Edible Local Hero Bluegrass & Louisville

Photography By Christopher Shadix & LouAnn Micciche | April 01, 2016
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How do you define a “local hero”? We define it as someone whose business offers high-quality local products and maintains high standards in social and environmental practices, food sourcing, regional economic impact and commitment to promoting a sustainable food system.

We have asked our readers to nominate two local heroes in each of seven categories: one from the Bluegrass region and one from Louisville (Jefferson County). People from all over the state responded with enthusiasm! We celebrate those who received the highest number of submissions in each category. And on the following page, you can see the top 10 most nominated in all the categories.



gina micciche and joseph farmer

Favorite Food Artisan:
Gina Micciche and Joseph Farmer, Lucky Clover Farm

Lucky Clover Farm is located in northern Madison County and is KY Proud and Appalachia Proud. Since 2008, Gina and Joseph have been creating delicious food products including KY Blackberry Jam, Artisan breads, Peach Jalapeño Jelly and Hemp & Honey Roasted Granola. Their heirloom tomato plants are a signature crop and are sold by the thousands, available statewide through Kroger stores, Lucky’s Markets and Paul’s Fruit Markets. Starting out at farmers’ markets in Berea and Louisville, Lucky Clover has grown to sell in national markets. 242 E. Parke Rd., Richmond, KY 40475, 859-779-8522, E-mail them here.

Paul Haney

Favorite Beverage Artisan:
Paul Haney, Kentucky Kombucha

In 2013, Paul Haney transitioned a commercial processing facility on his 12-acre organic farm into Kentucky’s first “kombuchery.” He brews in small batches with only certified organic ingredients to create a balanced flavor profile that is tart, lightly sweet and naturally effervescent. Kentucky Kombucha is never pasteurized or filtered, leaving all the beneficial microbes alive and well in each bottle. 4591 Mayes Creek Rd., Springfield, KY 40069, 859-336-1139, E-mail him here

good foods co-op

Favorite Food Retailer:
Good Foods Co-op

Good Foods Co-op, founded in 1972, is central Kentucky’s only locally owned and operated cooperative grocery store. Focusing on local, natural, organic and non-GMO products, the co-op supports over 200 Kentucky farmers and producers and has over 7,500 owners. 455 Southland Dr., Lexington, KY 40503, 859-278-1813.

Jeremy Ashby

Favorite Restaurant/Chef:
Jeremy Ashby, Azur Restaurant

Kentucky native Chef Jeremy Ashby has been the executive chef and owner of Azur Restaurant and Patio since 2007. A Johnson & Wales graduate, Ashby has also created a farmers’ market on Azur’s patio without fees to the growers on the south side of Lexington. He is currently Kentucky ambassador for the growing agricultural farm-to-table movement and host of the radio program “Food News and Chews,” a show promoting restaurants, chefs, farmers, food and community growth in the Bluegrass Region and demystifying food-related trends and topics. 3070 Lakecrest Circle, Lexington, KY 40513; 859-296-1007; E-mail.

Mac Stone

Favorite Farmer:
Mac Stone, Elmwood Stock Farm

Mac Stone and extended family operate Elmwood Stock Farm in Scott County, KY. Mac was executive director of marketing for the KY Department of Agriculture, past chair of the USDA National Organic Standards Board and is currently president of the Organic Association of Kentucky. His focus is on farming and marketing organic foods for Elmwood Stock Farm, and working with nonprofit agriculture and food organizations. 3520 Paris Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324, 859-621-0755.


Favorite Food/Farmingbased Nonprofit:

GleanKY redistributes excess fresh fruits and vegetables to nourish Kentucky’s hungry. In order to achieve their mission, they glean, or collect, excess fruits and vegetables from farms, orchards, farmers’ markets, grocery stores and personal gardens, and donate the food to more than 60 feeding programs in Central Kentucky. Founded in 2010, GleanKY has saved more than 825,000 pounds of fresh produce—perfectly edible food that was otherwise going to be thrown away. P.O. Box 4448, Lexington, KY 40544, 859-444-4769, E-mail

Bluegrass Farmers Market

Favorite Farmers’ Market:
Bluegrass Farmers’ Market

The Bluegrass Farmers’ Market is Lexington’s largest 100% homegrown/produced market, meaning that all vendors are members of the Kentucky Proud program. Their motto is “We sell what we raise, grow, bake and make,” offering produce, meats, cheeses, flowers and value-added products from over 26 vendors. Two locations: Liquor Barn, Hamburg Pavilion, 1837 Plaudit Pl., and Azur Restaurant and Patio, 3070 Lakecrest Circle in the Beaumont Centre. 703-586-7278, E-mail.




