A completely self-sustaining restaurant? Yes, it’s possible. Epiphany Farms, in central Illinois, is changing the way the restaurant system works. Created by a group of individuals with experience in high-end dining, Epiphany Farms seeks to serve the best meals in the world, all from a sustainable and local source – their own farm.
Restaurants typically ship in supplies from around the world. This is hardly sustainable. To address this problem Epiphany Farms has combined the farm and restaurant into one interdependent entity. Over the past two years, the farm has been building up production, while selling products to farmer’s markets and CSAs. Today they are ready to completely support the restaurant. With 12 acres of pasture and 5 acres of gardens, there are animals for meat, bees for honey and over 500 varieties of vegetables.
This model has many advantages. The company cuts their carbon footprint, minimizes waste with onsite composting and utilizes sustainable farming practices. They can be sure that the restaurant’s ingredients come from a reliable, responsible source. By cutting out the middleman, Epiphany Farms also decreases their financial costs, while increasing efficiency. After experiencing this new model, President Ken Myszka states, “I will never purchase food from somewhere else now.” He has become connected to the land and finds inspiration for his menus, all while contributing to a more sustainable, smarter system.
Hoping to distinguish Epiphany Farms from the typical company, Myszka sought B Corp certification. He believes we need both “good” and profitable companies for a sustainable future. The B Corp community is aligned with this belief. “I am excited to create a family of companies that believe in a better way,” he says.
In the coming months, Epiphany Farms will be opening their first restaurant, housed in a historical building from 1903. Meals will be completely sourced from the farm, creating a true sense of place. After that, they hope to expand to Chicago and turn the farm into an educational institution for farmers and chefs alike. Their goal is to provide education about food production to help people make better purchasing decisions.
By acting as the model, Epiphany Farms is helping pave the way for a better food system. Want to learn more? Better Know Epiphany Farms.
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Photo credit: Epiphany Farms