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The Farmer and the Dell

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BRINGING THE FARM STAND TO THE OFFICE

Blog Post May 2013
photo by Cameron Colcolough

The lunch hour is no longer a lunch hour. Committing to a full hour in today’s rapidly paced American society is not only passé it’s something that is often looked down on. How can you be a valuable member of a professional team if you are not working every minute of your 9-5 day (which is becoming more and more like an 8-7 day?) And lunch is hardly a civilized affair. It’s more like wolfing down contents of something or other that may or may not have your name on it from the community fridge. It’s often a meal that bears no resemblance to healthy, never mind balanced or nutritious.

Please excuse the aggressive generalization. Many of us probably eat healthful lunches that keep us satisfied until dinner, or at least until afternoon snack time. But the unfortunate truth is that so many do not. With work and societal pressures dictating more time behind the computer screen a full lunch hour has become obsolete. John Moye is on a mission to change that. Nearly six months ago, he popped up his first mobile lunch site, The Farm Stand. It sits squarely in the communal space at South Carolina Credit Federal Union every weekday and caters to nearly 200 employees in two buildings.

Moye’s goal is simple: make healthy living accessible in the work place. He believes his kiosks (he has four out at the moment) “create a feeling that encourages collegiality. We invest in the lives of the people that work in the building.” Lunch no longer need be a dire and solitary affair. The Farm Stand brings people out into a shared space and allows them opportunities to socialize and mingle, experiences that have slowly dwindled from the work place in favor of meeting deadlines earlier and entering in more TPS reports. “We don’t serve chef-inspired meals, just fresh, simple, good food,” Moye says. On the menu you’ll find made-to-order salads and wraps that have been assembled that morning. Additionally, soups and small side salads can be purchased, along with a cookie to complete the meal.

As a budget-conscious individual, my only concern was the price. Often vendors such as this have impossible mark-ups that make bringing my own meal not only more appealing but financially necessary. Blessedly, The Farm Stand eschews sky-high prices and values their meals at competitive rates. Based on the reception, which Moye describes as “encouraging,” consumers are happy to pay those low prices. Each of the businesses has been very open to working with The Farm Stand and believes that missions such as Moye’s empower people to make more healthful decisions, but also adds value to the workplace. When people have a chance to refuel with good food and good company it’s a no-brainer that their proficiency and productivity increases in tandem.

The future is bright for these farmers. Moye hopes to have at least twenty kiosks open in the area in the time ahead and is open to expanding into a weekly service for more companies. He also looks forward to someday working with local farmers and purveyors to create a more sustainable and community-oriented project. We look forward to seeing this mighty little company expand and transform the work place into an inviting and hospitable space.