Agriculture technology company NATIVE has officially launched in the St. Louis market following several new partnerships connecting farms and restaurant buyers.
Beginning in May, farm distribution companies Double Star Farms, Eat Here Saint Louis and Such & Such Farms will use NATIVE's technology platform to share their harvest data with local restaurants that include Sardella, located in Clayton, and Vicia, located in the Cortex Innovation community. NATIVE co-founder Frank Pica was born in St. Louis and started his career as a founding member of the renowned technology company, LockerDome, under founder Gabe Lozano.
"Our mission at NATIVE is to help farmers and companies selling their products meet the rising demand for local, quality foods. From what we've gathered from consumers, this means that the food should not only be nutritious but that the origin of that food should be transparent and therefore traceable—NATIVE's technology enables this," said Pica. "Launching in St. Louis was not only a dream of mine, but it aligns perfectly with the NATIVE vision given that the state of Missouri yields the second most farms in the entire country after Texas."
Food hub Eat Here Saint Louis works with farmers and producers to bring the finest and freshest produce, meat, dairy and grains to St. Louis chefs.
"NATIVE's technology will help us with our goal of providing high-quality, locally grown products to St. Louis restaurants, schools, and groceries," said Preston Walker, Proprietor of Eat Here Saint Louis. "NATIVE will simplify the supply chain and help many local farmers reach a network of St. Louis' best chefs and other buyers looking to support the local food economy."
To support its local operations, NATIVE has opened an office in the Cortex Innovation community, the vibrant innovation hub and technology district integrated into St. Louis' historic Central West End and Forest Park Southeast residential neighborhoods. Cortex Innovation is also the home of Vicia restaurant, named the #2 restaurant in America in 2017 by a USA Today readers' poll.
"Vicia is a celebration of what goes on above and below the soil. Our cuisine is driven by the best of what's available and sourced from the relationships we have with farmers," said Tara Gallina, Owner, Vicia. "NATIVE's technology platform will help us grow those relationships and continue to provide the highest-quality food to our patrons."
By implementing real-time inventory and sales management tools at the farm level, NATIVE allows wholesale buyers to access local food as soon as it is harvested. The NATIVE platform ensures that farms sell locally, maximizing the value of their harvests, while also helping restaurants better access local farms and deliver on the promise of local sourcing.
To learn more about NATIVE, please visit www.nativeag.io.