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Volume XVII, Issue 5 - January 29 - February 4, 2009
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Letter From the Editor

Eat Locally and We All Benefit

Local restaurants sustain our economy and environment

In Chesapeake Country, environment and economy are the two sides of the same coin. That truth was part of our founding philosophy, and you’ve heard us preach it in many forms — including the gospel of buying locally — over the 16 years you’ve been reading Bay Weekly, born New Bay Times.

So we’re all smiles over the status Local has achieved as the hallmall of good things, especially in our foodways. We see great things coming to Maryland’s economy and environment from branding and marketing our harvest from land and Bay as high-quality, sustainably produced native goods.

At the same time, we know that the future is in our hands now. We may be optimistic to believe that these months we’re all enduring together are a make-it-or-break-it era. Optimistic because, like you, we’re counting the losses all around us. Optimistic, too, because we believe capitulating to hard time is no choice.

Simply put, if we believe in buying locally, now’s the time to prove it.

We’ve taken that principle to heart in the Dining Guide we produce every year at this time. Timing is not accidental; it’s intended to take midwinter’s chill off our local restaurant economy.

This make-it-or-break-it winter, we’re guiding you to the restaurants that prove their belief in buying locally by advertising in Bay Weekly, their local independent paper.

The 36 eateries you’ll read about in this week’s pages are almost all familiar to us: Many are both regular advertisers and places we invest our own money. They’re places we’ve made many a memory, and eaten many a memorable meal — slow or quick.

Yet preparing this issue has been like meeting many of them for the first time.

For we set out to find out the story behind the restaurant ads you see in our pages each week. We asked restaurateurs to tell us their vision and how they carry it out.

What we found was a revelation. The vast majority of our restaurant advertisers are small enterprises, conceived in hope and nurtured by faith, love and hard work. We found out they’re just like us; probably, just like your own business.

In other words, they’re local. They’re the mainstay of our economy and the hope for our environment. How they run their business parallels — and directly affects — how our citizens and communities care for the Bay that vitalizes our region, and for all our natural resources.

Environmentally, we also heard good news. Owner after owner told us how they practiced Earth stewardship in their business, from buying biodegradable containers to recycling fry oil to buying their vegetables, fish and oysters from local farmers and watermen. Some grow and catch their own.

I expect you, too, will be happily surprised, both in the stories you read in this year’s Dining Guide — revelations that season the meals you eat out with understanding of how they came to be — and in the quality of your dining experience at Bay Weekly advertisers.

Take their words as a promise. Test them against what and how you’re served. Tell the restaurateurs how they measure up — and tell us, too.

       Sandra Olivetti Martin
     editor and publisher


© COPYRIGHT 2009 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.