Episode 280: Hilary Long and Clare Wilson

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In today’s rapidly evolving food landscape, consumers are increasingly interested in the provenance of their meals. They want to know where their food comes from and the story behind it. In response to this demand, there’s been a heartening trend of farmers and restaurants collaborating to promote sustainable, locally sourced cuisines and beverages. This unique partnership goes beyond just business transactions; it’s about cultivating connections that benefit both the food industry and the community as a whole. In this episode we will speak with Hilary Long and Clare Wilson and discuss how Sarah’s Homegrown Agua Frescas came to shelf at Jason’s Deli.

In this Episode:

  • Hilary Long and Clare Wilson discuss their experience in the food service industry
  • Clare discusses and provides information on Jason’s Deli 
  • Hilary shares information on Sarah’s Homegrown and the products available and talks about the Agua Fresca line
  • Hilary and Clare share what their favorite thing is about food service
  • Clare discusses food procurement and menu planning in restaurants
  • Hilary discusses product promotions in restaurants

 Notable Quotes:

“ Agua Frescas is what we really wanted to be a hybrid between a high calorie fruit juice and a flavored water. So we wanted to have that traditional Agua Fresca, which is water, fresh fruit, and a little bit of natural sugar. So we’re 60 calories a bottle, still keeping an eye on sugar and calories. And then we added a little bit of an Acerola cherry extract, which is really one of the only ways that you can give an all-natural vitamin C ingredient.” Hilary Long

“I think that was one of the reasons that you first wanted to sample it, was the way that we innovated, the way that our formulation is, clean ingredients, real fruit, and it was totally in line with everything that Jason’s Deli does on having great drinks to go with all of their excellent food. So the Sarah’s Line for us is something that we  plan to grow and we’re very excited about and we’re truly grateful that our first customer to really roll out nationally is Jason’s Deli.” Hilary Long

“My favorite thing about the industry is all of the relationships that we’re a part of and that everybody loves to eat. I mean, have you ever been around somebody who doesn’t really like to eat? I think that convening in the kitchen and convening around a table and discussing food and planning your next meal…It just brings everybody together as more of a family. And I think that the relationships in the industry, I mean, we work hard and we play hard. And I think that’s very evident in our industry.” Clare Wilson

“We like to keep things fresh for our customers and we like to offer variety to bring new customers in that may not have dined with us in a while. And so we basically change our menu four times a year. And we have a very robust testing program that my team coordinates. And so typically when you test something, you wanna test it how you launch it. So we tested Sarah’s Homegrown Agua Frescas in the summertime. And we had very successful tests, and therefore we wanted to launch them in the summertime. And the launch totally mimicked our test and they’re out there doing great. So typically we’re about nine to 12 months out on our menu planning.” Clare Wilson

“So if you were to taste the Agua Frescas with your eyes closed, it would taste like a real strawberry and a real peach. And that is that really fresh, the highest quality puree that you can find in the United States that you talked about before, Hillary. So a really great company, a family-owned company. And as a family-owned company ourselves, we really like to support other family-owned companies that are trying to do good things in the universe.” Clare Wilson

“Agua Frescas are hot and they’re trending right now. We have more international people in the United States than we have ever had and tastes are changing. And Agua Frescas have been trending for a couple of years and the bottle format really allowed us to sell a fresh delicious product in a portable form that our customers love and is very operationally friendly.” Clare Wilson

“This has just been such a lovely episode. My biggest takeaway as I listen to today’s conversation is just the beautiful collaboration that exists from the farm level right down to the restaurant. That farm to fork journey is a lot tighter than what I think most people realize and this episode certainly demonstrates that.” Lori Taylor


Website: Healthy Restaurant | Dine-In, To Go, Delivery | Jason’s Deli (jasonsdeli.com)

Website: Home – Sarah’s Homegrown Agua Frescas (drinksarahs.com)

Facebook: Facebook Jasonsdeli

Facebook: Facebook Sarahs Homegrown

Instagram: Jason’s Deli (@jasonsdeli) • Instagram photos and videos

Instagram: Sarah’s Homegrown (@sarahshomegrown) • Instagram photos and videos




About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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