HELENA, Mont. – The Departments of Commerce and Agriculture today launched a new category of the popular Made in Montana program designed to support small businesses and ag producers.
“Taste our Place” aims to promote and increase the use of locally sourced ingredients at Montana restaurants, bars and other establishments serving ready-to-eat food and drink.
“Residents and visitors traveling around Montana want authentic experiences, and local food and drink is no exception,” said Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote. “’Taste our Place’ responds to that demand while also seeking to put more Montana-grown products on the tables of restaurants and bars across the state.”
According to research by the University of Montana, 12.5 million people from out state visited Montana last year and spent $667 million at restaurants and bars, an amount second only to what they spent on gasoline.
While Commerce will administer and promote the program and its members, Agriculture will help to connect members with local food producers.
“We’ve seen an increased appetite for local foods throughout the state, both from tourists and residents,” said Agriculture Director Ben Thomas. “Increasing access to local foods gives our producers another market opportunity while giving consumers a chance to connect with our state in new and different ways.”
The program is free to join. In addition to promotional and ingredient sourcing opportunities, members receive a listing on the Made in Montana website and materials to identify them as being committed to serving food and drink made with locally sourced ingredients.
Businesses are encouraged to review eligibility and register online at MADEINMONTANAUSA.com.