Healthy Harvest

Fresh food is just one ingredient at Founding Farmers.

At Founding Farmers restaurants, the idea of fresh farm-to-table is more than just a slogan, it’s a philosophy. “The recipe we’ve followed to build our company includes a large portion of farmer DNA combined with an oversized portion of conscious capitalism,” says co-owner Dan Simons to describe his company’s success.

Simons launched Founding Farmers with restaurateur Michael Vucurevich, in partnership with Mark Watne, farmer and president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, and 47,000 American family farmers who majority own the company’s five restaurants (two in Tysons and Reston, one in Washington, D.C., and two more in Pennsylvania and Maryland).

Founding Farmers menus are stacked with fresh and hearty items like chicken apple sausage, spicy fried chicken, sliced molasses, glazed ham, and glazed cedar plank salmon. All ingredients are sourced locally. The restaurants, which have earned LEED and Green Restaurant Association certifications, also have active recycling and composting programs that divert about 90 percent of their waste from landfills.

A company-run nonprofit—Our Last Straw—supports the restaurants’ neighborhoods and communities, providing hands-on training, mentorship, and opportunities for continued growth. As a farmer-owned company, Founding Farmers aims to ensure American family farmers earn a larger share of the food dollar.

“We see our local community as a stakeholder in each restaurant,” Simons says. “We create jobs, we spread joy, we donate, we compost. We look at the people and elements of our community that we affect, and figure out how we can do right by them.” WeAreFoundingFarmers.com

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