that do provide such international connections. Niche food providers often provide discounted rates to regular customers because they don’t serve a wide customer base. Take advantage of their need for loyalty by going to them constantly and setting up regular deliveries.
Just as importantly, Eddie Patella states that supply chain lines should be as short or as simple as possible to minimize confusion. If you’re getting specialized foods like caviar from an international vendor, try to find a way to minimize the length or complexity of your supply chains. For example, direct flights instead of long-distance boating could shorten the time you wait for your deliveries.
He also emphasizes that, whenever possible, local sourcing is a better idea. For instance, if you run an international business that needs complex ingredients, always try to build new, local connections first. Rather than relying on what can be complex connecting lines between your existing suppliers, make new relationships with different international and national teams to keep your food ingredients smoothly operational.