This week, we wanted to highlight a Red Rabbit partner from the other side of the business - the supplier side! The amazing work of all our distribution partners is made possible by the amazing work of our suppliers, and we’d like to kick off this series by saluting one of our favorite new partners, Happy Valley Meat Co.
Who are they? Happy Valley Meat Co was founded in 2013 with the sole mission of improving the lives of the people and animals that feed us.That means providing ethically-raised meat from small, northeast farms, directly to the chefs that feed us. Founder Dan Honig feels passionately that it’s “ok to eat animals, but it’s not okay to subject them to a system of mass torture.” That dedication to an animal’s happy life, as well as a small farmer’s livelihood, is what drives Dan and his team at Happy Valley to make a difference in the food system. Like Red Rabbit, they are a Certified B Corp, which means they consider the impact their work has on their partners, employees, the community, and the environment.
What are they doing? Happy Valley purchases whole animals directly from farmers, and then works with small-scale processors to break down and sell every part of the animal to chefs in densely populated urban areas. Under normal circumstances, HVM supplies restaurants & chefs, but under COVID-19, they’ve partnered with Red Rabbit to supply us with ground beef that can help feed folks in need.
Their dedication to small farmers and happy animals starts at small farms in the Happy Valley area of PA. HVM has partnered with farmers to adhere to ASPCA animal welfare standards. The cattle they purchase are raised on pasture, and finished on grain, which means they spend the majority of their lives eating grass, and only when they have reached maturity, does grain get introduced into their diet. This influx of energy and protein rich grains helps to keep the farm operations financially viable, as the animals reach their target weights much faster. Cattle are purchased by Happy Valley & processed at small facilities in Lancaster, PA & Elmira, NY. Happy Valley offers higher than commodity pricing and stability for their farmers, allowing them to plan and build their business without having to ride the ups and downs of the commodity market.
How does their ingredeint find its way to you? Like many producers & farmers who were shocked by restaurant closures in the wake of COVID-19, Happy Valley wanted to find new distribution channels, keeping small farms afloat during uncertain times. And as Red Rabbit adapted our menus to our new adult consumer, we found each other as a natural fit. Chef Nick took our existing beef bolognese recipe, and using the Happy Valley ground beef, made the recipe more flavorful, robust, and suitable for an adult palette. That Beef Bolognese is finding its way to the top of a plate of spaghetti, getting tucked in alongside some freshly roasted veggies, and packed up for urgent delivery. Our partners at the Food Bank of New York City and World Central Kitchen are helping distribute it at food pantries city-wide, and our school partners in the Bronx, Harlem & Queens are allocating those meals to kids in need.
Want to help support small farmers directly through Happy Valley? They're providing home delivery in New York City through their website! Check it out!