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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Taco Bros

Taco Bros. serves produce from a local farm in New Glarus, Wis., which restaurant co-owner Drew Baker also co-owns. 

Taco Bros. owners bring food from the fields to the plates

“Give me something good and I won’t mess that up,” declares Drew Baker, not only the proud co-owner of Taco Bros. restaurant, established this April on the 600 block of University Avenue, but also the co-owner of Love Rock Farm, a Community Supported Agriculture farm in New Glarus, Wis.

Using fresh ingredients such as produce from the New Glarus farm and local meat from the Jefferson Township, Baker serves dishes with a local, quality-oriented focus. Baker’s focus is part of a larger local food movement nationwide seeking to bridge the gap between farms and restaurants.

Madison Food and Alcohol Policy Director Mark Woulf said the local food movement, through suppliers like Love Rock Farm and restaurants such as Taco Bros., is expanding across the country. Food for these restaurants is single-sourced from farms within a 100-mile radius.

“I think it’s great for the local economy,” Woulf said. “The local food movement in general is kind of a closed system allowing the money to stay in the local economy, so you’re benefiting local farmers and getting the freshest products available.”

Baker co-owns the restaurant with his wife, Jaime Baker, and their mutual friend, Logan Massara.

Massara brought needed business experience from his father, who owned Taco Shop restaurants in Madison as well as in Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

“Logan and my wife will tell you right now: I’m not a tremendous business man. I can’t go over spreadsheets, I’ve never written a program,” Drew Baker said.

Though Baker does not have a huge passion for the numbers-driven technicalities of running a business, he said he has the determination to keep his restaurant and farm going strong through his passion for using locally sourced food.

“I struggle with things like that, but I’m kind of the heart and soul behind the operations,” he said.

Alongside Taco Bros., Baker participates in the farm-to-table movement through CSA box deliveries for restaurants in the Milwaukee area and consumers around the state. Baker said he believes the deliveries are worth the effort and beneficial, both economically and philosophically.

“There’s nothing I can do with poor quality meat and vegetables. I cannot doctor them up and turn them into a good meal for you,” Baked explained. “However, if you give me fresh meat and fresh vegetables, a seasonal selection with red tomatoes and beautiful melons, my job is to not screw that up.”

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