Reston, Va., is the site of North Dakota Farmers Union’s (NDFU) seventh farmer-owned restaurant that opened its doors this spring, in partnership with Agraria LLC members and the Farmers Restaurant Group. Founding Farmers Reston is located at Reston Station on D.C.’s Metro subway line. Just five months ago, the organization opened its first location outside of the Beltway near Philadelphia.
“Besides great food and atmosphere, our restaurants reflect the tremendous support consumers feel for family farmers and ranchers,” said NDFU President Mark Watne. “It’s an amazing story all of its own.”
Like other Founding Farmers restaurants, the newest storefront will feature made-from-scratch comfort food served at affordable prices with ingredients sourced from American family farms and ranches. Collectively, the restaurants serve more than 45,000 diners a week.
The group’s flagship restaurant near the White House remains the most-booked restaurant in the country on www.OpenTable.com, now five years running.
Watne said the concept of a farmer-owned restaurant started at NDFU with the idea that farmers could secure a greater share of the U.S. food dollar by taking advantage of opportunities at the top of the production food chain rather than the bottom. That reality is even more important today, he said, given the farm crisis.
Commodity prices have been in a slump since 2014, well below the cost of production. Net farm income is expected to fall to a 12-year low this year to $59.5 billion, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.
“Our goal is to serve 100 percent U.S. family farm-sourced food in our restaurants,” Watne said, “and to return greater profits to the families who grow our food.”
Source: N.D. Farmers Union