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Taylor couple locally sources food to benefit customers and community

It may be a national trend according to a report by the National Restaurant Association, but for Nick Reppond and Angie Sicurezza the use of locally-sourced food was not about being part of a fad when they opened Grit in Taylor, Mississippi three years ago.

“It was not even a choice,” Reppond said. “It was just something that happened because if you want great ingredients, you’ve got to source those great ingredients.”

Grit utilizes approximately 15 farms, sourcing as far away as North Carolina and Louisiana for produce, vegetables, meat and seafood. Some partners include Native Son Farm in Tupelo, Bluff City Fungi in Memphis and nearby Falkner Farms for eggs.

Co-owner of Falkner Farms Barkley Falkner said their partnership with Grit is a win-win. “It gets our name out there but also puts a fresh, excellent product out there that helps the consumer,” Falkner said.

Those who believe in buying directly from producers say consumers get healthier food that way. They also point to a reduced environmental impact from locally-sourced food because less fuel is used in transporting it.

Sicurezza and Reppond outside of their restaurant in Plein Air. Photo by Meagan Harkins.

Other dining spots in the area use locally-sourced food, including Oxford Canteen and Ravine, and Reppond said that all the local restaurants feed off of another and have close relationships. “Our food is a little different than everyone else’s but at the same time, we’re not reinventing the wheel here.”

They are making an effort, though, to serve food from producers they know.

“It’s a little bit more work but at the end of the day it’s worth it,” Reppond said. 

He said he hopes that people taste and see the difference in their passion for the food at Grit.

“We’ve all got some sort of deep root of art expression in us and I think food was ours,” Reppond said. “So reaching people with food is very comforting, people find food to be comforting.”

This 360-image shows the interior of Grit, featuring work from local-artist, Alice Hammell. Photo by Meagan Harkins.

Story contributed by Meagan Harkins.

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