MISSION AND VISION
Philly Foodworks makes buying, eating, and sharing fresh food as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible.We work with a diverse group of producers and distributors to navigate the challenges faced by producing outside of the mainstream commodity food system. Our online farmers market, events, and communications make buying and learning about these foods easy. We feel that food is how people connect to themselves, the land, and their community. By engaging with food more consciously, we can build a world that nurtures these connections.
Our roots began at Urban Tree Connection (UTC). At UTC we worked with neighbors to build a farm and community Co-Op at 53rd and Wyalusing Ave (West-Philly). We sold our food around town and experienced the distribution and logistical challenges faced by many small producers. However, we also realized how much people loved the food we were producing and how much they valued the experience of knowing where the food came from and the people who grew it. We decided our mission would be to help other small producers distribute their products and bring their amazing goods to as many people as possible. We began in 2014, nestled away in the SHARE Foods warehouse in North Philadelphia. We are grateful for the support of the food community in Philadelphia and all of the wonderful people who have chosen to work with us on our mission.
We choose our food and farmers based on standards created and valued by our members. These standards do not always fit the various certifications available today, but are assessed by the quality of produce, health and safety of the worker, product and environment. For the majority of the year our food is sourced within a 150-mile radius of Philadelphia. During the drought of winter, we source elsewhere, but our high standards of production never change. It never includes GMOs. Some grow organically, but uncertified, and some are pursuing Certified Naturally Grown (a less costly alternative to USDA Organic).
The food we sell reflects the real cost of production, which often makes it inaccessible to some of our neighbors. However we are committed towards bringing this amazing food to as many people as possible. We have built relationships with local food cupboards so nothing goes to waste and have worked with a bevy of individuals and organizations to help them access healthy, fresh food. This includes fundraising drives with our members, selling food at cost to people working on food justice, and using cross promotion with local nonprofits as a way to raise funds for their cause.
MEET THE STAFF
Philly Foodworks is powered by an amazing group of motivated and extremely talented individuals. Meet the people who bring you your delicious food!
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Born in Takoma Park, Md, Dylan moved to Philadelphia in 2009 to attend Temple University. As a kid, his parents always emphasized local foods and Dylan was known as the kid with alfalfa sprouts in his sandwich and five servings of vegetables in a zip-lock bag. While at Temple he worked with the Urban Tree Connection, where he was part of a team of people building a farm and using it as a way to spur community development. Food has become Dylan’s major passion in life. He enjoys cooking it, sharing it and talking about it. Philly Foodworks allows him to do that everyday.
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Raised in rural Ohio Ryan first found his love for food and farming working on his grandparents farm. Studying environmental studies in college he was drawn to concepts of urban agriculture and how the resilience of a society is dependent on a strong healthy agricultural system. These interests led him to further studies in Cuba and Ottawa at the International Development Research Centre. Upon moving to Philadelphia before founding Philly Foodworks he worked with two urban farms at Urban Tree Connection where the concept of healthy food as an essential part of a healthy community became integral to his world view.
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Jamal is Philly Foodworks’ advisor, negotiator, problem solver and spiritual leader. Many moons ago he was in the military. He, transitioned to working in the schools, then to remodeling Philly row homes, and to educating youth on violence and conflict resolution. He developed his passion for farming and food while working with Mr. George Wear at the House of Umoja’s urban farm. He then became the Farmer’s Market Manager for Urban Tree Connection and brings all of those experiences to Philly Foodworks.
Online Market Manager
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Anne is a food enthusiast and our Market Manager. Cooking, eating, photographing and talking about food is what she does! Food brings people together and Anne wants to bring food to you. Growing up in South Jersey instilled a love of farm fresh, locally grown food. Anne moved to Philadelphia for college, earning a BS in Graphic Design. However, Anne's love of food and curiosity brought her to the local food movement in Philadelphia. Before Philly Foodworks, Anne gained a lot experiencing managing the Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market for almost three years. Anne is curating some of the offerings on the market and searching for new finds all the time!
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Philadelphia native, Larissa, has worked with Philly Foodworks since August 2014 as our operations guru. She studied Economics and French at Franklin & Marshall College and she has a true love for spreadsheets. No one can set up a function in excel faster or make a more beautiful color coded cell scheme than Larissa. She works at Philly Foodworks mostly for quick access to Esther's zucchini bread.