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Entrepreneurs create locally inspired, gourmet picnic baskets

Farm2Door, Midland Food Tours launching Taste the Bay Picnics June 1; hope to get people thinking again about importance of eating local

Nothing quite says summer’s officially arrived than an outdoor picnic.

With that top of mind, two local entrepreneurs are collaborating to offer picnic baskets to bring a local food experience to tourists along with local and seasonal residents.

Taste the Bay Picnics is the brainchild of Farm2Door and Midland Food Tours, which are planning to launch the joint venture next week.

“We started during the early days of COVID in April 2020,” says Farm2Door co-owner Bart Nagel of his Perkinsfield-based business.

He said that while people were forced to stay home, they had more time to focus on healthy eating while also wanting to ensure that local businesses remained operating.

He adds: “Local food had such tremendous support back then across the board.”

But now, with lockdowns over and those original fears over the impact they would have on local businesses subsiding, people are returning to their old eating habits, making more food purchases with price in mind, according to Nagel.

Getting people back to thinking more about what they’re eating is part of the impetus behind the joint venture with Nagel adding that he’s excited to be working with Midland Food Tours owner/operator Kelly Kurtz on the project.

“It makes sense to partner with Midland Food Tours,” Nagel says, noting the venture also complements Food2Door's regular retail business, which has a strong permanent and seasonal resident base.

“Midland Food Tours has made local food into a tourist attraction and the picnic service caters primarily to this target group as well."

Kurtz, who started Midland Food Tours in 2021, says the offering give her clients "an exciting new way to enjoy local food at some of the most scenic spots in our area."

“I’m thinking of Little Lake Park, Awenda Park, Rotary Park, Balm Beach or the grounds at Martyrs’ Shrine, for example. Beyond that, we have partnered with Farm2Door from our very first season in 2021 and I am excited to see our collaboration expand.”

Both Kurtz and Nagel have seen some of their suppliers and partners quit late last year when the impact of the post-COVID inflation began to take its toll.

“I am worried about the next few years given this trend,” says Kurtz, signalling that opening up a larger selection with the picnic experience will bring more interest to the area while creating a new platform for visitors to taste all the region has to offer.

Kicking off June 1st, both business owners are also convinced that working together in this way will help to strengthen resilience since local food has come under pressure in the last year or so, because of inflation and the worrisome price hikes in the large grocery supply chain.

Taste the Bay Picnics will contain products from a multitude of local producers including fresh-baked bread, Gianetto’s Dip, Bulbs of Fire garlic products and PJ Meats cured meats. The picnic offering is available for two or four people.

There are two picnic options to choose from, ranging in price from $75 to $142.50.

Taste the Bay Deluxe Picnic Basket Experience comes in a fully loaded picnic basket, complete with blanket, cooling compartment and dishware. Rental fee & deposit apply. A limited number of baskets are available each day with a basket rental fee and $50 deposit applied.

The alternative is to book the Taste The Bay Picnic in a Farm2Door branded cooler bag. It has the same food contents, but customers must bring their own picnic supplies.

Picnics are available Friday and Saturday only from June to October and must be ordered at least 48 hours in advance.

For a full list of basket contents and booking options, check out their websites: Midland Food Tours and Farm2Door.

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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country‚Äôs most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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