This summer we’re traveling around the United States to see what's driving the next generation of American innovation. We’ll be bringing you stories from Kansas City, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans that explore how communities and companies are changing in our own backyards. This is the road less traveled. This is Verge Detours. Check back for new dispatches each Wednesday.


There’s never been a better time to dine out, especially if you’re a picky eater. Besides Google, there’s no shortage of websites and apps to help a person find the best restaurants based on location, price, reviews, cuisine, and basically any other consideration imaginable. But now there’s an app for the people who are getting the food — or at least the meat — to the table.

Founded in Kansas City, Missouri, AgLocal debuted in the New York City area earlier this year. It aims to give small farmers and restaurants a better way to buy and sell meat, providing them with a streamlined online marketplace: think eBay for farm-raised beef, pork, and poultry. “All of our pork racks are coming from them,” says Kevin Lasko, executive chef at Manhattan’s acclaimed restaurant Park Avenue: Summer. Lasko is one of AgLocal’s earliest and happiest customers, having signed up with the app shortly after its launch in March. “I definitely think that’s the future, because everyone wants to eat local, and everyone wants to eat organic or flavorful foods,” he tells The Verge.

What attracts Lasko and the nearly 80 other restaurants in the tri-state area that now use AgLocal is the promise of something they can’t get right now through their current supply chains. The service provides them with meat delivered directly from small farms, where it was raised in a responsible manner — that is, free of cruelty, hormones, and antibiotics — in high enough quantities and on a regular schedule.