On this lovely Sunday morning, I had registered for a tour at Three Stone Hearth. I originally heard about it in the documentary Edible City and had been wanting to go there for some time. When I arrived, I was greeted by the most delectable scent: a combination of yeastiness and probably some roasted meat. The 3 tenants they follow are earth, health and heart; all intertwine in their business model and in how they source and prepare their food.
- earth: being as sustainable as possible. food is stored and sold in reusable glass that customers return. using responsibly sourced meats and produce. taking care not to create waste, and to dispose of what is created in a responsible manner. using all parts of the vegetable and animal.
- health: nutrient dense foods. traditional processing techniques. fermentation. bone broths.
- heart: 5 co-owner/founders. creating community. having classes and workshops open to the public.
I was a little start struck throughout the tour because Jessica Prentice, one of the founders who is featured in Edible City, lead the tour. It began with a “this is what we do” and ended with a walk through of the facility. They were roasting chickens and making broths. Canning pickled beets and unloading produce. The Kombucha brewing operation is intense, with huge vats of it fermenting oh-so-peacefully. Giant SCOBYs were floating on top of the different colored liquids. While it was all good and great, their products are out of reach for a large range of the population. It caters to those who can afford it. While the foods may be nutrient dense and you are getting more nutrients per dollar, for someone without many dollars it might not be the most filling thing to eat. That is nutrient per dollar=great deal, but overall amount of food per dollar=not so satisfying. I think this model could be used to create jobs and a sustainable food processing and distribution facility in areas that are dubbed “food deserts”. It would be such a great place to work, me thinks, especially as this is the only place with a business model like they have. What was also really interesting is that in order to start, they took out loans not from banks, but from community members instead. And they are currently working on a way to not use credit cards in their ordering system–its challenging. If they are hiring after summer, I want a job there.