Applications Now Being Accepted for 2018 Michigan GROWN, Michigan GREAT Restaurant Awards

April 27, 2018

Marquette, Mi.04/27/2018– The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Michigan Restaurant Association, and the Michigan Ag Council are proud to announce they are now accepting applications for the 2018 Michigan GROWN, Michigan GREAT Restaurant Award. Now in its second year, the award was created to raise awareness of the economic impact of restaurants using Michigan manufactured food products.

According to the National Restaurant Association’s annual chef survey, consumer demand for locally-grown produce has been one of the top culinary trends in recent years, and 54 percent of adults say they look for limited-service restaurants serving locally sourced food.

“Locally sourced is no longer a trend; it is a recognized practice in the restaurant industry,” said MRA President and CEO Justin Winslow. “Our state has unmatched agricultural variety and quality, which is exactly why we are so excited to launch the second year of the Michigan GROWN, Michigan GREAT Restaurant Award with the Michigan Ag Council and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It is a win for the industry, a win for our local farmers, and definitely a win for all those who enjoy farm-fresh Michigan products prepared perfectly at your favorite restaurant.”

“We know Michigan consumers are really interested in supporting local farms and agricultural businesses,” said Elaine Bristol, Michigan Ag Council Program Coordinator. “The Michigan GROWN, Michigan GREAT Restaurant Award is a fantastic opportunity to showcase businesses that are committed to bridging the gap some of us experience between Michigan farms and our dinner plates. Michigan farmers offer an amazing variety of locally grown, quality foods and products for their own families and for the communities we share.”

“We’re incredibly proud to continue this partnership and this award,” said MDARD Director Gordon Wenk. “There aren’t many states like ours when it comes to agricultural diversity and the appreciation our restaurants and residents have for what we grow and produce here. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a local pub, an eclectic bistro, an upscale tapas establishment, or a fast food chain—the foods we grow and produce in this state will always be the highlight of any meal.”

The Michigan GROWN, Michigan GREAT Awards will be presented at the 2018 Michigan Restaurant Show located at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, October 16-17.

Last year’s winners and categories: The Maple Grille – Hemlock, Michigan (365 Days); Iron Works Café – Manistee, Michigan (Full Service North); Public House Food & Drink – Monroe, Michigan (Full Service East); New Holland Brewing and Artisan Spirits – Holland, Michigan (Full Service West); and McDonald’s (Fast Food).

Michigan Restaurant Association (MRA) is the recognized leader of Michigan’s hospitality industry, providing essential services to the foodservice community. Founded in 1921, the MRA represents approximately 4,500 Michigan foodservice establishments. The industry plays an integral role in Michigan’s economy, employing more than 440,600 people and generating $15.9 billion in annual sales.

The Michigan Ag Council is a coalition of commodity groups, ag businesses, and retailers working together to build awareness among Michigan consumers about food and agriculture. Council partners design and implement a variety of projects – including the Michigan GROWN, Michigan GREAT brand – to build consumer trust in Michigan’s farmers and farming practices.

The Michigan Restaurant Show is a premier foodservice industry trade show. More than 200 exhibitors will proudly feature their products and services to the thousands of industry professionals who attend. Free educational seminars, live cooking demonstrations, and unique vendor specials will be food throughout the Show exhibit hall.

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