ID: Molly Merrett, vegetarian cook, pedal person
Molly Merrett owns a vegetarian catering company and meal delivery service based in Northampton. She also plays guitar and fiddle in a local band called The Ephemeral Stringband, and is a member of Pedal People, a worker-owned, human-powered delivery and hauling service for the Northampton area. For as long as she can remember, she has loved cooking for herself and others, and became interested in cooking with local food when she worked on organic farms as a teenager. After running her own farm for several years, she decided to pursue her cooking passions more fully. “I love to cook and play music, and I’m pretty lucky that I get to spend my time doing these things.”
Full name: Molly Emma Merrett
People know you as: I’m know to some as Collard Carrot
Date and place of birth: June 25, 1981, Pittsfield
Town of residence: Florence
Job: Chef/owner at Beets & Barley Catering
Who lives under the same roof as you? My housemates Ben Winter and Claire Morenon, and their elderly toy poodle, Moby
Children: Not yet.
Education: I went to high school in Williamstown and studied sustainable agriculture at Hampshire College, graduating in 2005.
Pets: Just houseplants
Hobbies: Trying out new recipes, plant ID and foraging for wild foods, gardening, anything that involves being outside — hiking, biking, running, exploring new places
Book you’d recommend to a friend: Right now I am reading the graphic novel “Habibi” by Craig Thompson. It’s pretty amazing.
Favorite TV show: I really like the CNBC show “Restaurant Startup.” Its very interesting to a food entrepreneur like myself.
Five items you can’t live without: These are my top-five strange food obsessions: mate (it’s like green tea, but better), Larabars (amazing, delicious fruit and nut bars), Dulse seaweed (wild, harvested in Maine), raw milk cheddar cheese, rice crackers.
Last thing you purchased just for fun: A book about quilting
What’s at the top of your bucket list? Learning to pronounce French so I can sing Cajun songs with my band. I’d also really like to travel more.
Life-changing experience: I have been to several meditation retreats at the Insight Meditation Center in Barre. These retreats have certainly affected me in subtle but profound ways.
Strangest job you ever held: I have been a worker-owner with the Pedal People Cooperative since 2007 — I still work one day a week hauling trash and recycling by bicycle. I think people are used to us around here, but it’s a challenging thing to describe to anyone who doesn’t live in the area.
Your current Facebook status: The most recent menu for Beets & Barley’s weekly meal delivery service
A little-known fact about you: I don’t really know how to swim. I like being in the water but only if I can touch the bottom.
Dumbest thing you ever did: Tried to swim across the Connecticut river and almost drowned.
One trend you’d like to see return: People not being on cell phones 24-7
What really sets you off? People in cars who don’t pay attention to, or respect, bicyclists and pedestrians
Best advice you ever got: I really like the Rumi quote, “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” That’s pretty good advice in my opinion.
Favorite place to get a bite: Hattapon’s Thai Kitchen in Greenfield. The food is amazing — everything I have tried on the menu has been super-delicious and seems really fresh and healthy. And the people who own it are really sweet.
One thing you would change about yourself: That I didn’t want to change anything about myself
What gives you the creeps? I have an irrational fear of elevators, especially traveling in them alone.
People who knew you in high school thought you were: “Alternative” (it was the ’90s).
Whom do you most admire? Amy Goodman, the host of the daily news show “Democracy Now.” She seems completely tireless in her efforts to create a honest news source not driven by corporate interests.
Parting shot: Here’s another quote I like: “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” — Lao Tzu