Rainbow Blossom and Mayan Café

have received the Local Hero Award for three years and have reached "Hall of Fame" status.


Austin Cummins

Favorite Food Artisan:
Austin Cummins, Commonwealth Cure

Commonwealth Cure is Louisville’s first USDA-inspected sausage and salami production facility. Sourcing only pasture-raised animals from the Ohio Valley region, Commonwealth Cure’s emphasis is focused on supporting great local farmers. They feel they respect the animals with a new American approach using nontraditional recipes and never adding nitrates or nitrites. 108 E. Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202, 502-681-4117, E-mail

Joe Heron

Favorite Beverage Artisan:
Joe Heron,
Copper & Kings American Brandy Company

Copper & Kings is an American brandy and absinthe distillery in the heart of the Butchertown neighborhood. They make beautiful craft, copper-pot-distilled spirits; complemented by locally made specialty sodas and artisanal food items such as honey and sorghum. Distillery tours are a great way to see how Copper & Kings provides a unique perspective and addition to Kentucky’s distilling heritage. 1121 E. Washington St., Butchertown, Louisville, KY 40206, 502-561-0267, E-mail.

Reynolds Grocery Company

Favorite Food Retailer: Reynolds Grocery Company

The Reynolds Grocery Company was opened by Sean Reynolds in 2013. The RGC is devoted to working with small ecologically minded and sustainably practicing farms and producers. They are proud to source the majority of their products from within 150 miles of Louisville. Over the last three years, Reynolds has crafted close relationships with dozens of local growers and makers, taking pride in knowing where products come from, what they are produced with, and how they get to the store. 1813 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, KY 40206, 502-893-8919, E-mail.

Favorite Restaurant/Chef:
Susan Hershberg,
Wiltshire Pantry,
Wiltshire on Market,
Wiltshire at the Speed

“Nothing makes me happier than knowing how many people’s lives are positively affected by our work. We strive to expand the impact with each event we produce,” says Susan Hershberg. “Whether it’s microgreens from Lost Acre Farms, salad greens from Holden Family Farms, black beans from Field Day Farms, grits from Loumills ... each meal we produce has a ripple effect, and when that meal is a wedding for 400 guests we have truly had an impact.” In Louisville, you can enjoy Wiltshire at three locations: Wiltshire Pantry, 1310 E. Breckinridge St., 502-581-8560; Wiltshire on Market, 636 E. Market St., 502-589-5224; Wiltshire at the Speed, 2035 S. Third St., 502-581-8560.

Derek Lawson

Favorite Farmer:
Derek Lawson,
Foxhollow Farm

Derek is Master Cattleman at Foxhollow Farm, where he lives with his wife, Jessica, and their children: Keira, Taya and Shane. Derek has a master’s degree from Murray State University, with a specialist field of study in beef cattle rotational grazing. Having grown up in agriculture, Derek brings his enthusiasm in grazing methods and his love for animals to the Foxhollow Farm community. His innovative ideas have shaped the cattle program and health of the herd at Foxhollow Farm. 8905 Hwy. 329, Crestwood, KY 40014, 502-241-9674, E-mail.

New Roots and Fresh Stops

Favorite Food/Farmingbased Nonprofit:
New Roots and Fresh Stops

New Roots strives to end food injustice by working with fresh-food-insecure communities to create sustainable systems for accessing the farm-fresh food we all need to be happy and healthy. The Fresh Stop Markets are “pop-up” farm-fresh food markets set up at local churches, housing authorities and community centers in 14 fresh-food-insecure neighborhoods in the Louisville Metro Area, Lexington and Brandenburg, KY. The food has been paid for in advance, so farmers don’t face the same degree of risk as they do with a standard farmers’ market. Karyn Moskowitz, executive director. P.O. Box 4421, Louisville, KY 40204, 502-475-8979, E-mail, TwitterFacebook.

