Ancestral Wisdom in Every Bite!
"We heal our community, our planet, and ourselves by building a sustainable model forcommunity-scale food preparation and processing that honors culinary traditionsand provides nutrient-dense foods for local households and beyond."
-Three Stone Hearth founding Mission Statement, 2006
A Community Supported Kitchen
Three Stone Hearth was the nation's first Community Supported Kitchen. We developed a unique business model for food preparation and processing. For us, the ethos of "community" works on many levels.
Originally inspired by the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, in which customers support a farm by committing in advance to a share of their produce, our customers support the kitchen by pre-ordering online, thus limiting speculation, risk and waste. As enamored as we are of the term "community supported kitchen," we have stopped using it because it can give the impression that we are a charitable organization or a kitchen rental facility. And as our business has grown over the years, we have evolved into a more conventional model of online ordering and brick & mortar sales.
In response to Covid 19, we've temporarily suspended store shoppping, and are focusing on online sales for increased safety. For the moment, our aspirations to nourish community in our store and through educational events will have to remain aspirational...
When we were once open only a few hours a week for order pickup, we're now open more than 20, and will continue expanding this fall. As we expanded our hours over the years, the brick & mortar store evolved from a couple of coolers holding extra product for people coming in to pick up their orders, to a vibrant part of our operation that builds community in its own ways. On Wednesdays you may meet one of the artisanal food producers whose products we carry, and "herdshare" members pick up their weekly milk and cheese from a local, raw milk dairyman. On Friday and Saturday we host a Broth Bar and a communal reading table, with books from our library collection, and we'll be hosting a CSA pickup for one or more local farms starting soon.
Most of our foods (and tallow-beeswax candles and deodorant), and many other products we carry, are packaged in mason jars, and we devote considerable resources to their reuse. Involving other vendors, and our customers in that cycle of return and reuse is another way we build community around our shared values of sustainability, and the material actions it takes to "walk the walk."
Education and community participation have always been part of the fabric of Three Stone Hearth. Over the years, hundreds of students, apprentices, interns, externs and volunteers have brought their knowledge and spirit to our work. Some experimented with bread baking, some with the alchemy of fermented beverages, and others brought traditional recipes and culinary knowledge from their families and native cultures. Some have become staff members and worker-owners, while others have gone on to start similar or related businesses around the country, or pursued advanced degrees in nutrition and public health.
Our community is also rooted in relationships with many local farmers, ranchers, food producers and artisans who provide the ingredients we trust to put in our foods, and the other retail products we sell. Where would we be without Marin Sun Farms' commitment to pasture-raised meats and local sourcing, Riverdog Farm's awesome and affordable veggies, or the extraordinary work of F.E.E.D. Sonoma, which has connected us with more than 50 local family farms? And where would we be without Alexandra Hudson's broth-based kale chips, Alice Rosenthal's East Bay neighborhood honey, or the wonderful goat milk and duck eggs from Mike and Jane at Evergreen Acres? This community of mutual support is at the heart of a resilient and regenerative "integrity food system" (Joel Salatin), which we need now more than ever.
Come into our space (as soon as this pandemic passes!), and you will feel the embrace!