Farmers and Purveyors
Family Dinner scours the region for the best New England has to offer: organic vegetables the week they are harvested; quality dairy, eggs, and meats; just-baked breads and grains; fresh, locally caught fish and seafood; and special ingredients from organic corn tortillas to local wildflower honey to exotic mushrooms to artisanal cheeses.
Each week, we select our ingredients in partnership with people who have dedicated their lives to mastering their craft. They are farmers, butchers, bakers, cheese makers, pasta producers, and spice savants.
But they are also our neighbors. What’s in our shares is from our communities—food from where you live to enrich how you live.
Here are just a few of our partners who will be sharing their best with you:
Brookford Farm provides Family Dinner with incredibly delicious, certified organic vegetables, pasture-raised meats, eggs, and dairy. These guys can do it all. We originally found Brookford through Pam Denholm at South Shore Organics. They came highly recommended and have delivered on all of their promises.
Carlson Orchards (Harvard, MA)
Carlson Orchards was founded in 1936 by Walter and Eleanor Carlson. In the late sixties, the farm specialized in fruits with apples being the main crop. The Carlsons are dedicated to growing the best tree fruits, and producing the best apple cider. It is a beautiful place to visit, grab some fruit and have cold cider on the deck.
Clark Farm is dedicated to producing certified organic fruits, vegetables, and micro-greens as well as raising goats, sheep, pasture pork, and laying hens. The land the farm sits on has been in agriculture production since the 1700s and couldn’t be more beautiful.
Feather Brook Farms was founded by Tad Largey and his family. Feather Brook supplies us with free-range, antibiotic-free chicken, eggs, pork, and beef. You'll also see his products popping up in menus around town. When we first tried Tad's chicken, we were blown away—it was the most delicious chicken we've ever tasted. Tad is wonderful, and he looks great in overalls, to boot.
It is a beautiful drive out to Hadley to visit these guys. They are 72 acre certified organic farm, including two acres of greenhouse space. They specialize in several varieties of heirloom tomatoes which you can enjoy right from their greenhouse, even in the dead of winter.
Heron Pond Farm is owned and operated by Greg Balog and Andre Cantelmo. Friends from college where they studied soil science, they have been a team for twenty years. Heron Pond is a four season farm that grows over 250 varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. We love visiting their farm store and picking up the best greens all year round.
This 160-acre farm has been family owned and operated since 1923. Steve and Sheryl Hurd raise all-natural beef, pork, and poultry. The animals are fed an all-natural diet with no added antibiotics or growth stimulants and spend their days in pasture.
You have never seen or tasted mushrooms like these. We recently asked Mycoterra for something exotic, something that couldn't be found in stores. They suggested Lion's Mane mushrooms and explained that the texture and taste was sweet and delicate—it might remind you of crab or lobster meat. After tasting them, we agreed, and our minds were blown. Julia, Mycoterra's founder and owner, set up shop in Westhampton and produces the most beautiful mushrooms you've ever seen.
Red’s Best was founded in 2006 by Jared Auerbach. They are a Boston-based seafood wholesaler which aggregates from small, community-based fishing boats. Their mission is to support the livelihoods of American fishermen while sustaining fisheries for harvest. They've had a lot of success doing it, too. We share this mission and are proud to buy our fish from the folks at Red's Best.
Owned and operated by Anna Hayward Cantelmo, Bell & Goose (loosely named after her two kids) produces handmade, small-batch, farmhouse cheese using high-quality milk from nearby Bodwell Family Farm. The Hunca Munca (a pasteurized baby Swiss) melts beautifully, goes great on salads with apples, and is terrific for snacking anytime.
Couët is a family cheesemaking company owned and operated by Marie-Laure Couët. Not only are they currently the only Massachusetts sheep milk cheesemaker, the Couët team creates small-batch, handmade cheeses with milk from family dairies from the Northeast.
Cheesemakers in business since 1989, Mozzarella House uses authentic cheese-making techniques for each of its all-natural small batches of cheese, all made from scratch with raw milk from local dairy farms. We’re big fans of the original mozzarella: super fresh with no additives in sight.
Bread and Pastry
Jennifer Park and Tucker Lewis run this magical bakery that produces high-quality pastries and breads (like focaccia, cookies, and we-can’t-get-enough pizza dough), all made with locally sourced, organic ingredients whenever possible.
When you walk into Iggy's bakery in Cambridge, you are hit with a wave of aromas that lift your spirit. There is simply nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread, and this bread is just incredible. Iggy's makes natural, European-style loaves for customers in the Boston area. They share our values and our love for delicious baked goods.
The folks at Union Square Donuts make their donuts fresh every day by hand with the finest ingredients they can find. Their donut holes occasionally make their way into our shares and we always need to order an extra dozen for ourselves. They’re dreamy.
VINAL is a New England bakery creating handmade baked goods that highlight local flavors and traditions. They are the makers of the single greatest English Muffin you will ever eat (and lots of other goodies too!).
If it’s possible to fall in love with a bean, the likelihood is that said bean was grown by Charley Baer at his farm in Southern Maine. His focus is on varietals of heritage beans that have been growing in New England since Colonial Days, but that you rarely can find in the market. Each bean is inspected by hand. That’s dedication.
Kyle, owner and head baker at Brewer’s crackers uses the spent grains from local breweries to produce delicious, sustainable crackers and flatbreads. We love the focus on eliminating waste and creating tasty snacks!
Claire at Curio specializes in sustainably and ethically sourced spices from around the world. She makes thoughtful spice mixes that are inspired by her travels and is always willing to offer recipe and cooking advice. The beautiful shop on Mass Ave. in Cambridge is worth a visit to restock your spice shelf and get inspired.
Vanessa and Casey White are two sisters making traditional Polish pierogi using their grandpa’s, or dziadziu's (Jaju's), recipes. Everything is handmade from scratch, from mashing potatoes to making and cutting the dough, with straightforward filling ingredients sourced locally.
Avery Perry of Law of Pasta not only makes gorgeous handmade pasta (we’re fond of the spinach gemelli ‘round these parts), but he also regularly teaches hands-on pasta classes at the Boston Public Market. His mission is to “transform simple ingredients into elegant artistry.”
Magic Bites (Arlington, MA)
Atilla and Elif Ozkefeli moved from their native Turkey to Arlington, MA and had the idea to start a bakery with the freshest, healthiest ingredients possible. The result is a wide variety of meze, or appetizers. Creamy hummus, warm cheese filled pide and a dozen other delights make their way into the Family Dinner shares, always to rave reviews.
McCrea’s Candies (Hyde Park, MA)
Jason McCrea, Chief Caramel Scientist (awesome title, right?), produces handcrafted, luxe caramel candies that start with slow-cooked butter and sugar; milk from the local dairy is slowly added as are real-food flavorings. The caramel is rolled by hand and sent through a restored early twentieth-century cutting and wrapping machine.
From their site: “Mi Tierra started as a dream of Jorge and Dora's to bring authentic Mexican food to Western Massachusetts. We are continuing that dream by making tortillas in the ancient 'nixtamalazation' process, no chemicals, no additives, just 100% corn in the way our forefathers intended. Mi Tierra Tortillas are made from 100% non-GMO, locally grown corn from the Connecticut Valley Region. Corn, water, and lime. Those are the only ingredients we use and the only ingredients they need!"
Q’s is a small family owned and operated nut company out of Somerville, MA. Their line of sweet and savory nuts are a great addition to any meal or nice to have as a snack on the run. When they are cooking you can smell the deliciousness for blocks.