St. Matthews Farmers Market
Photo courtesy St. Mathewws Farmers Market

Favorite Farmers’ Market:
St. Matthews Farmers’ Market

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the St. Matthews Farmers’ Market. The market exists to provide fresh local vegetables, meat, breads and cheeses for the Louisville community. The lifeblood of the market is 70 farmers and vendors, the fruits of whose labor provide for more than 2,000 people each week. The market is held Saturdays 8am–noon, May 14–October 8 at Beargrass Christian Church, 4100 Shelbyville Rd., Louisville, KY, 502-896-1161, E-mail. @Facebook/SMfarmersmarket, @ farmersmarketSM


Local Hero Nominees

The Local Hero Awards recognize the hard work of your favorite artisans, farmers, and advocates who have put into championing farm-fresh, locally produced food in Louisville & the Bluegrass region. Readers submitted nominations online from December through February. Here are the ten most nominated individuals or businesses in each category:

Favorite Louisville Area Food Artisan:

  • Tom Edwards, Louismill/MozzaPi
  • Bob & Kit Hancock, Blue Dog Bakery
  • Matt Jamie, Bourbon Barrel Foods
  • Madeleine Dee, Fond
  • Sherry Hurley, Farm to Fork Catering
  • Zach Hardin, Lynette Ruby and Darryl Goodner, Louisville Cream
  • Judy Schad, Capriole Cheese
  • Anoosh Shariat, Anoosh Bistro
  • Josh Moore, Volare Ristorante
  • Hillary & Matt Sargent, RootsUnderwood

Favorite Bluegrass Food Artisan:

  • Kenny Mattingly, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese
  • Chef Ouita Michaels, Holly Hill Inn
  • Rona Roberts, Savoring Kentucky
  • Jacob & Carolyn Gahn, Sweetgrass Granola
  • Judy Schad, Capriole Farmstead Goat Cheeses
  • Ed Putterbaugh, Boone Creek Creamery
  • Steve & Anita Spencer, Local Folks Food
  • Sherman Fracher, Abiding Grace Farm
  • Marianne Swintosky, Viburnum Valley Farm Confections
  • Toa Green, Crank & Boom Ice Cream

Favorite Louisville Area Beverage Artisan:

  • Against the Grain, Jerry Gnagy
  • Akasha Brewing, Rick Stidham, Matt Meurer, Jerry Nawrocki
  • Banyan Tree Chai, Amy Patel and Sam Patel
  • Bistro 1860, Stephen Dennison
  • Bourbons Bistro, Jason Brauner
  • Falls City Brewing Company, Dylan Greenwood
  • GoodWood Brewing Company, Ted Mitzlaff
  • Red Hot Roasters, Sondra Powell
  • The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book, Joy Perrine
  • Weekly Juicery Kimmye Bohannon & Elizabeth Beal

Favorite Bluegrass Beverage Artisan:

  • Fielding A. Rogers, Ale-8-One Bottling
  • Evan Coppage Country Boy Brewing
  • Brent Elliot, Four Roses Bourbon
  • Parker Beam, Heaven Hill Distilleries
  • Brian Holton and Ian Luijk, Monnik Beer Company
  • Julian P. Van Winkle III, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery
  • West Sixth Street Brewery Brady Barlow
  • Robin Sither, West Sixth Brewing Company
  • Chris Morris, Woodford Reserve

Favorite Louisville Area Food Retailer:

  • Fond
  • Lotsa Pasta
  • ValuMarket
  • Lucky’s Market
  • Green BEAN Delivery
  • Fresh Market
  • Creation Gardens
  • Whole Foods
  • Earth Fare
  • Paul’s Fruit Market

Favorite Bluegrass Food Retailer:

  • National Provisions
  • Seed & Greens
  • Lucky’s Market
  • Green BEAN Delivery, multiple locations
  • Marksbury Farm
  • Berea College Farm, Berea
  • Lucky Clover Farm
  • Kroger
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Lexington Farmer’s Market

