Tableside with Alice Chalmers, Ohio Valley Food Connection


Seeing the words “seasonal” and “local” a little more? Alice Chalmers’s food sourcing and delivery system, Ohio Valley Food Connection, is making it easier for farmers to get their fresh produce onto menus across town.

How did the Ohio Valley Food Connection get started? Farming is more than a full-time job—there’s little time to market your goods. We also had a lot of restaurants committed to buying local that struggled with managing the relationships. I realized I could fill the logistical gap.

How do you deliver the food from the farms to the restaurants? Ninety percent of the time it’s me driving. Orders come in on Sunday, Monday there’s a pick list that goes out to the farmers, that afternoon I pick up at different locations around the city, and then I deliver to the restaurants on Tuesday. That happens twice a week. The freshness there is incomparable. They harvested one day and the restaurants are getting it the next.

You’re also opening up the farm produce to individuals now, right? It’s like an online farmers’ market. It’s the same type of ordering system that the chefs use so you see all the farms and current availability. You order online, and two days later it will be in your area for you to pick up. There’s no membership—you pay what you take.

Where have you eaten recently that serves produce you’ve helped source? The brunch special at Maribelle’s is mostly composed of local food and it is to die for.

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