Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Buyers connect to organic foods in Putnam

By Judith Hausman, The Journal News, May 2, 2007

Like the proverbial garage band, Organic Connection got its start in Ian Diamond's home.

"When I moved here from Australia 10 years ago, I had 20 years of experience in organic foods, and there were so many products I couldn't get for my family and friends," he says. So he began a delivery of organic foods - some of them local - working out of his home in Vista.

He outgrew his space quickly and moved into a warehouse. Then he outgrew that. In November, he moved into an attractive 3,000-square-foot store on Route 22 in Brewster. He still delivers to about 100 families in Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield, Conn., who send in their orders on line.

"It's brilliant that Ian delivers," says singer Chynna Phillips of Bedford. "When the first order came, it was heaven: perfect carrots, juicy red tomatoes, gorgeous apples. Now they even call me if my order isn't in on time."

At lunchtime, the pine tables up front are filled with kids and moms, dining on the 100 percent organic daily specials, which are are posted on the blackboard above the sandwich area. Along with grilled vegetable and hummus sandwiches, chicken-rice noodle soup and banana shakes, Organic Connection offers a salad bar and a selection of prepared and hot foods, like barbecued chicken. Big sellers, such as Asian cole slaw with black sesame seeds, curried brown rice salad with nuts and raisins, and quinoa tabbouleh (which is vegan as well as gluten, vinegar and soy-free), combine chef Gerry Herrfurth's training from the Culinary Institute of America with Diamond's knowledge of healthy foods and special dietary needs.

read more.. (Journal News)