Updated: August 14, 2020 05:45 PM
Created: August 14, 2020 02:53 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A new partnership is aimed at helping restaurants, distributors and chile farmers in New Mexico.
Cinco Estrella Farms usually sells to stores that roast the chile. This year, many stores don't want to roast the chile because of the pandemic.
Fewer stores selling green chiles puts farmers and distributors in a tough spot.
"We're a food service. And we sell only to restaurants and manufacturers, and we lost 50% of our business. And it almost closed us," said Louie Gonzales, owner of Quality Foods.
"It's a beautiful crop," said Glen Duggins of Cinco Estrella Farms. "It'd be a shame not to be able to get it to the people that need it."
Quality Foods, a New Mexico distributor, believes there is a solution to get more chile to the public.
They are selling chile curbside and also delivering to the restaurant, Sadie's.
"We haven't sold fresh chile, like I said, many, many years," Gonzales said. "But this is a good opportunity as we just probably opened up another avenue and window for us from now on."
Sadie's will be roasting the chile in their parking lot, and selling it by the sack.
"Sadie's is going to be doing a green chili harvest festival," said Brian Stafford, owner of Sadie's. "This is not a festival, a gathering of people. This is a festival to celebrate the beautiful green chile that's grown right here in the Rio Grande valley.
Special menu items will also feature chile from Cinco Estrella Farms.
"So if you're eating out or getting to-go or delivery from our restaurants, then you're helping the economy in general, you're helping the distributors, you're helping the truck drivers, you're helping everybody and, in this time, we all need that," Stafford said.
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