When Harrington Raceway & Casino began seeking out locally sourced foods several years ago, they made a discovery that surprised them: There are many more local purveyors than they had anticipated, says Hank Rosenberg, chief operating officer of hospitality. In November 2013 alone, Harrington spent $60,000 with local food and beverage vendors.
Fifer Orchards was a natural for fruits, but Rosenberg also discovered Evans Farms in Bridgeville, which now supplies the raceway and casino with an abundance of seasonal produce. Lewes Dairy is one of their biggest local vendors. T.A. Farms in Wyoming is a good source for turkeys (a big hit in November at the buffet) as well as steaks for the casino’s sports bar and its café. Rosenberg buys scrapple, ham and pork products from Haass’ Family Butcher Shop in Dover, and seafood from Big Fish Wholesale and Rehoboth Seafood in southern Delaware.
Most recently, Harrington began carrying Fordham and Dominion beers and has established a food-and-brews dinner pairing with the brewery.
“People think of us as the local casino, and we feel it’s important to support our local community. But we’re not buying from them just because they are local. The quality has to be up to our high standards, and it is,” Rosenberg says.
Harrington Raceway & Casino isn’t the only Kent County hospitality company that believes in the farm-to-table movement. Abbott’s Grill in Milford buys local produce, meats and fish, as do Cool Springs Fish Bar and Restaurant 55, both in Dover.
“Buying local is something I’ve been doing for 30 years,” says longtime Kent restaurateur Dennis Forbes, owner of Cool Springs and Restaurant 55. “Here in Kent County there are so many little farms, each one specializing in something different. It’s just a better, fresher product and you’re supporting your local people. It’s what I’ve always done and always will do.”