Meet our board of directors!
- Tom Shessler: President, Educational Consultant
- Jacqui Ignatova: Vice President, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Development at ASU
- Carol Coulter: Treasurer, Owner of Heritage Homestead Goat Dairy
- Laurel Elam: Director of Quality Assurance Administration and Standards at Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)
- Amanda Hege: Nutrition Educator at Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC & Adjunct Faculty at ASU
- Bruce Steinberg: Employment Services Consultant
- Theodoor Visser: Director, Global Malaria Team, Clinton Health Access Initiative
- Nikki Rezvani: Team Leader at Keller Williams High Country Realty
- Liz Whiteman: Operations Director at Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture
Meet our staff members!
- Renee Boughman: Founder/ Director of Community Engagement
- Elena Dalton: Executive Director
- Kim Short: Front of House Manager
- Pete Herbert: Executive Chef
- Ross Aglialoro: Production Coordinator
- Abby Huggins: Volunteer Coordinator
- Grayson Arthurs: Assistant Manager and Marketing Coordinator
F.A.R.M. Cafe in the news
F.A.R.M. Cafe awarded 2017 Boone Chamber of Commerce everGreen Award for Leadership in Sustainability
F.A.R.M. Cafe is pleased to receive the 2017 Boone Chamber of Commerce everGreen Award for Leadership in Sustainability. The everGreen Award sponsored by Mast General Store is presented to a business, organization, project, or person who has furthered the inclusion and integration of sustainable development principles. According to the Boone Chamber website, these efforts must exemplify a drive to preserve the environment while providing for broad means of economic prosperity.
Renee Boughman and Tommy Brown accepted the award on behalf of the F.A.R.M. Cafe. In her brief acceptance speech Renee expressed gratitude to the Boone and High Country Community for their generosity in supporting and participating in F.A.R.M. Cafe which has made it possible for the Cafe to Feed All Regardless of Means. It would not be possible without the support of this generous and wonderful community.
New York Times Feature
New York Times article - 36 Hours in Boone, N.C. (and Environs)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is F.A.R.M. Cafe?
F.A.R.M. Cafe, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, pay-what-you-can community cafe that operates primarily with volunteers. We prepare high-quality, delicious meals produced from local sources whenever possible and served in a restaurant where everybody eats, regardless of means.
How is F.A.R.M. Cafe different from other restaurants?
Our goal is not only to serve "real good food", but also to help relieve hunger in the local area while working to strengthen our community. Patrons help their neighbors by paying more than the suggested donation or by volunteering alongside other community members.
How much are customers asked to donate for their meal?
Suggested donation amounts are based on plate size. While our menu changes daily, the suggested prices estimate average food costs per plate. If you are financially able, we encourage you to pay that amount or a little more. If you are unable to pay the suggested donation amount, you can pay what you are able to instead.
What if a customer cannot donate?
You can volunteer an hour of your time in exchange for a meal. We will assess how we can best use your help, then assign a task. There are jobs for everyone - washing dishes, food prep, cleaning, serving food and more!
Will a customer be turned away if they cannot donate or volunteer for their meal?
Although we do encourage each person to contribute for their meal in some way (whether by making a financial contribution or by volunteering), we do not turn anyone away who comes to us for food. We invite everyone to participate however they are able in the F.A.R.M. Cafe community.
How are the cafe operations funded?
Direct donations of dining patrons make up most of our operational income. To make up the difference, we need additional donations raised through fundraising campaigns and events. Additionally, we receive support from local business sponsorships, corporate and private contributions, and select grants.
Where does the food come from?
F.A.R.M. Cafe strives to include fresh, local products as much as possible. While we receive some donated produce and desserts, we purchase 95% of the food served in the cafe! This includes produce from local farmers and items from local distributors and regional food service purveyors.
Does F.A.R.M. Cafe purchase produce?
While we are very fortunate to receive produce and other food donations from local businesses, gardens, and farms within our community, F.A.R.M. Cafe does purchase the majority of the produce we use in the restaurant.
What kind of food is served?
While our menu changes daily, you can always expect to be served a nutritious and delicious meal including your choice of soup, entree, two sides, salad, dessert, and drink. We serve entrees with meat as well as vegetarian and/or vegan options. F.A.R.M. Cafe makes an effort to have something for all dietary needs -- look for the gluten free, dairy free, and other dietary indicators on our menu!