FarmRaiser Partners: Food For Thought & Esch Road
Food for Thought
Food for Thought was started in 1995 as a way for founder, Timothy Young, to put into a jar his philosophy on making the world abetter place to live for all of us. These impeccably high quality, organic, and fair trade products could therefore convince anyone of our collective need to create and raise awareness around just and sustainable food.
Most of the Food for Thought products feature difficult-to-find organic fruits from northern Michigan farms. In preserves, you’ll find these fruits paired with herbs and other flavors to create extremely unique products such as Blueberry Lavender, Strawberry Basil, and Apricot Chardonnay. Salsas perfectly pair your more typical flavors with organic blueberries or cherries. You’ll also find a number of products featuring foraged wild plants such as Pickled Wild Leeks.
Timothy and his family founded Esch Road Foods in 2012 as a new line of products intended to showcase all that is great about the Great Lakes. The brand is aptly named for what locals refer to as Esch Road Beach, where Esch Road dead ends at a perfect Lake Michigan sandy shoreline. A creek meandering out of the forest and through the sand before meeting with the big lake.
Esch Road products feature a line of goods that celebrates the richness of the Great Lakes region, particularly the incredible fruits grown along the west coast of Michigan. While they’ve dropped the organic standards, you can rest assured that these products are still produced in small batches with plenty of natural ingredients, attention, and love. They’re also certified Kosher & Non-GMO, and feature some organic ingredients grown on the Food for Thought Farm! Plus, these products are made more affordable than their Food for Thought counterparts.
About Founder, Timothy Young
Timothy is a pioneer of local products in the northern Michigan region, and likely one of the area’s most passionate citizens. He stands behind his passion for building a more just and sustainable food system worldwide, not only by running a food business that meets these ideals, but by working on projects and with organizations who are also committed to these goals. Here are just a few of those things.
Timothy (along with Chris Treter of another FarmRaiser partner business, Higher Grounds) is a founding board member of the non-profit, On The Ground. On The Ground supports sustainable community development in farming regions across the world. They raise awareness and funds for those projects by orchestrating incredible runs in the regions where they’re working. For example, in 2012 a group ran across the West Bank planting olive trees along the way to raise awareness about the struggles of Palestinian olive farmers.
At home, Food for Thought sponsors an annual free event called Green Cuisine at their farm and business location. The event helps to raise awareness about just and sustainable food systems within the northern Michigan community, while also being Michigan’s very fist zero waste event. Up to 1,000 visitors have attended each year to sample some of the region’s best local food and drink. Taking place every year in mid-July, we highly recommend you attend if you’re in the area!