Local Hero Profile: Hearty Eats
The desire to provide people with healthy, affordable, plant-based local food has been central to the workings of Hearty Eats ever since Andrea Beaudoin opened her business in 2014. Hearty Eats takes seasonality a step further by committing to a fully local menu whose built-in flexibility allows for the incorporation of local products all year round. If it can’t be grown in the area, Andrea doesn’t serve it. “My favorite food is whatever is in season”, she says. “When it’s strawberry season I’m excited for strawberries because I haven’t had them all year.”
Philosophy on food:
Local food, Andrea says, is fresher, healthier, and tastes better. She also sees buying and providing locally sourced food as a communitybuilding endeavor, fostering a connection between farmers, her employees, and regulars. “The food speaks for itself,” she says. “People come back because it’s so good!” And they do keep returning, again and again. “Our regulars joke about practically being addicted,” she laughs.
The fried Brussels sprouts and veggie tempura!
Did you know?
Hearty Eats has its own small farm for staples and garnishes. Someday, Andrea hopes that her cooks will work part time in the restaurant, part time helping to grow their ingredients.
Hearty Eats supports Winter Moon Roots
Farmer: Michael Docter
Story: Originally from Kensington, Maryland, Michael’s love of growing food began early in a huge vegetable garden his family tended. That passion stayed with him into adulthood, and bolstered him through 16 years at the Food Bank Farm CSA, which grew 200,000 lbs of fresh produce for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts every season, in addition to running a CSA. In 2011, Michael founded Winter Moon Roots, where he grows winter vegetables and aims for as small a carbon footprint as possible with extensive use of solar panels and some vegetable deliveries by bicycle. “Watching a kid take a bite of one of our sweet turnips and enjoy it,” makes all the challenges inherent to farming worthwhile, and Michael also loves “selling to restaurants that understand good food and know what to do with it.” From Michael’s perspective, “Hearty Eats is one of the few restaurants with a complete commitment to buying quality local ingredients. They buy our roots all winter and they buy Mi Tierra Tortillas all year round. They understand what good food is and are a total delight to do business with … and we love eating their food!”