Local Hero Profile: Alice’s Kitchen at Honey Hill Homestead
Local Hero Profile by Krystal Bagnaschi, CISA Intern
Published in CISA’s February 2021 enewsletter
“Feeding people, feeding my community, is in every cell of my being, it’s who I am, it’s what I do.”
Alice Cozzolino, owner of Alice’s Kitchen at Honey Hill Homestead, has been a professional chef for over 38 years. She and her partner Amy Pulley have lived in Cummington for nearly 36 years, and their homestead, Honey Hill, is the culmination of a life-long love for growing food, feeding people, and caring for their land. “Nothing brings me greater joy than preparing fresh and delicious meals with food from the gardens Amy tends with expertise and love.”
Homesteading is a lifestyle for Alice and Amy, with the focus of growing as much as they can in an environmentally sustainable, regenerative way. At Honey Hill, Amy and Alice grow over 300 varieties of vegetables and herbs, and many types of fruit trees, berries, other small fruits, and nut trees. Amy also grows over 300 species of perennial pollinator plants to feed and offer shelter to the many pollinators experiencing devastating population declines.
“We feed our friends and neighbors in times of hardship and in times of celebration, and all the ordinary days and ways in-between.”
Alice does not just provide a food service. She provides a deep dedication to authenticity and intention, and foods that meet their high standards of environmental and social impact.
At Honey Hill Homestead, Alice’s Kitchen provides a narrowly focused, delicious, and wholesome menu of items. This menu changes weekly, though it routinely consists of 25 to 30 menu items, which include main dishes, sides, salads, soups, desserts, and breakfasts, and many miscellaneous items.
Alice’s dedication to authenticity and her mission of environmental stewardship extends past the homestead itself. Many ingredients she works with come from farmers and producers she has either spoken to or met herself. Thorough time and research goes into ensuring every product provided to her community is up to the standards of Alice herself, and Honey Hill Homestead.
Many of Alice’s favorite ingredients are sourced from her backyard, but the rest do not come from much further, such as Sawyer Farm, Kitchen Garden Farm, Queen’s Greens, Old Friends Farm, and of course, Marty’s Local. Alice does not simply source from these farms and retailers because they’re local, but because Alice truly believes in the owners, their missions, their practices, and their products. “People know that they can order food from our business and trust the integrity of the ingredients we’re using, and that takes so much pressure off of them.”
It is apparent that Alice’s heart and soul go into her kitchen. Her biggest challenge? “The interface between my own physical limitations and my desire to bring food into the world and into people’s lives that will make a difference to them and be kind to the earth.” Her greatest reward? The surprising degree to which her delicious, wholesome, nourishing food changes lives. “I didn’t foresee the impact it would have on people’s lives.” Alice’s Kitchen provides a relief, whether a full week’s worth of food, or just one meal, from the pressure of putting hot, healthy, nourishing meals on the table. Alice has watched her food change lives, from nourishing the body, to the mind, to the soul. And that is her life’s mission, to provide nourishing, wholesome, delicious food to her community with the least negative environmental impact. And Alice is beyond thrilled to be a part of the network of growers, producers, cooks, and chefs that is the Pioneer Valley local food movement.
Alice’s dedication to good food, her community, and the environment are unlike most. With a goal of bringing nourishing, wholesome, delicious food to the people in her community, it is apparent that Alice’s passion towards helping others runs deep. If you would like to learn more about Alice, Amy, Wing & A Prayer Nursery, or Alice’s Kitchen, you can visit their website!