Posted on May 09, 2019
Have you had the opportunity to try some Plucked Fresh Salsa in your burrito or burrito bowl at Woodbury yet? Today, I had a sweet potato burrito with some rice and some sweet and tasty salsa by our new local vendor, Plucked Salsa. One thing I noticed about this salsa was its freshness: the salsa did not taste salty (a way to preserve most foods) and, again, was sweet with a bold flavor. Sometimes, foodies like to speak about the differences between conventional and local foods. The differences are sometimes very clear and sometimes undisguisable (the overall consensus being that fresh is better); this product is the epitome of fresh, local salsa.
I had the opportunity to speak with Kelly who co-owns Plucked Fresh Salsa with her husband, Chris Fawcett. Kelly was excited to speak with me about her unique product that got her out of her job at the time to making delicious salsa out of the couple’s house. She and her husband started to provide local salsa to friends, neighbors and colleagues when she was asked by her colleagues to produce more salsa for the office. After spending time providing “a product that people liked” at no cost and little business coordination at her office, she decided to quit her job and pursue her dream to create great tasting fresh salsa!
Currently, she and her husband produce 3,000-5,000 pounds of salsa to grocery stores such as Hannaford’s and Whole Foods. They sell Plucked Fresh Salsa to 65-70 Hannaford locations and to 30 Whole Foods around New England from Maine to Pennsylvania. The small company is looking to expand thus providing more jobs in Maine. Their mission as a Maine company encompasses values such as local sourcing and sustainable practices.
When I asked Kelly about where she sources her main ingredient; tomatoes, she told me that she sources from local places such as Backyard Farms in Madison and Jordan Farms in Cape Elizabeth. Due to volume, most of her tomatoes need to be outsourced from Florida, however, what’s great about her commitment to Maine and local production is her promise to find ways to produce and source more ingredients locally. Some of the most predominate challenges in Maine is sourcing delicate produce, such as tomatoes, in this state. Kelly and the Maine Course are innovators who are working to reduce the barriers for local sourcing of foods in large institutions, like USM.
So, when you go to Woodbury or any of Sodexo campuses in Maine, consider Plucked Fresh Salsa for your burrito or some chips and salsa for a sports game. Maine producers like Kelly are true artists providing exceptional food that we have access to as students on these campuses.