Providing community garden space for place-based learning, public health, nutrition education, and community empowerment.
duo is a full-scale catering and events company specializing in custom, local, and seasonal menus for all occasions. You can find owners Ashley Transki and Brian Congdon at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market every Tuesday and Saturday stocking their very large cart with the highest quality ingredients the season has to offer. The relationships they have formed with farmers over the past 12+ years are more than just transactional – they are steeped in sustainability, food accessFood Access: A person’s ability to access food while considering many barriers such as geography, transportation, availability of healthy foods, and affordability., and waste reduction.
When tomatoes are in full swing and there are more than the farmer can possibly sell, they will trade duo this surplus for canned and/or preserved products. It’s a win-win closed loop food systemClosed Loop Food System: As opposed to a linear food system that follows consumption of food from field to plate to waste, a closed loop food system is a more sustainable model that follows food from field to plate to field with little or no waste. – the farmer reduces waste and gains a revenue stream that does not require additional labor and permitting while duo reduces their costs for prepared products and expands the local, seasonal ingredients they can offer year-round. duo takes it a step further and processes extra ingredients that might be leftover after a catering event into jams, sauces, marinades, and pickled vegetables that they either use for a future event or sell in their pantry.
In response to COVID-19, duoMORE was launched to provide food stability and access for local families. While there was much uncertainty surrounding the immediate future of duo as a catering and events company, duoMORE co-founder Mandy Transki noted that, “we still had access to fresh local ingredients and the ability to prepare healthy and delicious meals.” It wasn’t long before they were preparing meals and boxes of fresh produce in partnership with CALM, Storyteller Children’s Center, and other local organizations. “With the help of local businesses, farmers, donors, and volunteers, we delivered thousands of meals and CSA boxes, including specialty meals and food deliveries around the holidays,” Transki shared. “As our world opens up again and this pandemic (hopefully!) comes to a close, we know priorities will change and needs will shift, but we remain committed to serving our community and continuing to do more.”