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September 27, 2017

Maine Food Insider: b.good unveils 'Food With Roots' campaign

Courtesy / b.good
Courtesy / b.good
b.good cofounder and CEO Anthony Ackil holds a photo of his Uncle Farris, whose home-cooked meals inspired the origins of the restaurant chain. The chain, which has franchises in Portland and South Portland, launched a "Food with Roots" marketing campaign last week.

Boston-based restaurant chain b.good, which has locations in Portland and South Portland, has been focusing on locally sourced food for a decade, but last week it launched a new campaign to be sure customers are aware of the connection.

The company's "Food with Roots" brand campaign will be front and center in its 50 North American locations to "spark conversation with its customers about the importance of clean food and social impact," the company announced in a news release.

"The rebranding was done to better describe who we are and what we do," company co-founder and CEO Anthony Ackil told Mainebiz this week. He said that not only means the company's commitment to locally sourced "fresh, clean" food and the heritage that sparked it, but also the cycle of farm-to-restaurant-and-back-to-community through its Family Foundation and charity partners.

The company, which started in 2003 in Boston, was inspired by the homemade meals Ackil's Uncle Farris served to him and others. In Maine, the Portland b.good, on Exchange Street, opened in 2013, and the South Portland one, at 200 Gorham Road, opened in 2015.

The two Maine franchises, owned by Bill Zolper, get their beef from Pineland Farms in New Gloucester; corn, zucchini and potatoes from Spring Farms in Wells; eggs from Pete and Gerry's in Monroe; and sandwich tomatoes from Backyard Farms in Madison. They also get bacon from North Country Smokehouse in Claremont, N.H., and yogurt from Green Mountain Creamery in Brattleboro, Vt.

"We have always been about serving our customers food they can feel great about putting into their bodies," Ackil said by email. "And we have been searching out local farms to partner with for close to 10 years."

"Whenever possible, we search out and source from local farms and suppliers that fit our ideals," he said.

In the news release promoting the new campaign, Ackil said that when the restaurant chain began, they didn't consider themselves "'pioneers' in the fast food service industry." The founders wanted to make and serve "good, clean and fresh food."

"However, as we evolved, we discovered ways to create positive impact in our customers' communities." He said that impact has a "deeper meaning" than "the farm-to-table trend portrayed in today's [quick-service restaurant] and fast-casual dining industry."

He said Food with Roots "celebrates everyone who contributes to having sustainable, local, fresh clean food find its way onto our customers' tables."

What's offered at the restaurants often reflects what's available locally and seasonally. "Menus vary, as do ingredients, depending on the season and what is in harvest," Ackil said by email.

The Foot with Roots campaign will include targeted digital advertising, point-of-sale branding, refreshed designs across stores and packaging and a public awareness campaign, according to a news release from the company. It will also include special offerings at its restaurants, and local community events.

The restaurants are highlighting some new dishes as part of the campaign rollout — for instance zucchini spaghetti with eggplant meatballs.

Aside from its 50 North American locations in New England and on the East Coast, the restaurant also has four restaurants in Ontario, one in Germany and three in Switzerland.

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