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Three Leaves Heritage Foods: Your Source for Tasty, Nutritious, and Local Foods

By Marina I. Jokic

Farm-fresh, seasonal, gluten-free and organic options are abundant at Three Leaves Heritage Foods. The Three Leaves kitchen has been in business for the last three years, launched in 2014 by a brother and sister team who wanted to capitalize on the incredible health benefits of wholesome food. They wanted to enter the prepared food business, and tap into the potential of the gluten-free and refined sugar-free markets. The current chef, Rob Hogencamp, joined the kitchen in 2016 and brings a wealth of culinary experience to the business, including fiveyears as Executive Mentor Chef at the Ceres Community Project known for itsfocus on food as medicine/healing foods.

"After setting up all of the systems and making this a successful business with a great following, they decided that they had taken the business as far as they wanted, and that they wanted to find someone with the drive to take the business to the next level," Hogencamp said.

With years of training and experience in a wide range of culinary settings and well-connected in the local real food movement, Hogencamp felt entirely prepared to boost sales and customer satisfaction at Three Foods. Along with his wife Celosia and chef Matt Roberts, the trio successfully laid the foundation for growth and expansion.

The business model takes its inspirationfrom Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Usually, being a member of a CSA farm allows you to pre-purchase produce and pick up your share every week. It's a great way for farms to sell their produce even before it's been harvested.

"Three Leaves Heritage Foods views itself as a community-supported kitchen because similarly, our members can pre-purchase our food, only it comes in the form of freshly prepared ready-to-eat foods," Hogencamp said.

A share consists of a quart of soup, two quarts of two different salads, an entrée, a condiment, and a gluten-free dessert. Three Leaves Foods has made ordering easy:by signing up to their weekly newsletter, potential customers receive the week's menu in advance and can order their share online. Meal pickup is Wednesdays and Thursdays, and members and non-members are welcome to visit the Heritage Foods store located at the Three Leaves Foods kitchen and browse a selection of entrees, salads, breads, krauts, and stone-ground nut butters among others.

Buying local is not only good for the environment, but also ensures that vegetables and fruits retain most of their vitamins since they are not subjected to packaging and transport.

"We see Three Leaves Foods as a way to connect local farms and artisans to our customers," Hogencamp said. "We have the best farmers in the world here in Sonoma County, and we would rather give them our money than spend it anywhere else."

Hogencamp is quick to recite his favorites from the menu. Moroccan chicken with preserved lemon and olives, grass-fed beef and mushroom meatloaf, and the house-made, probiotic Sauerkraut. The ingredients are fresh, local, and in most cases organic, and seasonal to ensure best flavor.

"Cookies have always been a personal favorite, and I enjoy making gluten-free versions of all of my favorites, including snickerdoodles, fig newtons, and double ginger with molasses," he said.

Hogencamp's customer base is diverse,ranging from singles, to families with two working parents looking to add ease to their mealtimes. Gift certificates are available to support sick friends and family members or families with a new baby.

Three Leaves Foods has something for everyone, whether you are looking for a freshly cooked meal or a healthy and delicious snack.

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