The two know a thing or two about food and where it comes from. Strawn is a fifth generation Rancher with expertise in grass-fed beef and lamb production. She currently chairs the Florida Food Policy Council. Reis-Miller co-founded Slow Food Orlando five years ago, and led the sustainable food advocacy group for four years. Last year Strawn and Reis-Miller launched Growing Synergy; a consultation and distribution company that helps farms connect with local customers.
Growing Synergy focuses on proteins from small Florida farms and ranches, including beef, lamb, veal, poultry, dairy, pork and even gator.
The company offers farmers and ranchers access to consumers, health food stores, food trucks, hotels, and restaurants, Strawn explained.
“We believe Florida has much to offer in the way of local foods, and we hope to inspire more consumers and businesses to increase their spending with small Florida farmers,” Strawn said.
Growing Synergy boasts a growing list of customers, including DeLand Natural Bakery in DeLand, Living Waters Health Food Store in Ormond Beach and Sustain Natural in Apopka; Food Truck; Big Wheel Provisions; and more than a dozen restaurants/
“The University of Florida/IFAS reports that there are approximately 47,000 small farms in Florida,” Reis-Miller said.
The Florida Food Policy Council is currently conducting an impact study to show how important Florida consumers are to small Florida farms.
To follow their journey, the Eating from Florida 90 Day Food Challenge, visit “Growing Synergy” on Facebook or www.GrowingSynergy.com.
The Eating from Florida 90 Day Food Challenge will conclude with a dinner at The Table Restaurant in Orlando on June 20. To book a reservation to attend the closing dinner at The Table restaurant on June 20, visit TheTableOrlando.com.
Strawn said all of the food that will be consumed would come from Florida farms. Locally produced artisan foods---breads and cheeses, for example---may be made from ingredients produced outside the state.
Growing Synergy is a client company with the UCF Business Incubation Program and located at the St. Cloud Incubator.
About Growing Synergy
Growing Synergy is a food distribution and consulting company for small farms and ranches in Central Florida. The approach is in the name - to Grow in Synergy - both in nature and in business. Growing Synergy extends a whole-system approach throughout its business operations as well, including: strategic development, marketing and distribution. Growing Synergy proudly distributes proteins from local farms and ranches including beef, poultry, lamb, veal, dairy, eggs, honey and value-added products.
About the UCF Business Incubation Program
Since its founding in 1999, the UCF Business Incubation Program has helped more than 200 emerging companies (including more than 125 current clients) create over $200 million in annual total economic output and more than 1,600 new jobs with an average salary of $59,000. With nine facilities across the Greater Orlando community, the Business Incubation Program is a collaboration in economic development between the University of Central Florida, Orange County, the City of Orlando, Seminole County, the City of Winter Springs, The City of Sanford, Lake County, the City of Leesburg, Osceola County, the City of Kissimmee, City of St. Cloud, Volusia County and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council. The UCFBIP will open its 10th incubator in Apopka in spring 2012. Please visit www.incubator.ucf.edu and UCFBIP on Facebook, on www.facebook.com/