It's hard to believe it's been almost two years since we first set foot on the streets of Greenville, SC. New York Times named it the #12 place to visit in the WORLD in 2017 and we couldn't be more excited to open our doors in the Spring! The concrete floors were poured last week and we are ready for framing. If all goes according to plan we'll be dishing out healthy fuel by early April...fingers crossed - Team H+H
Antioxidants: We know we want them, but why? They have snuck their way onto labels and menus as a health and food industry buzzword, but what, exactly, is the buzz about? Trust us when we say this: they are not overhyped!
Antioxidants occur naturally in plant-based foods like veggies and fruits, plus some of your favorite earthy treats like coffee, tea, chocolate, and even wine. To understand them fully, it’s helpful to know what they are up against — oxidation.
Oxidation, in the plainest terms possible, is oxygen’s interaction with cells. Think iron rusting or guacamole browning. Oxidation (or oxidants) within your body is 100 percent natural and even necessary, but it’s not always perfect. Sometimes, oxidation causes cell damage, turning cells into what are known as free radicals. For context, it can be helpful to note that free radicals also stem from sun exposure, cigarette smoke, alcohol, and pollution. Read: They are the bad guys!
Too many free radicals building up over time have the potential to be permanently damaging to cells. Many scientists believe that free radicals can contribute to the aging process as well as certain diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
This is where antioxidants swoop in to earn their buzz. Antioxidants are a natural, power-packed way to counteract the damage caused by free radicals. Their superpowers include stopping chain reactions in their tracks and defending the body against compromised health.
Before you run out to stock up on antioxidant supplements, though, remember that balance is key. Health-wise, it’s actually ideal to have a good balance of oxidants and antioxidants. It’s near impossible to overload on antioxidants with food and drink alone, so it’s advisable to get your dose of antioxidants through bright fruits, veggies, and other natural sources. We’re thinking blueberries, bananas, pineapples, grapefruit, red peppers, beets, kale…the list could go on. Cue your stomach growling. Not to mention a little chocolate thrown in for good measure…
In September of 2015 we happened to stumble across Bumgarner Farms on Instagram (@bumgarnerfarmsnc) and instantly reached out to the man on a mission, Will Bumgarner. Will had just started to farm his family's land and we felt immediately connected to his story. In 2016, Will provided our restaurants with nearly 1,000 pounds of arugula, 500 pounds of dino kale, and 300 pounds of cherry tomatoes. Throughout this process we both learned a tremendous amount. We faced the many challenges that pesticide-free farming provides...mostly in the form of bugs, deer, and heavy rain.
In late October we took our team out to Bumgarner Farms to harvest, get our hands dirty, and take Will's new tractor out for a spin (obviously our favorite part).
This is only the beginning of our partnership with Will and we are beyond pumped to support the local farming movement. We asked will to share a little bit about himself, his farm, and his plans for the future. Enjoy!
My name is Will Bumgarner and I am the owner/operator of Bumgarner Farms in Kittrell N.C. I started Bumgarner Farms in September of 2015. After working for other local farms in the area, Bumgarner Farms was born. My experience prior to my own farm was in the greenhouse and nursery industry. I came across farming at a young age. My family owned farmland and it I always enjoyed exploring the fields. When I was 11 years old I went help work in the summer months on a farm in our area. They grew basil, had a greenhouse, and delivered produce to restaurants in the Triangle. That early exposure is what drew me to farming. I had no idea that later in life I would choose farming as a way of life. I currently live on the farm with my fiance, Destinie and our daughter Scarlett. We don't have any full time employees so Destinie and I do all of the work needed to run a produce farm. My love for my family is also a reason we farm. Farming is a way of life and it has forwarded me the opportunity to work close to home and be a part of my daughter's life, as well as provide the healthiest food possible for us.
Brief Farm History:
Our farm has been in my family for 6 generations and was aquired in the late 1800's. Traditionally the farm was used to produce cotton, tobacco, and soybeans. My great grandfather farmed these crops until he retired in the late 70's. It was at that point that he began farming vegetables on a small scale for the family and neighbors. After his death the farm was rented out to local farmers who grew conventional row crops. In 2015 I decided it was time to make use of the land I had before me and it was then that Bumgarner Farms was born.
My future goals as a small farmer are vast. My goal is to grow the healthiest, safest fruits and vegetables possible for the people within our community. I want Bumgarner Farms to be a brand name synonymous with healthy living and the safest source for produce available. I want to educate future generations on farming and our local food system and help build a better community.
We are thrilled to welcome Executive Chef Justin Venezia to the Happy+Hale family! Chef Justin will oversee menu development and food preparation for all of our locations as we expand across the Southeast. Venezia recently moved to North Carolina from Orlando, Florida, where he worked in several hotels, country clubs and fine-dining establishments. He has 26 years of cooking experience.
As the eldest son in an Italian family, Venezia grew up enjoying great home-cooked meals, often the focus of many family gatherings. From a young age, he was fascinated by watching Julia Child on TV, which inspired his passion for food. After graduating from high school, Venezia joined the army and served for three years in Germany, where he met his wife. Upon his discharge, he earned his culinary degree from the Florida Culinary Institute, now called the Lincoln Culinary Institute.
Venezia has settled into Chapel Hill with his wife of almost 20 years and their young son. The family enjoys the beautiful outdoor amenities that North Carolina has to offer.
Look for Chef Justin's rotating seasonal menus soon!
From day parties to headlining outdoor concerts to club shows at night, Hopscotch Music Festival is three days of virtually non-stop music and fun in Downtown Raleigh. This year, we partnered with Hopscotch, You Call This Yoga, MATI Energy, and KIND Snacks for the first ever Sunrise Yoga in City Plaza on Friday, Sept. 9th at 6:30am. The earliest Hopscotch day party ever...enjoy the pics!
Ask anyone who attends...there is no better way to start your weekend than Sunrise Yoga. On Friday, August 12th over 200 people joined us to welcome the sun in the Raleigh Rose Garden for the latest installment of our Sunrise Series. A huge thank you to everyone who attended, to Raleigh Little Theatre for hosting us, and to our Sister in Soul, Carrington Jackson, for leading us. Our next Sunrise Yoga will be held on September 9th in City Plaza as a special collaboration with Hopscotch Music Festival and Kind Snacks. Enjoy the photos!
By far, the most important ingredient on our menu is the team we hire. Our team members are the heart and soul of everything we do and the success of Happy + Hale relies heavily on their ability to connect with the community every single day. As a small token of appreciation, we got both Durham and Raleigh teams together for an afternoon at the Durham Bulls ballpark. Good vibes, killer dance moves, and unbridled wackiness ensued....evidence enclosed :)
When Co-Founder Matt Whitley purchased his home in late 2015 there was always a plan in mind. Forget furniture or a new TV, Matt was determined to develop his backyard into the first farm for the entire community to enjoy. Fast forward six months and Matt has turned that vision into a lush reality. We will be using the farm to learn, teach, grow, compost, and ultimately harvest the fruits of our labors.