When I called my most socially aware friend to ask about the term “lovacore,” she had no idea what I was talking about. Confused by her ignorance, I quickly checked my notes. Oops…I meant “locavore.”
My friend connected me with Lynn Caldwell, the center and moving force of the locavore movement in Charlotte. Lynn describes locavores as people who try to live as locally as possible. She explains further, “When I am thinking about choices – food, clothing and service – I look local first.”
Simply said, locavore means patronizing businesses that source their products from local farms, artists and chefs. A more complex view means understanding difficult social issues like how to get fresh local food in impoverished parts of Charlotte or the scary thought that keeps Lynn up at night – how a delivery truck crisis could cause empty grocery stores.
Lynn is working hard to make healthy local food more accessible through Charlotte Food Innovation District. This project involves creating a process for Charlotte farmers, chefs and bakers to navigate the system and get help with kitchen space, mentoring and market research. When I asked Lynn to name a few Charlotte-area restaurants and food trucks that were already supporting the locavore mindset, she gave the following:
Before sourcing local was cool, 300 East was supporting area farms. Their website boasts a list of local farmers that supply their restaurant.
300 East Blvd.
The menu is varied and caters to special diets such as gluten-free, Paleo and Primal. Visit at lunch at Atherton Mill and Market. The schedule for other locations is listed on Facebook.
This restaurant features a constantly changing menu of 12 small plates that are completely comprised of sometimes unexpected NC ingredients like caviar, persimmon or yu choy.
8470 Bellhaven Blvd.
This is where you’ll find New American Style cuisine with an inspired seasonal menu, making it worth the drive.
201 W South Main St., Waxhaw
This business delivers delicious gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free meals to your doorstep.
Taking great care in the total restaurant experience from food and beverage to surroundings.
1523 Elizabeth Ave.
With pork gyro and mushroom risotto cakes on the menu, this truck is worth locating. Luckily their schedule is listed on the website.
3410 St Vardell Lane
Their milk and cream are sourced locally. The hazelnut is from Italy and pistachio paste from Sicily, but I can forgive them for that.
4203 Park Road
TV dinners, soups and pizza available in their shop or at farmer’s markets throughout the city. Check out their website for specifics.
4113-A Monroe Road
Photo: Vanessa Infanzon