Our procurement team is always looking for ways to find new, quality food suppliers in order to maintain our commitment to healthy, locally sourced, scratch cooked meals. A perfect example of this is our new partnership with Dress It Up Dressing.
Our staff first connected with Sophia in 2017, the owner and creator of Dress It Up Dressing, at the Buyer Grower Expo, hosted by the MD Department of Agriculture. At the time, we were looking for a new dressing for our Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program (FFVP), a federally funded program that provides healthy produce to low-income children, with high quality ingredients that meet our nutritional standards and ideally, are locally sourced. No other commercial dressing was meeting all our needs, Dress It Up Dressing checked all those boxes.
Sophia started Dress It Up Dressing from her home using her mother’s recipe. After sharing it with friends and family, the demand for her dressing rose quickly and she started taking orders. From there, her company continued to grow, eventually making it possible for her to supply DC Central Kitchen with enough dressing for our FFVP program at seven of our participating Healthy School Foods locations three times a week. The dressing is served along with a variety of veggies including mixed baby peppers with Caesar dressing or snap peas with Apple Cider Vinaigrette. Incorporating these dressings into FFVP went over so well that we started adding them to the main salad bar and supper menus as well.
Sophia is committed to producing sustainable and responsible products which means that she sources ingredients locally whenever possible, seeks out micro-producers and aims to minimize travel times which reduces the impact on the environment. Dress It Up Dressing is classified as a “Certified B Corp”, meaning they meet rigorous standards of social and environment performance, accountability and transparency. She chooses to work with other companies and vendors who do the same. In the same way that we believe in and support her work, she believes in ours and generously provides a discount to us and matches the cost we were paying for dressing previously.
We are proud to work with Sophia and Dress It Up Dressing to continue to make sure that we are serving the best quality ingredients in our meals and supporting locally sourced food. Because of this, we weren’t surprised at all to hear that Dress It Up Dressing has won a 2018 Good Food Award for leading the way towards a tasty, authentic and responsible food system.