Since opening in 2008, the popular fast-casual Denver restaurant Tocabe has helped elevate Native American food culture and made Native grown and produced foods more widely available, all the while strengthening Indigenous food supply chains in the U.S.
In order to bring Native ingredients and recipes to more people and to better support producers during the pandemic, Tocabe co-owners Matt Chandra and Ben Jacobs have expanded operations to the Tocabe Indigenous Marketplace.
The virtual pantry offers staples and ingredients from Native and Indigenous producers, farmers, ranchers and suppliers throughout the contiguous United States. The site will launch with some 40 products from 9 producers, including:
Fred DuBray (Cheyenne River Lakota bison producer) and Osage Nation Bison Processing: bison steaks, bison ribs
Bow & Arrow: Indian corn, blue corn
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe: huckleberries
Navajo Pride Foods: Navajo blue cornmeal, pinto beans, juniper ash
Ramona Farms: tepary beans, wheat berries
Red Lake Nation: wild rice
Seka Hills: Olive Oil and Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar, honey
Ziibimijwang Farm: maple products including maple sugar
Over the course of 2021, Tocabe will expand product availability and featured suppliers, and will eventually offer exclusive ready to eat frozen meals. Recipes and information about each product will share stories of the ingredients’ origins and the cultural heritage and traditional knowledge of those who are producing and growing it.