City Provisions Deli Closing

Cleetus Friedman - one the good guys - a truly loyal and supportive friend whose optimism and commitment to doing what is right in business has announced that his deli, City Provisions, is closed.  The closing of CP is not just sad for those of us that seek responsible and delicious food options, but I feel for his awesome staff, as their commitment to Cleetus and his food philosophy was palpable - all the best to them.

Cleetus mentioned in his newsletter announcing the closing, that his farm direct ingredients and business philosophy of sustainability were costly, saying:
I could have bought different milk. Different eggs. I could have used non eco-friendly parchment paper. I could sent everything to landfill. I could have used an inferior product. I could have had a Sysco truck deliver my food and have one person work a deep fryer and microwave. I consciously chose to do things one way. Maybe I was stubborn. I was committed to doing what I believed to be the right thing.
Having cooked many times with Cleetus, including a couple of dinners at the deli and at one time having been a vendor with our now retired Eat Green Foods Granola Bars, I know that what he was doing at CP was not smoke and mirrors.

Cleetus is the real deal when it is comes to putting his money where his mouth is.   The conversation about food costs and the "price of sustainability" has been debated before and will continue (you can read some of my thoughts on the topic here, in a discussion about tamales from a couple of years back).  But what I do know for sure, is that whether it was Illinois Sparkling wines or Gunthorp ducks or Pinn Oak Lamb or responsibly sourced shrimp in his awesome salad, the ingredients and products that Cleetus sought were thoughtful and generous.  Cleetus used City Provisions to support many small business, seeking to showcase products from area farmers and artisans.

At a time when many of us in the food business crave an opportunity to provide not only great, responsibly sourced food, but also a respectful and fruitful workplace, this closing is a tough pill to swallow.