This fall’s Local Restaurant Week is in full swing! I had a chance to speak to some of the guys who organized the week. Vincent McConeghy, community manager of WNY Local Food Service, introduced me to Rick Heaverns, the president of Food Service Enablers, and then Rick introduced me to Daniel Garvey, the state board director of NYS Restaurant Association. Michael Andrezjewski, owner of Sea Bar and the man who started the whole process of bringing local restaurant week to Buffalo, arrived later in the conversation.
“Mike is really the nucleus of this group. This is something we are very proud of.” Said Rick Heaverns, whose company works to provide local restaurants with tools and software that streamlines their everyday needs. “Big chains have people. They have lawyers, analyzing consultants, accounting firms, and other suits. Local restaurants can’t really compete on that scale– local restaurants have us. Food is a part of our culture, and our food should be a bigger part of Buffalo culture–there’s great local food here!”
“We want to celebrate our local food culture. This whole week is to celebrate independent restaurants who buy locally, hire locally, and provide for us, the locals.” Dan Garvey chimes in. Garvey is also the owner of The Roycroft Inn. “All the participating restaurants were challenged with putting out a dinner for $20.09 that celebrates this season’s local harvest.”
“No one’s going to help out Buffalo, except for Buffalo!” You can just tell that Mike Andrezjewski is in it for Buffalo, foodies and non-foodies alike. “As a community, we have to take care of each other.” Chef Mike is so kind and one of the hardest working guy you’ll ever meet. He’s at every local food event, and he is certainly a very hands-on owner at Sea Bar.
For me, this week is a dream come true. Great food, great price, and all for a great cause!
In the photo from left to right: Rick Heavens, Mike Andrezjewski, Dan Garvey, Vincent McConeghy