[SlideDeck2 id=1050]Our Mission
Regional Access is committed to creating a sustainable business model focused on our customers, our team of employees, and the development of local economies all over New York State.
Our customers helped make us what we are today, and have always remained our first priority.
Inspiring Regional Food Connection since 1989.
A community-oriented, grassroots company, Regional Access was built on a vision of providing ecologically responsible, locally grown food in Upstate New York. From humble beginnings in founder Gary Redmond’s garage to their current spacious modern warehouse, the company has flourished over the last few decades, helping to redefine regional food systems and pave the way for a myriad array of new businesses and social efforts focused on improving and developing more sustainable food connections.
Regional Access was the next logical step for Gary: Cornell graduate, organic farmer and entrepreneur with a passion for macrobiotics, great local foods and sustainable communities. After many years of struggling to find consistent outlets for his organic produce and working in all facets of cooperatively owned distributor Clear Eye Natural Foods, Gary and his wife Daisy took the plunge and converted a spare room into an office, their garage into a warehouse and with one small truck and a computer (a rarity in those days), the Regional story began.
With their hands-on approach, they made a point of listening to what the best local chefs and retailers were looking for and made it their mission to supply those items. When an item couldn’t be found, they would often suggest that a small producer add that product to their offerings. The recipe worked and in their first year of business were able to turn a profit and subsequently reinvest in a larger warehouse space located in Trumansburg, NY.
An early proponent of creating value-chains in which all participants in a system receive an equitable portion of the profit structure, Gary was tireless in his commitment to promoting and supporting local producers and went to great lengths to supplant conventional, commodity foods with clean, local products whenever possible.
Fast forward to 2007—following years of double-digit growth and a continued ‘boot-strap’ reinvestment strategy, Gary’s vision had grown into a truly robust, multi-faceted distribution and logistics company servicing nearly all of NY State and points beyond. It was time to find a new home that would allow the business to operate more efficiently in their new, higher-volume environment and provide new growth opportunities for the company and its producer partners. After extensive searching, the company landed between Trumansburg and Ithaca in a newer, 25,000sf facility which has enabled it to adequately answer demand and streamline operations.
Gary passed unexpectedly in 2011, shocking the Regional family and food community at large. However, the dedicated and impassioned staff and management resolved to keep Gary’s vision and company alive and thriving. Today, Regional Access is owned and run by Gary’s three children, Asa, Sim and Anna, long time financial manager, Adrienne Stearns and President/GM Dana Stafford. Working with over 150 regional farms and small scale producers, the impact and scope of Gary’s original mission continues to grow.
Regional Access is pleased to serve a wide array of customers, ranging from independent retailers and restaurants, cooperative markets, grocery stores, wineries, buying clubs, institutions and individuals. With a consistently growing demand for wholesome, transparently sourced local products, they are adding new customers daily and have an aggressive growth strategy that will enable them to reach even wider audiences throughout the North East for years to come.
Interest, investment and advocacy for local and regional food systems have reached all-time highs. With New York State investing heavily in its agricultural economy, the USDA focusing on food hub formation in concert with groups such as the Wallace Center/Winrock International and RSF Social Finance, there is certain to be dynamic discourse and development in the ways that we procure and interact with our food supply for years to come.
And here in the Finger Lakes, Regional Access will continue to champion our region’s bounty and work toward a sustainable food system for the entire North East.