When I heard about the two ladies who were opening up a farm-to-fork restaurant in our tiny town, I decided almost instantly that it would be the place for me. I had been cooking at the local watering hole, which was perfectly fine, but involved more burger flipping and deep frying than I would have liked. It was also just a job for me, not something my heart was really into. I wanted something more creative, more tied to the community, and more in line in with my own values in regards to sustainability, local economy and agriculture.
Enter Pam and Leslee. Both farmers themselves, they had run various projects in the past, including a pop-up farm-to-fork cafe. The next level was to build a full-time restaurant, using all of their ties in the local agriculture scene, and craft producers, to make a hub where the community could get together, enjoy it's own food, and support it's own producers. Needless to say, I signed up instantly.
They had already started renovating the 100 year old farm house, which overlooks the ferry dock, Seattle and Mt. Rainier (and is only two miles from our house!) into a restaurant, installing a commercial hood, a monster of an oven, and landscaping the back yard into an al fresco paradise. I showed up with two weeks to go before the soft opening and started making myself as useful as possible.
Four months in, it's been an amazing experience. We work together to make a new menu every week, changing things as the season dictates, or as the whim strikes us. Farmers show up in pick up trucks with fresh vegetables for us, my neighbor sells us goat and rabbit, the local brewery sends us kegs, even the liquor comes from our little peninsula! It's extremely gratifying work that brings with it a real sense of community. No giant sysco truck dropping off chilean tomatoes for us! Christy has even started running the front of house, and everyone has gotten to know little Eli, who comes to our meetings, and occasionally hangs out in a safe corner of the kitchen while I'm cooking. If you had asked me to describe my dream job before I knew about this place, I would have described it almost exactly.
We're doing a fundraiser right now through kickstarter. The place opened on a shoe string budget, and we're already outgrowing our current kitchen. We need more refrigeration, a commercial range, and hope to build a fully functioning bar before spring time. When our back patio opens back up, we expect to be hopping! We're already planing community events, farm dinners, outdoor movies and live music. We're building this place for the long run, and just need a little push right now to make things stable. Check it out, and consider helping. Or, just wish us luck! Thanks!