Farm-to-fork movement debuts with Succotashed

Mar. 14, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

As a native of Siler City, Nichol Price is especially invested in the future of her hometown.

Like everyone else who calls Chatham County home, she said she wants to see her community grow and prosper. During her training in the culinary arts program at Central Carolina Community College, she began to notice the abundance of small farms producing high-quality vegetables and grass-fed meats in her area. When she saw an opportunity to open a restaurant in the old Sidewalk Café location in historic downtown Siler City, she realized it was not only as a chance for herself, but for the community on the whole to increase their support of their local food system.

Price’s goal at Succotashed, her new café, is to bring the products grown nearby directly to restaurant goers in Chatham County. Succotashed will debut in a sneak preview from 5:30-7 p.m. tonight at 113 Raleigh St. in Siler City.

Succotashed will be the first “Farm-to-Fork” cafe in Siler City. This environmentally friendly model has been tried in the Triad and Triangle areas, but it has yet to be introduced in this small Chatham County town. As a chef, Price said she is thrilled at the opportunity to showcase what she learned in CCCC’s Green & Sustainable Foods program and hopes that Succotashed will have a positive impact on Siler City’s local economy.

In order to raise the capital she needs to purchase equipment and get Succotashed off the ground, Price started a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. She said she hopes to raise $9,500, which will be used to purchase equipment to outfit her kitchen — such as a convection oven and energy-efficient commercial refrigerator. With 12 days left, her Indiegogo campaign is now one-fifth of the way to reaching her goal.

Price also reached out to Carol Peppe Hewitt, director of Slow Money NC, for help. Slow Money NC specializes in helping local farmers and food entrepreneurs around the state connect with potential investors in their communities. Hewitt and Price are teaming up to present the preview event, which is free and open to the public and will allow interested community members and potential investors to see the café, meet the owner and talk about the importance of supporting Siler City’s local foodshed.