Susan M. Huff / Inventor Owner / TheSoulfulSeed
Even though the United States government defines a small business as a company that employs up to five hundred people, we at GFJ fall on the opposite end of that spectrum (employee count: somewhere between two and five), and so do many of the folks that we wind up profiling on this blog. Susan is the type of person that exemplifies what it means to create a business based on an individual passion, a need to share that passion with others, and the conviction that doing so improves her own life and the lives of others.
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Sarah Cabell / Director of Business Development / Credibles
So many of us, having grown up in a household where pantry rules are strict, can relate to the childhood lure of junk food. While Sarah was no exception, her awakening to how food affects our bodies started early, in adolescence, and never quite left her as she pursued a variety of other studies. We love how she describes finding her way to a dream job in the midst of overwhelming options.
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Ali Banks / Resident Chef / Sur La Table
If you’re like us, you’re usually so busy manhandling the vast array of kitchen goods for sale at Sur La Table that you might not even notice someone doing a cooking demonstration nearby. Ali’s story reminds us why they are worth stopping in our tracks to listen and learn. After all, who doesn’t want an excuse to spend a little more time perusing whisks and wooden spoons?
Alex Higgins / Marketing Ninja / PeachDish
We run a web-based business, and we can still occasionally find a reason to grumble about all the ways that technology has changed our lives. It can be hard to accept change – even harder to truly roll with it – but one thing we do love about the changing job market and the culture of employment these days is the fact that you can put the word ‘ninja’ in your job title. As for online meal subscriptions, like Alex’s PeachDish, we couldn’t be more excited about all the current options for finding great food at your fingertips.
Sara Trunzo / Farm + Food Projects Coordinator / Unity College
We’re not ashamed to admit that we’re those people who love college SO much, we wish we could have stayed there a lot longer. Which is why we’re jealous of the fact that Sarah did just that, maintaining a full-time job at her own alma mater. The best part, as always, is how much she loves what she does for a living.
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Liz Williams / President & Director / SoFAB Institute
If you’re going through a stage of your career where you wonder if it’s too late to do something completely new and different… If you’re feeling like your dreams are just too big and too far away to possibly reach… Then Liz’s story of founding a museum – yes, an actual museum – at a time when she could have been looking ahead to retirements, is for you.
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Chelsea Davis / Marketing & Communications Coordinator / in.gredients
Don’t we all wish that our local grocery store looked a little bit more like in.gredients? Unless of course you are a resident of the Austin, Texas neighborhood where it’s actually located, in which case: we are jealous. And we can understand why Chelsea sought them out and made contact before she had even moved to Austin. It’s a good reminder that making connections with places that inspire us is always worth your time and energy – you just never know what might happen.
Duron Chavis / Activist / Urban Gardener/ Founder of Happily Natural Day
‘Natural’ is the word we’d use to describe Duron’s career evolution. His work unfolded directly from his passion, which is a goal so many of us strive for on a daily basis. What we noticed about Duron’s story is that it was his ability to listen and learn that provided a stepping stone to creating his own good food job. That’s a lesson we all could use a reminder of, every now and again.
Kevin Farrell / Owner, General Manager / Booty’s Street Food
Something about Kevin’s (and his partner, Nick’s) story reminds us of Cinderella. Only this version goes more like: two scrappy young gents scraped their pennies together and built a beautiful, sparkly restaurant in a downtrodden city. And their success – their ‘happily ever after’ – is built on the foundation that their employees also get a shot at being Cinderella. We dare you not to be impressed with how they’re making that happen.
Rashida Ferdinand / Executive Director / Sankofa CDC
When we met Rashida down in New Orleans this past summer, she spoke about the meaning of the West African word, Sankofa, and I jotted this down in my notebook: ‘to look back at the past to build your future.’ Is there any more relevant phrase for considering topics like food culture and sustainability? In her work as founder of Sankofa CDC, Rashida is using the stories and habits of her own past to influence the future of others.
ABOUT THE GASTROGNOMESgas•tron•o•my ( ga-stron-uh-mee ) (n.) the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food.
gnome ( nohm ) (n.) (in folklore) one of a species of miniature beings that inhabit the interior of the earth and act as guardians of its treasure.
gas•tro•gnome a jovial individual whose main purpose on earth is to connect people who derive pleasure from good food.
the gastrognomes is a blog for food lovers who want to put their passions to work. We profile the most interesting, engaging, and unlikely food professionals that we find, and we publish them here to inspire you.
Good Food Jobs is a gastro-job search tool, designed to link people looking for meaningful food work with the businesses that need their energy, enthusiasm, and intellect. We’ll post opportunities with farmers and food artisans, policy makers and purveyors, retailers and restaurateurs, economists, ecologists, and more.
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