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Noble: An American Cookery If there’s one bartop in the city as beautiful as that first post-work drink, it belongs to Noble: An American Cookery. The jaw-dropping single piece of wood stretches almost the entire length of the Sansom Street restaurant. It was purchased from Hearne Hardwoods in Oxford, PA, a company that focuses on salvaged and sustainable wood. They had the entire naturally-fallen tree—Noble just got a slice. Noble has gone through some changes recently—most notably, the addition of chef Brinn Sinnott (Fountain, LaCroix, Supper, Amada)—but one thing that hasn’t changed is their commitment to seasonal food. Co-owners Bruno Pouget and Todd Rodgers had a vision for a restaurant that would reflect the American bounty throughout the year. All their wines are North American, and their entire beer list is comprised of American craft beers. Their food is also sourced domestically—and, whenever possible, locally. When it comes to buying close-to-home, they often rely on Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op. Using an organization that has access to over 50 farmers allows them a bit more control over their menu. Chances are that someone will have what they’re looking for. The restaurant also has its own garden. Over the summer, herbs, tomatoes, peppers and icicle radishes all came from raised beds on the roof. Pouget and Rodgers’ old restaurant, Blue on Long Beach Island, always featured a garden. “It’s something that tells a story to our guests,” explains Rodgers. “I think that’s really important to people today.”

without the full-season commitment. (The CSA members will still get a better price.) “It’s a great model, because we’re taking the power back,” explains General Manager Casey Spacht. “We’re making the decisions for ourselves, creating a good, healthy life for our farmers and customers. It’s a system that we can really stand behind.” Every week farmers tell Spacht what products they’ll have available; it changes daily. He then sends out a price list to wholesale customers. Once orders


Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op specialty Products from over 70 Lancaster County farms find them Available via CSA and a new buying club, as well as through local businesses contact 717-656-3533 48 Eagle Dr., Leola

Noble: An American Cookery, Bruno Pouget and Todd Rodgers, 2025 Sansom St., 215-568-7000,

are placed, the produce takes less than 24 hours to get from the fields to its destination. All the farmers in LFFC are sustainable, organic growers. When new farms apply for inclusion, current members observe their operation first-hand, making sure their values align with that of the co-op. The issue of values also led LFFC to start their own trucking division. They weren’t happy with their contractors, so the farmers made a decision to change things. They now have three full-time drivers, all being paid a living wage, along with benefits and a free CSA share. The geographical constraints of the co-op within Lancaster County mean that even as the group grows, it remains a tight-knit community. The morning before Grid talked to Spacht, a member’s barn burned down. “I made a call to all of our farmers,” says Spacht. “Today they’re there helping him clean up. And we’re going to be building a new barn for him in a week or two. We can make it happen because we have this network of friends and family that are all within the co-op. If another farmer needs help, people help.”

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Profile for Red Flag Media

Grid Magazine March 2010  

Towards a Sustainable Philadelphia

Grid Magazine March 2010  

Towards a Sustainable Philadelphia