Since 2004, Farm Fresh Rhode Island has been working tirelessly on growing and strengthening our local food system. Over the years, we have evolved to better serve the community — from our simple start as a Brown University student project to a nationally recognized nonprofit with a dedicated team of over 50 full- and part-time/seasonal employees. See some highlights of our work through the years.
Farm Fresh RI Puts Down Roots in the Valley Neighborhood
Harvest Kitchen Café & Corner Store Opens
Harvest Kitchen Gets Brand New Home
Farm Fresh RI Facilitates Statewide Nutrition Incentives
Farm Fresh RI Adopts the “50 by 60” Food Vision
Farm Fresh RI Offices Move and Expand
The Farm Fresh RI Packhouse Achieves GHP Certification
Farm Fresh RI Grows and Evolves
The Farm Fresh RI Packhouse Doubles in Capacity
Market Mobile Achieves New Milestones
Harvest Kitchen Moves to its First Pawtucket Home
Market Mobile Wholesale Distribution Flourishes
Farm Fresh RI Offers Farm to School Programming
Veggie Box Brings Fresh & Local to RI Eaters
Market Mobile Begins Transforming Food Distribution
Market Mobile finds a temporary home at the Canaan & Co warehouse before landing in a more permanent space in the Hope Artiste Village, near our offices, where it now has its own dedicated cold, freezer, and dry storage. As startup grants that funded the first months of Market Mobile end, the sales percentage retained to cover program costs increases from 10 to 15 percent to closer match true operational costs.
Harvest Kitchen Begins Training Local Youth
Farm Fresh RI Introduces the Bonus Bucks Incentive Program
Wintertime Farmers Market Moves to Pawtucket
Fresh Bucks Are Born
To address this, Farm Fresh RI creates the Fresh Bucks token system. With two types of tokens designed by a RISD student and produced in the US, and one centralized card terminal at the Market Manager's table, vendors become able to accept currency from SNAP/EBT shoppers and credit card customers alike!
The Wintertime Farmers Market Comes to Life
Around this time, Louella Hill returns to Rhode Island and works with Providence Specialty Products on developing an artisanal cheese project. Together they launch Narragansett Creamery, one of the vendors at the first wintertime market along with other early Farm Fresh RI supporters: Hill Orchards, Simmons Farm, Matunuck Oyster Farm, Earth Essence Herbals, Wishing Stone Farm, Jack’s Snacks, and Whispering Elms Farm.
Farm Fresh RI Offers Nutrition Education at Farmers Markets
Farm Fresh RI Becomes a 501c3
Having realized her vision, Louella turns her sights to new opportunities (like studying cheesemaking!). Upon her leaving Rhode Island, Noah Fulmer moves into the role of Executive Director, with Sheri Griffin coordinating farmers markets in downtown Providence, Hope Street, Brown University, Armory Park, Woonsocket, and Central Falls.
The Local Food Guide is Born
Farm Fresh Rhode Island Takes Root
The initiative makes an impressive impact, sending students out to help local farmers and increasing locally sourced foods served by Brown Dining Services. Thanks to funding from the Rhode Island Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, Louella is able to continue her work after graduating from Brown — kicking off what is to become the popular “Monday Market” local foods market in downtown Providence's Kennedy Plaza.