EatGreenDFW is amping up its efforts to list every local food producer and purveyor on its website -- and hoping to make money doing so.
Directory listings are still free, but organizers Brian Cummings and Rich Shoen recently acquired the software they needed to monetize their project by offering advertising opportunities.
"It's been a labor of love for the last four or five years," Cummings says.
Cummings envisions the website as a collection of online marketing centers for area farmers, cheese makers, herb growers and other members of what he calls the "sustainable community." While he and Shoen are striving to keep prices "as cheap as possible" to accommodate their clients' finances, Cummings was on his way to pitch a $100/month package to an artisan cheese shop in McKinney when he returned a call from City of Ate.
"With our expanding directory, we want content, content, content," he says.
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In many other regions, indices of local food makers and merchants are maintained by non-profit advocacy groups, but Cummings found a void when he first searched for a comprehensive list.
"When I got into local food, Slow Food was one of the only sources, but they did one or two favorite type of things," Cummings recalls.
Cummings believes EatGreenDFW's assembled a better list, but is looking forward to adding more names to the directory.
"Anecdotally, I know there are a lot of folks who aren't included yet," Cummings says.