Championing Local Food in Toledo, Ohio
Fowl and Fodder is a restaurant in Toledo, Ohio that's raising money on Kickstarter to embrace the local food scene.
Taste Trekkers launched its first Food & Travel Expo with the help of a Kickstarter campaign. So we like to shine the spotlight on other aspiring entrepreneurs who are raising capital on Kickstarter for their own foodie projects. Scott Bowman is a 14-year veteran of the restaurant industry that has done every facet of the business, including opening new restaurants. He a real passion for Toledo and want to see this area thrive, so he's launching a restaurant that champions local food. We asked him a few questions about it... -Seth
1. You are raising funds for a restaurant called Fowl and Fodder. What is your vision for Fowl and Fodder?
Our primary goal as a restaurant is to make local food available for everyone. We are making the age old question of “what are we going to eat” a simple decision for the people of this town. Our market is flooded with large chain restaurants that do not offer ingredients that are unique to our area. If we can compete with these restaurants by having a similar price and create something unique to us, we know locals and visitors alike will seek us out. Our battle cry is, “real food, from real farms, for real people.”
Our secondary goal, is to create the infrastructure for local farmers to be able to sell their products to local restaurants, while growing together. We’d love to see more concepts take advantage of the family farms in our community.
We also want to help out our community. As a business in the community we want to utilize our resources to make Toledo a better place. We plan on helping community gardens both monetarily and with our time, to help them better support their community. We plan to work with organizations to help supply real food to the children that do not have the resources or access to good, clean food. We will be a voice in this town that creates a better life for the people around us.
2. Can you tell us about some of the dishes that you want to put on the menu?
We are serving sandwiches, soups, salads, and a fresh juice bar. Everything in the restaurant we make from scratch, except our bread. Our bread will be sourced from a local bakery in our town. Our menu takes different familiar flavors and offers them in a unique and innovative way. Our signature item is our Duck Pastrami with a goat cheese spread on a poppy-seed bun. I created this sandwich based on one of my favorite sandwiches at a local bagel shop. Beef Pastrami with cream cheese on an everything bagel.
We are also making duck and pork confit. Confit is meat or vegetables cooked very slowly, submerged in fat. The result is a meltingly tender piece. We are making tacos from our confit. The duck tacos have an asian spin with pickled onions, and a miso dressing. Our 2 signature soups are a Beer Cheddar soup made with local cheese and beer, and a French Onion soup made from house made beef stock. We will also serve fresh salads, featuring seasonal ingredients. Nothing tastes better than a salad made with produce picked that day. Our salad dressings are all made in the restaurant. We have many other interesting items to offer guests that dine at our restaurant, with everything we do, we use all natural ingredients and local whenever possible.
3. Fowl and Fodder will champion the local food movement. What foods are available in Ohio?
Ohio is such a diverse state. We are only a few miles from the Erie Basin, an area with some of the richest soil in the United States. We have several farmers using organic practices. These are farmers that run CSA’s, and have recently began supplying produce for restaurants. In the spring we will use the first harvest and use season extension techniques. We will have a supply of diverse crops, throughout the summer. In the fall our menu will integrate root vegetables, and hardy crops that can withstand the frost. In the winter we will use preservation techniques, including pickling and freezing to preserve some of the harvest.
We have small batch cheese makers making cheese right on the farm where the milk is collected. The cheese they make is made from hand using labor intensive techniques and aged in rooms that create really unique flavors and textures. The cheese makers I am buying from sell their cheeses in local shops and cannot be found in other places. We are giving people the opportunity to try cheeses they can’t find anywhere else.
Our beef is 100% grass-fed beef, and pastured raised right here in Ohio. We have a network of local farmers because these are not large scale operations. By using the meat of several different farmers we will be able to supply our restaurant year round.
Of course, if you are trying to do everything locally things can go wrong. We will have shortages, and have to adjust our menu with what our suppliers have. In a world where food from all over the world is available at the local super-market, we will ride the ups and downs of the seasons.
4. Fowl and Fodder will have a juice bar. Can you tell us more about that?
Fresh juice is a great mood, and energy booster at any point of the day. There is also so many health benefits to eating raw fruit and vegetable juice. We will create juices that not only taste fantastic but offer real health benefits to our guests. I believe if everyone replaced the mid-morning snack, or afternoon jolt of caffeine and sugar, with a juice, they would feel better both physically and mentally. We encourage guests to try our juices and test the results. One reward for our pledgers is a free juice everyday for a month. This allows our guests to experience the health benefits of juicing.
With everything else so unique and our push to eat only natural, we were inspired to take it one more daring step. We will not have a soda machine in the restaurant. The only sodas that will be sold will be all natural bottled Sodas from Izze, Virgils, Reeds, and GUS.
5. Construction has already begun on Fowl and Fodder. Can you tell us about the space for the restaurant?
Our restaurant is a small, cozy, 20 seater on the Central Ave strip of Toledo, OH. We have used reclaimed barn siding and corrugated metal from a barn just over the border, in Dundee, MI, for design. Our menu will be displayed on a chalkboard that is from a school house outside of Ann Arbor, MI. Our sign is also made out of salvaged materials. The kitchen area is open so you can see the food being made right in front of you. We also have a painted design of our shining city as well.