BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)– Black Valley Provender restaurant in Everett on Main Street aims to keep its products locally and give back to farmers.
Owners Alana Foor and Joe Capricci are generational farmers from the Keystone State. They believed that opening a restaurant would allow them to connect with their community more.
However, they wanted to showcase farmers’ hard work in Bedford County and the state. That’s why most of their products are from ten different farmers. Foor believed that bringing that cause to the Everett community was much needed.
“We focus on local products, so we want to source from many local farms as we can,” Foor said. “We duel as a little bit of a local pantry, and then we have a full menu.”
Foor being a farmer for most of her life, knew that most farmers don’t receive high wages from their 24/7 business. They hope that their restaurant gives a better profit to the farmers.
“Selling as a farmer to wholesale, your profit margin is so low, farmers don’t really have a realistic living wage,” Foor said. “So, we wanted to create a space that kind of cut out the middle man and offers farmers a better premium for their product. Then, in turn, create a menu that’s different in the area that we could offer to our customers.”
Their menu consists of breakfast and lunch with French toast, salads, and sandwiches. Their pantry items range from dairy products to kombucha and produce.
Through word of mouth, Foor found her team of staff who each have different backgrounds and cultures. Executive Chef Vince Liberato came into Black Valley Provender with 22 years of culinary experience both nationally and internationally.
“We’re using local beef from Black Valley,” Liberato said. “We’re using local duck eggs from Crystal Spring. We’re using as much local as possible. We hate to say we’re a local farm-to-table because that’s just not possible all year round, but as much local as much as possible.”
However, it was a years-long process to get the doors open to the restaurant. Foor noted how it took a while to find the perfect place. Then, when she was getting ready to submit finance papers for the current location on Main Street, the pandemic hit.
Then in the middle of construction, their barn caught on fire. But Foor said that her successful bounce back was mainly due to the Bedford Community. She remembers during their recovery; a veteran provided their support, which made her husband, also a veteran, tear up.
“The support from our community was just beyond anything I could’ve ever anticipated,” Foor said. “People showed up and offered to move animals, clean up the debris, offer us money to rebuild.”
The restaurant has been open for three weeks, and they’ve already seen a positive response from the community. Liberato said there are regulars to the café and great feedback on their food. He noted that Bedford/Everett is a community that tends to support small businesses and restaurants.
“Especially the small one, they tend to support very well,” Liberato said. “We’ve had many people from Bedford come that I know already. It seems like Everett is taking it pretty well also.”
Liberato said they are already in the process of starting a dinner menu, but there’s not an official timeline on when that’ll be starting. Foor also said they look to bring in more products from farmers and create an educational program.
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“We’re definitely looking into adding exterior walk-ins because we want to be able to increase the amount of product we bring in from local farmers,” Foor said.