Restaurateur and local food advocate
If your dining experiences take you outside of the chain restaurant world, you’ve probably encountered a branch of Kim Bartmann’s restaurant business. Starting with Café Wyrd (now known as Barbette) in the early 1990s, Bartmann’s business has expanded to include locations such as The Bryant Lake Bowl, The Red Stag Supper Club, Gigi’s Café, Bread & Pickle and the upcoming Pat’s Tap, each of which serves up locally sourced organic foods.
Always an environmentalist, Bartmann became interested in the local foods movement in the late 1990s after hearing a lecture by pioneering East Coast restaurateur Judy Wicks. She initiated a two-year program to transition to all-local meat, and to this day she continues to push for more local food in her restaurants, as well as sustainable construction. The Red Stag Supper Club was the first LEED certified restaurant in Minnesota. She also sits on the board of the Land Stewardship Project and recommends resources such as Renewing the Countryside and Minnesota Grown to those who would like to learn more about local foods.
“To me, a lot of the reasons to engage in the practice of buying local are environmental,” said Bartmann. “They are also economical. The places that are thriving are the small neighborhood places, which are usually where you find local food. The places that are suffering are the big corporate places that don’t have a connection to the community. It’s better business and it creates longevity. Your customers appreciate it.”