Second Career: Join the Craft Foods Movement

Moms Dressing

My column for Next Avenue on “Second Career: Join the Craft Foods Movement” was fun to report on. Lots of “savory characters.”

Mom’s Dressing in the photo is by Merit Shalett of New Orleans. Last year, at age 61, she joined her 31-year-old son and her husband at Faubourg Farms, a sustainable straw bale urban farming operation specializing in hardy greens like kale, arugula and pak choi.

Her vinaigrette recipe uses local ingredients, especially Meyer lemons. They’re slowly ramping  production.

She’s far from alone.

The popular image of today’s artisan-food producer is a bearded, hoodie-wearing Millennial and his tattooed partner operating out of a Brooklyn warehouse. But here’s the reality: The locally sourced cheese, meat, beer and baked goods you enjoy might have been created or distributed by a boomer turning a passion into a second-career business in unretirement. These craft food enterprises are often family affairs, too.

The savory characters are profiting from a tasty, growing trend. “There is a shift in the culture,” says Kieran Folliard, the 60-year-old founder of the Food Building in Minneapolis, home to local artisanal producers. “There’s a movement back towards, and getting value from, craft production.”

Howard Field started Farm Fromage several years ago.


A natural salesman, he has put his marketing skill to use selling local raw milk cheeses created by the region’s Amish, Mennonite and English farmers.

I also profile Ben Logan, an artisan breadmaker in Midland, North Carolina.

You can read the article here.