Living Deliciously, Together

Sharing the Fruits of Perseverance and Community

Marsha Habib and crew in their fields in Hollister. Photo by Brenton Gieser Photography

Strawberries. Asparagus. Rhubarb. English peas. Spring brings with it so many of our favorite flavors. And for farmers, it can be a moment of sweet reward for their hard work, risks, and resilience.

Like many Bay Area entrepreneurs, local farmers live on the tightrope of building and growing their businesses. They’re driven by their passion – to tend the soil, nurture the seeds, and feed their community in a sustainable way. But they don’t always have access to the needed resources. That’s where Kitchen Table Advisors (KTA) comes in. This Northern California-based nonprofit, and longtime Bi-Rite community partner, works one-on-one with local farmers and ranchers to support them in all aspects of their business, from access to new markets, land, and capital, to thought partnership and skill-building.

“Human beings take part in every step of getting food to our plates, but they’re often invisible. Helping farmers feel ‘seen’ is a huge part of what our work is about,” says Pei-Yee Woo, Kitchen Table Advisors’ Associate Director. “Feeding people is one of the strongest, most intimate acts of community, and our farmers and ranchers are doing it on an incredible regional scale. How can we show our gratitude? What can we do for them? What does it mean for our farmers to be taken care of in return?”

We believe the answer is making connections. Between the deliciousness on your plate and the passion of the producers. Between the choices in your cart and the impact those choices can have on your community. The decisions we make as businesses and as individuals – even a small decision like where to buy strawberries – can transform people’s lives.

Says Daniella Sawaya, KTA’s Community Engagement Manager, “A recent graduate of our program was able to purchase a home in the rural town where she grew up. That was a huge milestone for her and her wife. We all want to be able to live in the best way possible. The people who grow our food deserve the same opportunities.”

Together, we can help everyone in our community live deliciously, including the entrepreneurs who make that flavor possible. We cherish our longstanding relationship with Kitchen Table Advisors, and with all the local farmers and ranchers who fill our shelves with the sweet rewards of the season year after year. Here’s to you, Janet Nagamine of Hikari Farms, Javier Zamora of JSM Organics, Emma Torbert, Katie Fyhrie and Kaitlin Oki of The Cloverleaf Farm, Ryan Casey of Blue House Farm, Marsha Habib and Modesto Cruz of Oya Organics, Dede Boies of Root Down Farm, Joanna Letz of Bluma Farm, and so many more.

 

By Sarah Holt, dir. of marketing + community at Bi-Rite Family of Businesses; originally printed in Edible San Francisco Spring 2019

Javier Zamora of JSM Organics in his Aromas fields. Photo by Lily Sheridan

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