I am thrilled to introduce you to a trailblazer who is doing awesome work in what he calls the “Good Food Movement”. As we spoke, my thoughts were stirred up and I was inspired to make a more profound impact in my own community, the way our guest is doing every day.
His name is John Rife.
John is a Central Florida native. He is a passionate supporter of small businesses, food entrepreneurs and making his community a tastier place to live!
As the founder of the Winter Park Harvest Festival, John has been successfully creating and running Farm to Table events in Winter Park Florida. As you all know, I had been doing something similar in Hawaii for the past 6 years but John really kicked it up a notch.
John’s been motivating food entrepreneurs to ask fair market value for their goods so that they can achieve a more successful business. While helping local farmers and food artisans become more sustainable in their business practices, John was simultaneously growing and expanding as an entrepreneur developing the East End Market and implementing SPIN (small plot intensive) farming practices on his own property.
In developing East End Market, John created a neighborhood market and food hub in the Audubon Park Garden District of Orlando, Florida. East End Market is a two story structure that serves as home to a dozen food merchants, a market garden, an incubator kitchen, large event space, demonstration kitchen, retail shops as well as a full time award winning caterer and world class restaurant.
See why I find his growth in the farm to fork movement inspiring??!
And he doesn’t stop there, John finds the time to run agritourism tours and gardening classes in addition to public speaking engagements where he lectures on urban agriculture. It comes as no surprise that John is one of Central Florida’s most vocal advocates for the Good Food Movement.
I was particularly inspired by what John and his team have achieved in FLEET Farming – a bicycle-powered urban farming initiative. This program encompasses 10 backyard farms and produce from the program is sold every week at a local farmers market as well as fine dining restaurants. My husband and I are continually looking at ways of helping alleviate food desserts, all too prevalent in the US, and the FLEET Farming initiative really inspired me as a viable option for communities suffering from a lack of fresh foods.
I hope you enjoy this interview and have as many inspiring take aways as I did!