February 10, 2013

Local products, history enrich community

My fascination is with the creation of a sustainable regional economy in the North Country. I write this column because I believe discussions about the economy will make for a better economy. My interest in our small business is motivated by a desire to see our regional economy diversify into the production of grapes and wines. And, my love for our downtown is driven by the dual beliefs in a sustainable local economy and that people want to find their surroundings interesting and stimulating.

Lois Clermont, our paper’s editor, recently wrote an inspirational article about how restaurateurs are coming to appreciate the value of local production at their table. Of course, they want to keep their food and drink costs as low as they can. However, they realize that, while sometimes local products from small farms are a bit more expensive, they provide the small-business person with an opportunity to enrich their customers’ experience.

A guest at a restaurant is there to enjoy a good meal. However, if that was all they sought, they could just as easily have the food delivered.

Rather, the customer is also seeking an experience. The restaurant’s ambiance is important, of course. But, so is the colorful reputation of the chef, the vision of the restaurant owner, the history of the building that houses the dining room, and even the history of the town. These colorful aspects make the table conversation more interesting and the meal more enjoyable.

These are the reasons why restaurants want to be able to tell a story of local farm products on their menus, and why they would want to also serve wine made locally. People want to feel their meal is special, something that can only be consumed here, and not mimicked in every chain across America.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg A monastery in the Hebrides, after 1,000 years

    Before Father Seraphim Aldea can build a monastery on Scotland's Mull Island, he needs to have a working septic system, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg Old movies offer more than entertaining TV

    Columnist Susan Tobias and her husband, Toby, are reminded of simple childhood memories while watching an old black-and-white movie.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time