WHAT IS CHEF COLLECTIVE?
We are a boutique distributor of fine foods working directly with small farmers and artisan makers.
We are inspected and licensed by FDA & NY Department of Agriculture and Markets.
We deliver to NYC, Bergen County, Rockland County, Westchester County, and Long Island.
THE CHEF COLLECTIVE DIFFERENCE
The question we hear most is, why should I buy from Chef Collective?
Well, 250+ of the Best Restaurants in NYC can’t be wrong! We are proud of the amazing reputation we have built with NYC’s best chefs the past 9 years. It was a massive amount of work but the formula was simple: bend over backwards for customers, seek to educate rather than sell and hold flavor and quality above all else.
Why is everything from Chef Collective more delicious?
It sounds ironic but what makes us unique is our direct supply chain, it would be easier to work with distributors and middlemen, farmers are better at farming than they are at scheduling trucks and when something happens on the farm it takes precedence, but middle men only offer convenience and comes at a cost in terms of quality and connection. By working directly with producers and having very quick turnarounds for our products we are able to ask our producers to send us things when they are truly ripe rather than when they will have 2 weeks(or more) of warehouse life! Shelf life is great, but it doesn’t taste great, flavor happens in the field not a warehouse and losing the connection to the producer means we are getting our information filtered through someone else with their own needs and motivations. The quality that comes from being the only pair of hands touching our products on the way from producer to chef is worth every early morning and late night and you can taste the difference!
Radical flavor and transparency. When we share the fruits of a producer’s labor be it a farmstead cheese, heirloom vegetables, or locally pastured meat our commitment is that it tastes as good as it would on the farm. But why does it taste so good, the farmer knows and it is our job to pass on the story from our farmers as if you were hearing it from them. That is the benefit of radical transparency from farm to fork!
Work like a Farmer/Chef
We work as hard on our customer education, forecasting, logistics and storage as our farmers chefs do in the field and kitchen.
A Radical Approach to Sourcing
The traditional food system is broken, so we work outside of it, it just takes more work but by allowing us to be the only pair of hands touching our products that isn’t making them or cooking them the end result is so much tastier! In the standard model you have producers hiring food brokers who negotiate with master distributors who then sell to regional distributors, they sell to local wholesalers before the food you eat even makes it to your neighborhood grocery. This is a problem, not only does it take money from the farmer to pay all the middlemen, it raises the price for the consumer while lowering the quality. When all these parties take a financial cut they are also adding a few days or weeks to the supply chain which means products have to be developed for their ability to withstand shipping and longer term storage, food that ships well and lasts forever rarely tastes amazing. So we work directly and communicate constantly with our producers. We have to know what is happening on their farms and in their fields, because just like their connection to the land affects the quality of food they produce and the way they do it, our connection to them affects the quality of food we deliver! This direct connection is the key ingredient in our not so secret formula that makes our food taste so good!
Value and Quality
For our farmers to succeed we have to get their food into the hands of as many people as possible, but we also have to change the way people eat. By eating what is in season you get the most flavor, nutrition and value. That is why we offer not only individual items like in a traditional grocery store but also tons of csa style boxes, kits and packs, because by giving up a little control you can support more farmers and we can offer even more value. When you work with a purveyor like us, you may pay the same amount as from a big distributor (you may even pay more), but the quality is on a different level. So how do we evaluate quality? Flavor is the first test, is it ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS? If YES, then we look holistically at the producer as a whole: what is the farmer doing for their community, the environment, and their team. When we find something that passes these tests we buy it and bring it to you. Chefs have always trusted our palates and the direct link we provide between them and our farmers has ensured that trust is never broken. The quality, freshness and depth of flavor that connection allows speaks for itself.