Beloved friends and customers,
We have been blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime to move down to Florida! Let me start from the beginning...
A couple of weeks ago Jamie and I planned a family road trip for spring break. Our only goal was to chase the sunshine and warmth, so we charted our path down to Virginia, South Carolina, and then down to Florida where the weather promised to be perfectly sunny and warm.
As we booked our Airbnb in Palmetto, Florida, we noticed the location happened to be minutes from Jubilee Organics, a 12-acre sustainable tropical fruit farm we learned about months earlier from a Great American Farm Tour YouTube video. When the girls and I watched the video, our eyes lit up. It looked like paradise! So I asked Jamie to find out if we could take a tour. We were set to arrive in Florida on Wednesday night, and the tour was scheduled on Thursday morning. Perfect!
The girls, Jamie, and I packed into our Prius after easter supper, and we hit the wide-open road, not quite knowing where the adventure would take us, but excited for quality time together and for sweet healing sunshine. We got our first taste during a rest stop picnic in North Carolina, where the girls kicked off their shoes to run around in the cool grass while the sun kissed their faces.
First, we landed in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, where we enjoyed a day at the beach, and a feeling of genuine warmth and hospitality. The farmers market there was a dream with live kids music, special activities, and lots of friendly families leisurely enjoying the evening under the moss-covered oak trees.
Next, we drove down to Palmetto, Florida where we stayed at an amazing Airbnb called Mullet Homestead, a 21-acre family-friendly cabin retreat just a short drive to gorgeous white sand gulf coast beaches. The weather was delicious and the lush landscape was truly nourishing to our souls.
On Thursday, we entered what felt like paradise. Under the solar barn, we met Ryan, owner and CEO of Jubilee Organics, and heard him share about his healing journey. The inspiration for the 12-acre biodynamic tropical farm was from his own desire to find healing through food rather than western medicine. When I heard him say, "Food is Medicine, and my mission from God is to build regenerative soil farms for the next generations," I knew this was meant to be.
After touring the magnificent farm, which sits right on the Palma Sola Bay, and produces countless varieties of tropical fruits, as well as bananas and plantains, we lingered to connect more. We shared with Ryan my story of healing, and our personal experience with growing food, a family, and our business.
Everyone else on the tour left, but we all continued to connect from a place of familiarity and excitement. Ryan shared with me that he had just been talking with his assistant about cancelling the tours, but after praying about it, he'd decided to give it one last chance. And there was our little family. All the way from New Jersey. There was a big reason we were meant to be there.
In a moment of spiritual connection, we all held hands and prayed in gratitude and for guidance. I was moved to tears, feeling for the first time in a long time a feeling of relief, grace, and compassion. I felt God's presence on that piece of land, and among our new friends. I knew we were home.
Ryan and Jamie continued to connect as we walked toward Ryan's house. Jamie shared with him more about his background, and his time spent as Gwynneth Paltrow's private chef in the Hamptons. Suddenly, Ryan admitted that they'd been looking for a private chef, but that none of the prospects had worked out. He explained that he wants someone who can join the Jubilee team to prepare meals, recipes, and products from the tropical fruits on the farm. Jamie's specialty!
By the end of our time there, Jamie had an open invitation to join the team at Jubilee, and we were elated! This would be the perfect next step, for our family, for my healing, and for the business. We felt deep in our hearts that this was a calling from God. In His mysterious way, God answered a prayer that's been on our hearts for a long time - to live somewhere warm, by the ocean, where our family and business can thrive financially.
We accepted the invitation with open hearts. And Jamie said "Yes!" to the position of Chief Culinary Artist and Recipe Developer at Jubilee Organics. If you know him, you know this is Jamie's dream job, where he will get to play with food, in a space of spirituality, brotherhood, and creativity. And the town of Bradenton, we were told, is a blank canvass for community and conscious business. Amazing!
So what does this mean for our business? We plan to put Mama Emma's on pause for the next 6-9 months, so we can move in July, get settled, and re-establish our operation. We still have plans to open a food truck in 2019, and will likely proceed with this as a top priority. We will put our plans for retail and e-commerce on the back burner, until we can get a clear plan established for the next steps.
In the meantime, I will continue to blog about our life and the business, and keep everyone up-to-date on our plans. We are so grateful for everyone who has supported us, from mentors to customers, and of course, our friends and family who've jumped in with both feet to help.
We look forward to the beautiful things unfolding!
With all our love,
Mama Emma, Papa Jamie
Archer + Rhi
Emma is the founder and owner of paleyobakery, LLC, a social entrepreneurship venture specializing in grain-free waffles and prepared foods. Paleyobakery's mission is to address social and environmental issues through access to delicious, affordable, health food.