Business Times of Edmond, Oklahoma March 2020 - Page 8

Locally Grown Food, Fresh to Your Table, Available Year-Round BY TOM FINK | PHOTOS PROVIDED L ocal food is making a comeback in downtown Edmond at Urban Agrarian. To find everything that you might otherwise have to go to the farmers market for, a trip downtown will reveal a variety of beef, produce, dairy and more — grown and sourced nearby. “Urban Agrarian is a locally sourced grocer,” began Chelsey Simpson, co- owner. “We work with farmers all over the state and buy from them directly. We’ve been in business since 2008, so we’re coming up on 12 years. “Not only are we a grocer, because 8 March 2020 | The Business Times there are no other business like ours in the state, but also we act as a local food hub, which means, we’re also a food distributor for local farms. We do our own distribution,” she said. “We pick up from farms directly in our own refrigerated truck. We have a warehouse in Oklahoma City, where we receive deliveries.” Founded by Simpson’s business partner Matt Burch, Urban Agrarian’s philosophy is to take the best aspects of the modern, urban environment — technology, design, and efficient distribution — and combining these with the best of classic agrarian techniques, such as simplicity, sustainability, biodiversity and resource allocation. “When the business was founded, there really weren’t many ways for local farms and small food producers to sell to restaurants and grocery stores and other retail outlets,” she said. “Basically, the only option available to them was to get a little booth at a farmers market — and that’s something of a weekly, seasonal ordeal for only a few hours of being able to sell their produce, or other products — it’s extremely restricting.” Initially, Burch started the business in