New restaurant opens, focuses on sustainability, freshness

BY CATHY BROWN ’14
Staff Writer

F&M has a new neighbor: Fresh Farms Café. The café, which has been under construction throughout the beginning of the semester, is located in Campus Crossings below College Row at the corner of Harrisburg Pike and College Ave. next to CVS. The restaurant officially opened for business on March 29.

According to Jerry Brantner, the restaurant’s general manager, the new Lancaster location is one of a series of Fresh Farms Café locations.

The company, which was founded in 2010, is based out of Baltimore, MD and is quickly expanding. Brantner says, in addition to the café near F&M, new locations will also open elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic region within the year, including one near the Rockvale Outlets along Route 30 in Lancaster County. Currently, the company is not franchised.

Fresh Farms Café focuses on sustainability and supporting local businesses.

“Everything we can source from around Lancaster county, we will,” Brantner said. “We support local businesses, like Ric’s Bread, and are trying to get the bulk of our supplies from within a hundred-mile radius.”

The café also emphasizes sustainability. Brantner says the restaurant uses only grass-fed angus beef and rainforest-certified coffee. In addition, the restaurant itself is furnished with environmentally friendly materials.

“The main thing is, we’re green,” Brantner said. “We purchased wood from barns that were torn down in Pennsylvania, and we also use bamboo inside the café.”

The company’s website illustrates its commitment to sustainability.

The café offers an extensive The café offers an extensive menu, including paninis, burgers, flatbread pizzas, handcrafted salads, breakfast sandwiches, and four varieties of homemade soup every day. There are also various smoothies and espresso beverages.

According to the site, “At Fresh Farms Café, our food is made from scratch every day using fresh dairy, meat, produce and bread products purchased locally and served to you in an environmentally conscious manner. We not only care about the quality of the foods we serve, we care about the impact to our planet by serving them.”

The restaurant is very conscious of individual’s dietary restrictions. Brantner says he is very willing to work with customers on an individual basis and ensure no cross-contamination occurs in the food preparation process.

Although the new Lancaster location already offers free Wifi internet and hires F&M students, Brantner says further efforts will be made to be accommodating to the college atmosphere.

In the near future, Branter believes Fresh Farms Café will offer catering as well as a grab-and-go area with pre-made options for customers who have little time to dine.

He is also in the process of adding Fresh Farms Café to the list of local businesses that accept Ben’s Bucks through collaboration with the College.

“We’re glad to be part of the F&M community,” Brantner said. “We’ve had a great response so far. Everybody seems to enjoy the menu, and I’ve heard no complaints from all the tables I’ve talked to.”

Fresh Farms Café serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. It is open 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, visit their website at www.freshfarmscafe.com.

Questions? Email Cathy at cbrown@fandm.edu.

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