1/29/2013 10:00:00 AM

"Sustainability Wasn't Sustainable," Cleetus Friedman Closed City Provisions

The local food movement is not an easy bandwagon to jump on. We grew up on sliced bread and processed cheese; the good stuff was for fancy nights out, not dinners at home from the pantry. However, after trying that first bite of bread from a nearby bakery or cheese from a Midwestern farm, all preconceptions vanish. Local food is fresh, flavorful and expensive.

It was a result of that last word that led to this news: Last night, City Provisions suddenly closed. The grocer and cafĂ© served artisan cheeses, house-made deli meats, collaboration beers with Chicago breweries, Illinois wines and fresh-made sandwiches. A commitment to quality and sustainability meant that owner and chef, Cleetus Friedman, put product over profit. In a statement, Friedman said the following:

“I could have bought different milk. Different eggs. I could have used non eco-friendly parchment paper. I could have sent everything to landfill. I could have used an inferior product. I could have had a Sysco truck deliver my food and have one person work a deep fryer and microwave. I consciously chose to do things one way. Maybe I was stubborn. I was committed to doing what I believed to be the right thing.”

Maybe it’s more expensive, maybe it’s less convenient, but when we go out of our way to eat and drink the best food in Chicago restaurants, why not do the same at home?

Where to buy local:

Goddess & the Grocer 1646 N. Damen Ave.; (773-342-3200), 25 E. Delaware Pl.; (312-896-2600), 2222 N. Elston Ave.; (773-292-7100)

Green City Market

Green Grocer 1402 W. Grand Ave.; (312-624-9508)

J.P. Graziano's 901 W. Randolph St.; (312-666-4587)

Olivia’s Market 2014 W. Wabansia Ave.; (773-227-4220)

Plenty 2036 W. Division Ave.; (773-270-1509)

Publican Quality Meats 825 W. Fulton Mkt.; (312-445-8977)

Southport Grocery 3552 N. Southport Ave.; (773-665-0100)

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