Perhaps you buy your favorite mango salsa from a small business owner at a farmer’s market on Tuesdays. And on Thursdays you buy an organic walnut butter at a different farmer’s market. Plus you only eat the handmade pasta from a little Italian place in the city. San Francisco and the Bay Area is flush with small businesses and independent farmers that would love to be a part of your next party, event, or wedding.
If you have some specific small business that you would like to include in the food preparation process for your next event, work with your caterer to develop a menu of your favorite foods. In all likelihood, these businesses have worked with several catering companies in the past to provide sufficient supplies for large groups.
In an effort to encourage your guests to buy from these local vendors, you can easily promote the businesses with information cards at each table. Of course, small vendors would welcome the chance to include their goods in gift bags for your guests. Finally, if you really want to help these small businesses, you could host a miniature farmers market during the event and give each vendor a small space to display their goods and distribute samples.
Depending on the size of your event and the promotional help you are willing to offer the vendors, some of them might give you a discount on the price of ingredients. Not only are you helping these local business connect with consumers, your are introducing them to a catering company that can offer their goods to other party hosts.