(Photo by Flickr user U.S. Department of Agriculture, used under a Creative Commons license)
Greenease was conceived by Vanessa Ferragut, a sustainable event planner who wound up with to the conviction that “local trumps organic” after many discussions with green chefs.
And yet, she realized that a lot of restaurant-goers are left in the dark regarding where their food comes from.
“When I go to Yelp and try to type in ‘local,'” she said, the results that come out are “great local dive bars.”
With Greenease, you can type in the neighborhood or cuisine you are looking for, and check out the food sourcing of restaurants in your range.
“You can actually see where the foods come from,” said Ferragut.
After creating a vegan/gluten-free/organic-friendly version of Yelp for D.C.-area restaurants in 2013, Greenease launched a mobile app (first on iOS) in D.C. in July and then expanded to New York in October.
An early backer of the project is Carlos Amaya, the owner of Coppi’s Organic Restaurant in Cleveland Park (formerly U Street).
Now, the app lists almost 600 restaurants in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and 300 in New York. The app has reached 1,000 downloads and sees about 40 to 70 users per day, Ferragut said.
To source its own green, the app allows restaurants to advertise monthly promotions for a charge. Caterers, home-delivery services and food trucks who want to be listed also have to pay a yearly fee.
Greenease will soon launch software allowing more season-conscious chefs to update their list of farm purveyors more frequently. The complementary tool will launch next week in alpha in 16 New York restaurants.