To this day I get asked almost weekly if I grew up on a farm or worked as a chef. I chuckle and say no. In fact, I never even washed dishes in a restaurant. I grew up in a small steel town in northern West Virginia, worked at a gas station and a model train store, and played roller hockey in my spare time. I first came to Cleveland in 2004 as a freshman at Case Western Reserve University. There, I studied Business Management and Political Science. I was expecting to go to law school. Then in the summer of 2007 I attended the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium. Myself and three other students – not even friends at that point – were challenged to come up with a business idea that was viable for Northeast Ohio. We did and upon graduation I stuck with the business, through its many challenges and changes. So to sum it up, all I know about farming, cooking, and food distribution is purely from hands-on experience. I work daily with the most passionate people I know – small farmers, talented chefs, and retail customers who care. I learn something from all of them, and find answers to my questions as they pop up.
Lauren has lived in Cleveland her entire life but it wasn’t until she studied at Baldwin Wallace University that she was first introduced to environmental sustainability. She learned about Fresh Fork Market when a friend saw them at Earth Day. She emailed Trevor and was invited to help out at Farm Fair in 2013. She was so intrigued with the business, that she asked if there was room for her in the summer season. From there her passion for the local food movement began to grow. Eating locally is not only healthier, but allows us to support local farmers and keep money and jobs in NE Ohio.
The every day work of this job is a ton of fun. No two days are ever the same! Learning about products that are being made locally and local farmers is a part of her job that she's very fortunate to have. She also loves seeing how excited our customers get when they know there’s something in their bag they’ve never tried. Being a vegetarian, she gets just as excited as they do when there’s a new product. The excitement and passion from everyone she works with is infectious and continues to grow each week. She can’t wait to see what this new season brings!
Parker Bosley was the founder and co-owner of Parker’s New American Bistro in Cleveland before retiring at the end of 2006. He worked as a chef and local foods advocate for more than 20 years. He now works full time with small scale farms throughout Ohio. He is a consultant to people interested in sustainable food and farming. As a chef and restaurant owner he focused on local, seasonal food. After more than 20 years in the restaurant business he was able to boast of nearly 100% local, seasonal products being used in his establishment. Several of the young chefs who trained under his direction are now following his example. Bosley’s work and advocacy have been featured in The New York Times, Gourmet Magazine and the Wall Street Journal as well as numerous agriculture publications. For eight years Bosley worked for North Union Farmers Market, a non-profit organization that manages producer-only market sites in the Greater Cleveland area. He served as a farmer recruiter and trainer. He organized, opened and managed the farmers’ market at Crocker Park for three years. Bosley was graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College. He lived and worked in France during several periods of time from 1965-1983. It was the influence of French regional cooking based on local ingredients that inspired him to promote sustainable food and farming in the U. S. He grew up on a dairy farm in Trumbull County and is now very comfortably returning to his work in rural Ohio. His work has made him one of the most important advocates of local food and local agriculture is theMidwest. He believes that local, small scale farming can flourish if farmers focus on the growing consumer base that is seeking good, safe, nutrient dense foods which are available only from real farms. He believes that grass production has become as important to the consumer as organic production once was. He suggests that grass production will become the leader in local foods. He is an advocate of specialty breeds and advocates for the revival of old style pure bred stock. He is a member of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Recently, he was appointed as program director of Innovative Farmers of Ohio. He organized and implemented ``Ohio: Our Farms Our Food.`` This program addresses issues of consumer education and training of farmers for specialty production and direct marketing. As the interest in local seasonal food continues to increase Bosley believes that he can lead cooks back to the kitchen where great meals and great nutrition can send our food dollars back to Ohio farms while bring family and friends to the family dinner table where they will be nourished by healthy food, good conversations and a really sense of belonging to America’s food revolution.
Cat McAllester is a Cleveland native, and recently moved back to the area after more than a decade away. Most recently she lived in Brooklyn, NY and was working as an actor. While doing character research for a part she was playing (as a farmer in the early 1900s), she started learning about the lives of contemporary farmers and the current state of food and its distribution in our country. She started working at her local Food Co-op, and volunteering with various programs at GrowNY--, a sustainability resource for New Yorkers committed to bringing farmers and buyers closer together. Eventually, she decided to really shift gears, and she moved back to Cleveland with her husband and began work with Fresh Fork Market in 2014. She is passionate about the local food movement, and loves helping people learn about healthy eating and wellness. She manages our website, writes the weekly newsletter and the recipes, and assists Parker with many of our cooking classes. She also teaches yoga at Yoga Roots in Cleveland Heights, and spends as much time in her garden as she can. Expecting a little forker to join the family in June, 2016!
Kevin worked for Fresh Fork Market in 2009, part time. He tried working another full time job, but the pull of local foods and working with farmers was just too great. He returned to Fresh Fork Market full time in 2013 and feel as though he has “come back home.”
He was born in Mattoon, Illinois and has lived in numerous cities, including Kansas City and Little Rock, but truly considers Cleveland his home. He enjoys the endless variety of this job. Most of all, every day is a learning adventure. He loves learning about how animals are raised, the lives of farmers, how produce is cultivated, and how food affects our health. Working for Fresh Fork Market makes him feel good about his job, knowing that we are helping families eat better and keeping small farmers in business.
In 2011, Mike joined Fresh Fork Market as a customer. This was his first introduction to the local food movement. As a subscriber, he began trying new foods and learning to cook with them in different ways. It became a lifestyle change and he began eating locally and seasonally. His background includes years of working for his family’s local pizza joint, followed by delivery driving. He loves driving the big trucks, and when a job opportunity became available to drive a truck for Fresh Fork Market, he didn’t hesitate-and has never looked back.
He now gets to spend his days traveling all over Northeast Ohio picking up our products. He loves meeting all our local farmers and building relationships with them. There is a special magic in getting to see for himself where our food comes from. Being born and raised in the Cleveland area he was not aware how much Ohio has to offer year-round. It makes him feel great to provide others with these local resources. Each season he looks forward to seeing our regular customers along with new faces.
Cole is a Cleveland native who first worked for Fresh Fork Market in the summer of 2010 while he was on summer break. He was studying environmental sustainability and local food at American University in DC. He loved working for Fresh Fork so much that he came back to work each summer in college.
When he graduated, he headed out to Reno, Nevada for a farmer apprenticeship through AmeriCorps. He and a handful of AmeriCorps members started a two-acre farm from the ground up (literally!).
Cole has since returned to Cleveland and is excited to share his enthusiasm for the local food movement with the Fresh Fork community once again.