It’s a challenge to embrace the local food movement at a sports stadium. A grocery store can stock more native products. A restaurant can build its menu around the farm-to-table concept. The Bulls, however, have to feed 10,000 people in 2.5 hours on a Friday night - hence the term institutional food service.
But I’m not making excuses. We are looking for opportunities to support local producers. Dave Levey, the General Manager of Bull City Hospitality, has focused on this since taking our concessions operation in-house this season. Our chief supplier is gigantic US Foods, but they have been adept at finding local vendors.
Our hamburger comes from Mills Family Farm in Mooresville. Brats and Italian sausages from Firsthand Foods in Durham. For several years, we’ve served Bright Leaf hot dogs from Smithfield. (They are delivered fresh for every home stand, made with New Zealand beef and their fat content beats the USDA standard.)
At the barbecue stand, our cue hails from Hog Heaven in Durham. The hush puppy mix comes from Selma’s Atkinson Milling Co. Cole slaw and potato salad are made in Halifax.
The hot sauce on your wings is Texas Pete, not from the Lone Star State, but a secret concoction from Winston-Salem. Hot dog chili is made in Greensboro. Our cooking oil comes from Warsaw NC. Back at home, the Bulls’ caramel popcorn is popped at Jimmy’s Gourmet Golden Popcorn in Durham, and the Durham Co-op Market operates a fresh fruit cart on the concourse.
I could add several paragraphs on NC beers in the ballpark and our on-site Bull Durham Beer Co., but I will save that for another post. Suffice it to say, we are bullish on NC agriculture and local vendors. Wool E. Bull is a locavore!
|Bright Leaf hot dogs from Carolina Packers in Smithfield. |
Touring the plant last month with Nick Bavin and Chip Allen.