by Erin McNelis
Fresher, healthier, and more delicious- eating local food is full of benefits. However, it’s rare to find a restaurant willing to put forth the effort to remain so committed to utilizing local food.
That’s exactly why locals flock to Down to Earth Café in Perkasie. Owner J. Ryman Maxwell has created a warm atmosphere full of the freshest food. This spring, we’re highlighting just a few of the ways that this quaint cafe integrates local ingredients from area farms and businesses into their daily dishes.
First up, meet Sherri McGonigle, the executive director of Living Hope Farm in Harleysville, who has been working with Down to Earth Cafe owner Ryman Maxwell for several years. Down to Earth Café features Living Hope Farm’s fresh, chemical-free produce. That means that the tasty produce featured in their dishes – including strawberries, carrots, arugula, peppers, herbs, cucumbers, and zucchini – are grown just miles away from a delicious Down to Earth meal. Fresh produce is featured in menu staples including their house-made strawberry jelly, fresh fruit smoothies, and sandwiches. One veggie-based favorite is the “The Anti-Salerno” with zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, red peppers and other seasonal veggies grilled to perfection and tossed in a light olive oil; then topped with melted goat cheese on a warm ciabatta.
Just recently, these two local establishments were able to partner in a new way to deliver locals the freshest food possible. When Down to Earth Cafe launched Bread Box & Bakery last fall, they began providing fresh loaves to the farm’s winter CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. A CSA allows locals to pay up front for a box of produce once a week for a set number of months. This winter, along with produce from the farm, members received bread from Down to Earth Café.
“We reached out to see if he wanted to sell bread to members. He brings bread twice a week,” says McGonigle. “The members loved it, and we are excited to continue offering the bread in the summer.”
Stay tuned for more delicious local food finds and sample offerings from these local businesses and farms anytime at Down to Earth Café, 1141 N. 5th Street in Perkasie.