We recently caught up with Amy Cooke, co-owner at Summer Thyme’s Deli & Bakery and business sponsor of Sierra Harvest.
For those who haven’t been yet, tell us about Summer Thyme’s.
We are a restaurant where everyone can come and eat and have wonderful food! Whether you are following a special diet, or want to eat local, we always have a variety of options available. We offer breakfast and lunch seven days a week, making everything in-house from local and organic resources whenever possible. We serve lots of seasonal specials, along with our standard favorites on the menu.
We also do a lot of catering in the community – from office lunches to weddings – as well as making our space available in the evenings for private parties. We also do a lot of custom menu creation, including gluten free, paleo, vegan and raw, for different events.
How did you get started in the business?
My husband, Chamba, and I were educators for 20 years, most recently at the Woolman School, but we always had the dream of owning a restaurant. We bought Summer Thyme’s in 2008 from Jeromy and Sara Laurin, and we were excited to jump on board with the beautiful business they had created.
What inspires you to do the work you are doing?
It’s community. That’s what it all boils down to. Food is a perfect way to connect us, because we all have to eat, and if we choose wisely it, it has a positive impact in so many webs of our lives. Most of us love to eat wonderful food, and to have that connect with famers, community and kids – especially through Sierra Harvest’s work – it is aligned perfectly with what we want to be doing.
What makes you most proud about your work?
Seeing how many more people are aware that what they choose to eat really does make a true difference! In the eight years we have owned Summer Thyme’s, we have seen a huge change – so many more people understand that growing and eating local food is important, and that is really gratifying. We see our customers are more willing to try local seasonal foods outside of the mainstream American diet – like parsnips or celery root – and that is really fun. More people understand that you can eat better than you have ever eaten in your life with local food, and it tastes great.
Why is it important for you to support Sierra Harvest’s work?
I think its amazing to have a partnership with an organization like Sierra Harvest because they are so aligned in our hearts with what we want to see in our community. We are going to see a lot more changes coming, as the kids you are doing programs with get older and are really conscious about healthy food and where it comes from. It will be fun to see how that all is going to unfold in our community. It just feels really natural to partner with Sierra Harvest and we love you guys!
Watch Amy as a Guest Chef in Sierra Harvest’s Tasting Week!