Next to our beautiful beaches, Rhode Island is best-known nationally for our left-leaning congressional delegation and the amazing food we have here.
And all week long, Congressman Jim Langevin is bringing these two reputation-boosting attributes together as he visits some of the most innovative, entrepreneurial, economy-boosting and just plain delicious businesses in the Ocean State.
Langevin will visit one of the largest distributors of organic produce in the nation as well as one of the biggest distributors of frozen fish. He sample world-renowned cured meats and shop at an upstart local grocery chain that’s causing its bigger national competitors to rethink their business models. He’ll eat at some of the best restaurants in New England and visit some of the the hippest markets and most beautiful farms found anywhere.
All without ever leaving Rhode Island.
He kicked off his week-long food tour yesterday at Daniele, Inc in Northern Rhode Island. The average Rhode Islander may not know this Burrillville-based business, but purveyors of the finest prosciutto worldwide know the brand well (as should anyone who enjoys a high-quality, authentic Italian Grinder).
And Daniele owner Davide Dukcevich, who was Langevin’s guest at the State of the Union this year, may have given the congressman an idea that could prove to be the key to fixing Rhode Island’s economy.
Dukcevich, Langevin said, approached him, “about the possibility of branding Rhode Island as the ‘Silicon Valley of food.'”
“That concept resonated with me,” Langevin continued, “and I believe that the business savvy, enthusiasm and determination of individuals like Davide can make that idea a reality.”
Betasprings founder Allan Tear agreed.
“Rhode Island has all the right ingredients to be the center of culinary innovation in the U.S.,” he said. “New food and beverage startups are joining our existing packaged food businesses in bringing their products to New England, the US, and the world. These food innovators create the kind of jobs that matter for Rhode Island.”
You can follow Langevin’s food tour of Rhode Island on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag: #RIFoodWeek.
Or you can let us follow it for you on this Storify we’ll update throughout the week: