The intent behind ORIGINS, a speaker series, was to highlight the farmers, fisherman, producers, and makers behind the local food movement in the Mid-Atlantic region. Spike Gjerde started his first restaurant, Woodberry Kitchen, with a commitment to local growers and producers. He and his team have returned more than $2.1 million annually to the local economy during the last several years.

This episode will take a closer look at the economics of the local food system from both a retailer’s perspective and an Eastern Shore aggregator called Chesapeake Harvest, based in Easton, Maryland. In Episode #27, we continue the conversation with two local farmers, Dave Liker from Gorman Farms and Mark Toigo from Toigo Orchards.

This episode’s panelists are Scott Nash and Tracy Ward.

Scott Nash started MOM’s Organic Market at the age of 22 with an initial investment of $100 as a home delivery business out of his mom’s garage. On July 2nd 1987, MOM’s made its first sale delivering to a customer who lived in Rockville, MD. Since then, MOM’s has grown to become one of the nation’s premier chains of family owned and operated organic grocery stores. MOM’s has nineteen stores in DC, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Tracy Ward has over 30 years of experience as an economic and community development leader, devoting her career to community transformation and change through collaborative public/private partnership and cross-disciplinary strategies. In 2004, Tracy founded Urbanite, an award-winning glossy magazine with a circulation of over 60,000 in the Baltimore metropolitan area.   After shuttering Urbanite in 2012, Tracy took a year off to work on farms and learn about our local food system.  In 2014, as executive director of the Easton Economic Development Corporation, Tracy started Chesapeake Harvest, a sales, marketing and branding organization committed to increasing sales of locally and sustainably grown food products in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

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