SOURCE: Founding Farmers

August 08, 2008 13:21 ET

Eco-Friendly Founding Farmers Restaurant Grows in DC

First LEED Gold-Designed, Green Restaurant to Open in the Nation's Capital September 2008

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - August 8, 2008) - According to the new 2009 Washington D.C./Baltimore Zagat Restaurants Survey guide, regional residents that dine out are clearly moving in a "greener" direction. Seventy percent of surveyors consider eating locally grown food important, while 62% will "pay more" for sustainably raised food. Ready to answer this growing hunger for more green living, new dining concept Founding Farmers will open in Washington, DC this September as an eco-friendly dining concept, with sustainable agriculture at the heart of the menu and a restaurant designed to meet Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) certification criteria and Green Restaurant Operational standards.

Developed by VSAG (Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group, in conjunction with a collective of more than 40,000 American Family Farmers, Founding Farmers ( will serve fresh Farm-to-Table American-inspired true food and drink during breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch and Sunday supper. The 8,500 square foot soaring space will accommodate approximately 250 seats, with a prominent location at 1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, in the recently completed IMF (International Monetary Fund) HQ2 building, just blocks from the White House.

"Founding Farmers is an exciting concept that is honestly derived from a great history of American farm culture and what it means to serve 'true food,'" describes VSAG Principal Dan Simons. "I'm thrilled by the Zagat Survey news on eating green, which only affirms what we have been working on for years. It's not about being trendy -- we're serving foods that help support the environment -- and we are bringing the green movement right to the table." VSAG will operate and manage the restaurant following the opening, monitoring Green practices at each turn.

Led by Chef Graham Duncan, the menus at Founding Farmers include all homemade traditional American classics inspired by the heartland made with sustainably farmed products and only in-season vegetables and fruits. Not 'kitschy' country cooking, the dishes include family farm favorites like fresh-baked biscuits, breads and pastries, omelettes, pancakes, and all the breakfast trimmings, big, hearty rustic farm sandwiches and soups, big, colorful green salads with just-picked vegetables, a variety of pot pies, prime cuts, pot roast, roasted chicken, and rich, delectable pies and desserts from the pastry bar, supplied by the in-house bakery.

On the beverage side, Founding Farmers has an innovative bar program featuring 'bar-chefing' of classic cocktails and bar treats, small batch brewery beers and family-distilled Bourbons, and a wine list that includes organic wines harvested through sustainable viticulture, and popular varietals from both domestic and international vineyards.

Founding Farmers is the first restaurant in the District to seek the LEED Gold certification rating as determined by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), and will also operate as a Green Certified Restaurant, with operational standards to reduce waste, recycle more, and practice earth-friendly food service.

As a Green Certified Restaurant, approved by the Green Restaurant Association, Founding Farmers will source locally and regionally whenever possible, and will follow strict guidelines for reducing energy use and waste, with management and staff learning the best earth-friendly practices such as water conservation and recycling. In the dining room, eco-friendly choices menus printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks, and house-filtered water that doesn't come in throwaway bottles. The restaurant has invested in the state-of-the-art Natura® water system to provide guests with fresh-filtered, purified, mineral-filled, chilled sparkling and still water served in glass carafes to greatly reduce fuel costs and polluting emissions without truck deliveries, and to reduce tons of plastic and glass waste.

"At Founding Farmers we are offering fabulous, great tasting products and great service, and are doing all we can to protect the environment. We truly believe that we have created a new model to demonstrate that some profit should not be taken when the environmental impact is too great," describes General Manager Ralph DeRose.

Washington, DC firm CORE architecture + design combined LEED requirements with innovative design with farm silo-shaped booth seating made of recycled steel, 'PaperStone' countertops in the restrooms, a natural color palette of earth tones in fabrics and finishes made with post-consumer content, reclaimed brick pavers and barn woods underfoot and for the long, communal farmhouse tables -- all areas that guests will 'touch.' Other LEED criteria design elements and energy-efficient moves include the use of day lighting to illuminate the restaurant, increased ventilation, green-sourced power and low-VOC emitting paints.

More information will be made available on the Founding Farmers web site,, in the coming weeks.

About VSAG

VSAG (Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group) is an industry-leading food service consulting and development firm serving restaurants and fresh-food markets, hotel and hospitality firms and retail concepts with a food angle. With offices in Washington, DC and Austin, TX, VSAG serves clients all over the US and internationally to provide full-service Concept Development, Restaurant Management Contracts, Menu Development, Hands-on Opening Support, and more. VSAG clients include Choice Hotels International, the Silver Diner, Firehook Bakery and Coffeehouse, Organic To Go, Chocolata Cocoa Bar and many others currently in development. For more information, visit

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