Food for Thought

Grace Farms is (finally!) scheduled to reopen to the public this month after more than a year of closure due to the pandemic. With expansive spaces and one of the most beautiful pieces of landscape in our reach, Grace Farms has quickly become an essential community space for those of us who choose to gather, dine, work or play there.

While much of what guests will come back to will be the same as they remember, those who frequent the Grace Farms Café are in for a treat. The café will now offer take-home treats and gift boxes thanks to the dedicated Grace Farms Foods team led by cofounders Adam Thatcher and Sharon Prince.

“While on-site I saw firsthand the opportunity for people who loved the experience of coming and gathering at Grace Farms,” explains Thatcher, who was previously in the role of director of operations and sustainability at Grace Farms before branching off to start Grace Farms Foods. “People would come to us and ask if they can purchase bags of our coffee beans because they loved it that much.”

Choose to make your own bundle of goodies or purchase curated food bundles that include cookies, teas and coffees. All foods can be purchased online or on-site at Grace Farms in New Canaan.

After doing his research and learning how a nonprofit organization like Grace Farms can run something like a packaged food business, Thatcher and Prince were able to branch off in order to launch Grace Farms Foods last year. The idea, he says, was to create take-home foods so that people far and wide can take a piece of the Grace Farms experience with them. The result has been an online launch of curated bundles offering coffee, tea and cookies. Eventually, Thatcher says he plans to launch more items that remind people of the Grace Farms experience.

But, Thatcher stresses, this isn’t your typical food business. Thatcher sees the brand as an entirely new model of social entrepreneurship not only because 100 percent of all of the profits go directly to support the missions of the Grace Farms Foundation, but every single product they offer demonstrates all of the values that the organization represents. For example, all coffees are sourced from women led co-ops in Columbia, Indonesia and Ethiopia and ingredients are all organic and in biodegradable packaging. The chocolate chip cookies were even recalibrated by local chef and Grace Farms Foods founding board member Silvia Baldini who helped to gather ethically sourced ingredients and specialty sea salts to create a truly delicious cookie.

Grace Farms Foods cofounders Adam Thatcher and Sharon Prince in the Grace Farms gardens.

For those looking to purchase the products online, they’re available on the organization’s Amazon store or on gracefarmsfoods.com. Curated bundles start at $28 for one container of tea and two boxes of cookies, to $129 for the whole collection. Or you can even customize your own bundle. All products will also be available for purchase on-site.

“It has been a very exciting thing to be able to pioneer this new model of social entrepreneurship,” Thatcher says. “When we reopen Grace Farms, it’s going to be so great to see people go home with our products and a piece of our mission.”

Looking ahead the organization plans to launch more cookie varieties as well as a gluten-free option.

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