Local Hero Profile: The Alvah Stone
Howard Wein, owner of the Alvah Stone, has always had an interest in food. He says that his intuitive sense of food and desire to rethink the entire food sytem are the driving forces behind The Alvah Stone. The Alvah Stone features modern and creative American cuisine that sources ingredients from local farms including Red Fire Farm, Queens Greens, The Kitchen Garden and Mapleline Farm. Howard has stayed involved at his alma mater, Hampshire College, and this summer opened up the new Kern Cafe on campus, which has the same goal: to support as many local farms as possible.
What inspires you to source locally?
Howard wants to help bridge the gaps between local farms and their wholesale customers (like restaurants and schools) — he believes both share a desire to strengthen each other and the community. “It takes effort to buy local,” he says, “but it’s really not that complicated.”
What’s your favorite part of your job?
“I love building strong teams and getting everyone moving in the same direction around a common vision. It’s like building a family.”
Goals for the future:
Howard hopes that both the Alvah Stone and the new Kern Cafe continue to develop as positive influences on local agriculture and the community.
Did you know?
The Alvah Stone is named after the original proprietor of the Bookmill building which used to be called “Stone’s Gristmill.”
The Alvah Stone supports Queen’s Greens Farm
Farmer: Matthew Biskup and Danya Teitelbaum
Story: Queen’s Greens is owned and operated by Matt Biskup and Danya Teitelbaum. They grow certified organic produce from seed in their fields and greenhouses on 30 acres of land in Amherst and Sunderland. They sell to many Pioneer Valley restaurants and caterers as well as retailers such as River Valley Market and Atkins Farm store. Queen’s Greens is known for their extremely high quality produce.