Favorite Louisville Area Restaurant/Chef:

  • Bobby Benjamin, Butchertown Grocery
  • Anoosh Shariat, Anoosh Bistro
  • Jesse Huot, The Grind
  • Joshua Lehman, Holy Grale
  • Brian Morgan, Eiderdown
  • Kathy Carey, Lilly’s Bistro
  • Patrick Roney, Harvest
  • Josh Moore, Volare
  • Annie Pettry, Decca
  • Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia

Favorite Bluegrass Restaurant/Chef:

  • Ouita Michels, Holly Hill Inn, Midway
  • Mark Wombles, Heirloom & Distilled, Lexington
  • Stephen William, Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar, Covington
  • Jason Jones, Sublime Cuisine, Goshen
  • Jordan Noel, Portofino, Lexington
  • Daniel Gonzalez, 440 Main, Bowling Green
  • Jonathan Searle, Lockbox Lexington
  • Newman Miller, Harrison-Smith House, Bardstown
  • Ranada West-Riley, Lexington Diner, Lexington
  • Eric “Abe” Lansdale & Graham Waller, Winchell’s, Lexington

Favorite Louisville Area Farmer:

  • Adam Barr, Barr Farms
  • Ben Abell, Rootbound Farm
  • Hadley Piper, Reynolds Garden
  • Ivor Chodkowski, Field Day farms
  • Josh Orr
  • Maggie Keith, Foxhollow Farm
  • Noble Holden, Holden farm
  • Pavel Ovechkin, Foxhollow Farm
  • Hillary and Matt Sargent, Roots Underwood
  • Valerie Magnuson, Louisville Grows

Favorite Bluegrass Farmer:

  • Andre Barbour, Barbour Farms, Canmer
  • Suzanne & Steve Bonk, Triple S Farm, Paris
  • Carla Baumann, Lazy 8 Stock Farm, Paint Lick
  • Todd Clark, Clark Family Farm, Lexington
  • Ron & Linda, McMaine, McMaine’s Riverhaven Farm, Salvisa
  • Justin & Bobi Ranck, R Family Farm, Waynesburg
  • Blake & Rachel Cothron, Root of David Farm and Nursery, Crab Orchard
  • Joseph Monroe, Ashbourne Farms, La Grange
  • Hillary & Matt Sargent, Roots Underwood Farm, Crestwood
  • David Keal, Field 51 Produce, Goshen

Favorite Louisville Food/ Farming-based Non-profit:

  • Dare to Care Food Bank
  • Food Literacy Project
  • La Minga
  • Les Dames D’Escoffier Kentucky
  • Louisville Grows
  • Organic Association of Kentucky
  • Raising Hope Organic Farm
  • Slow Food Bluegrass
  • Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville
  • YouthBuild

Favorite Bluegrass Food/ Farming-based Non-profit:

  • Community Farm Alliance, Frankfort
  • GleanKY, Lexington
  • FoodChain, Lexington
  • Growing Warriors, multiple
  • Seedleaf, Lexington
  • Berry Center, New Castle
  • Grace Café, Danville
  • Plowshares Community, Winchester

Favorite Louisville Farmers’ Market:

  • Bardstown Road Farmers’ Market
  • University of Louisville Gray St. Farmer’s Market
  • St. Matthews Farmers Market
  • Nulu Farmer’s Market
  • UofL Belknap Campus Farmers’ Market
  • Norton Commons Summer Farm stand
  • Phoenix Hill Farmer’s Market
  • Anchorage Farmer’s Market
  • Rivercrest Farm, Prospect
  • Westport Road Baptist Church

Favorite Bluegrass Farmers’ Market:

  • New Albany IN Farmers’ Market, New Albany
  • Berea Farmers’ Market, Berea
  • Lexington Farmers’ Market, Lexington
  • Woodford County Farmers’ Market, Versailles
  • Madison County Farmers Market, Richmond
  • Garrard County Farmers Market, Lancaster
  • La Grange Farmers’ Market & Artisans, La Grange
Article from Edible Louisville & the Bluegrass at http://ediblelouisville.ediblecommunities.com/food-thought/edible-local-hero-bluegrass-louisville
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