Guest Writer: Sally Zalac
Entering through a Dutch door, the scent of freshly brewed espresso welcomed me to Poulsbo’s Farm Kitchen. This certified commercial kitchen enables many of our small producers an opportunity to explore their dreams of success. A large red barn, the farm’s hub, houses a kitchen and public areas, surrounded by lavender and pots of flowers. Visiting during the Winter season, I could easily envision the flowers and orchard in bloom as Spring arrives.
Current owner, Hollis Fay, closed her Bainbridge Bakers shop in 1995, and with the help of Ann Thatcher, began transforming this 1960’s farm into the Farm Kitchen of today. The original barn and butcher shop-turned-event-space became a business incubator, offering not only licensed cooking space for lease, but training and advice for new business owners. Hollis’ love of baking birthed the Farm Kitchen Bakery, whose pastries, cookies, and breads are not only offered to us through Kitsap Fresh, but also sold in many local coffee shops and grocery stores.
Among the Kitsap Fresh farmers and producers that use Farm Kitchen is Butler Green Farms of Bainbridge Island; they grow greens and flowers in Farm Kitchen’s leased fields. My family enjoys bread from Tolo Sourdough, baked in the industrial Farm Kitchen ovens. Clay & Coffee also uses the facility to package their Costa Rican coffee. Currently, the facility’s drainage system is being expanded, which will allow the Kitchen to be even more productive.
While the pandemic brought a temporary halt to large weddings, parties, and in-person classes, Farm Kitchen still performs its mission of nurturing small businesses. The old adage that ‘individual success is possible only through the help of others’ is evident in our local food network, of which Kitsap Fresh is a vital conduit. The orders we place through Kitsap Fresh enable the success of many other community businesses, creating a county-wide food system to be proud of.