Our country owes so much of the credit for its culinary riches to the influence and legacy of Black growers and producers. From the varieties of produce grown in America, to the recipes and cooking styles, and even down to the familial culture around eating, African-American influence is at the heart of this country’s food story. At Fresh Harvest we are fortunate to work with some of the best local producers in the nation, many of whom are Black and people of color.

During this Black History Month we are especially proud to highlight a few of our amazingly talented and passionate partners of color. While by no means close to an exhaustive list, we hope the following highlights serve to spark a connection and appreciation for some of the diverse members of our ethical Georgia food community. Many readers will already be familiar with at least some of the producers below, but keep reading to learn more about these individuals and how you can get a taste of their work.

Gangstas to Growers

Gangstas to Growers Founder Abiodun Henderson with One of Her Trainees

Abiodun Henderson founded Atlanta social enterprise Gangstas to Growers to train formerly incarcerated and at-risk youth the principles of business and agriculture. In 2020 Abiodun won a prestigious James Beard Leadership award for her efforts to reduce recidivism through her work at Gangstas to Growers. The G2G model works hand in hand with local Black farmers including Southwest Atlanta Growers (SWAG) and The West Georgia Farmers Cooperative to supply peppers for their flagship product, Sweet Sol hot sauce. Trainees are equipped and empowered to start fresh in paid apprenticeships that very often lead to full time employment. A great way to support Abiodun’s continued work is to treat yourself with a bottle of Sweet Sol hot sauce, made with lavender, turmeric, plus the satisfying heat of locally grown peppers.

West Georgia Farmers Cooperative

WGFC Leading Member Eric Simpson with part of a Fresh Harvest Delivery

Founded in July 1966, West Georgia Farmer’s Cooperative has traditionally consisted of local Black farmers all around the western side of our state. Leading farmer member Eric Simpson (above) works alongside the rest of the members to build opportunities through local food systems and wealth through cooperative economics. Another facet we love about the co-op is its forward thinking mindset. They exist to provide training, funding and other resources to their members and local citizens to rebuild small farms into impactful community change agents for generations. Beginning in 2020, Fresh Harvest has been enriched by our weekly partnership with WGFC, which has included sweet potatoes, beets, peas, and red potatoes by the trailer load. Customers can scan the QR code on their basket insert each week to see what’s coming from WGFC!

Simone’s Sweet Treasures

Tanis Simone, Owner of Simone’s Sweet Treasures

Tanis Simone specializes in creating cheesecakes of all types. She found this passion as a fourteen year old in her mother’s kitchen and hasn’t stopped baking since! Originally from Charlotte, NC, Tanis moved to Atlanta in 2018 which is also when she founded Simone’s Sweet Treasures. According to the professional model, “I’ve had a huge passion for two things in life: baking and encouraging individuals to see value within themselves. My desire is to not only create sweet treasures and custom crafted masterpieces, but to help people see that they are a masterpiece with something unique and beautiful to offer themselves and the world.” You can find a weekly rotating flavor of her decadent cheesecake cups in the shop each week!

Perennial Pop Co 

Perennial Pop co: Wendy and Chloe Collins

Isn’t it refreshing to see a mother-daughter business duo? And they get along like two peas in a pod! What’s even more refreshing is their creamy vegan pops made with a variety of organic ingredients like Raspberry Lavender and Matcha Coconut. Chloe’s sensitivity to dairy paired with her love of frozen sweets led her and her mother Wendy to create their own delicious products. And they were too good not to share! After extensive testing and research, the Atlanta based pair opened for business in October 2017 and started working with Fresh Harvest in early 2020. The pops are seasonally available during the warmer months, so stay tuned to the shop page to find the weekly rotating flavor!

Anna Bell’s Mac

Kevin Mobley, Founder of Anna Bell’s Mac

If you haven’t tried Kevin Mobley’s mac ‘n cheese, you need to stop reading and add a pound or two to your next farm fresh delivery from Fresh Harvest. The smoked silkiness of the noodles paired with aged cheddar is an homage to Great Grandma Anna Bell’s original mac ‘n cheese, which she passed to her great grandson, Kevin, the now founder of Anna Bell’s Mac. Follow the link to learn more about Kevin’s story and the fascinating history of mac & cheese in America.

Vtaste Cakes

VTaste Cakes Founder and Operator, Jasmyn Reddicks

VTaste Cakes founder Jasmyn Reddicks learned to bake from her grandmother when she was a little girl. After completing dual studies in Food Science and Marketing at the University of Georgia she has transformed her grandmother’s traditional recipes into equally delicious vegan cupcakes and muffins. With a huge lineup of weekly rotating cupcakes available like Lavender Vanilla, Key Lime Pie, and Caramel Pumpkin Spice, Vtaste’s partnership with Fresh Harvest has been pretty sweet to say the least. Be sure to checkout the weekly flavor, but hurry up. They sell out fast! 

Barlow’s Foods

Barlow’s Foods Founder Tiffani Neal with a Stack of Her Pancakes

Tiffani Neal named her pancake mix business after her grandfather, Arthur “Barlow” Harris. In order to live up to his high standards as a farmer, she only uses organic unbleached flour and whole ingredients. With a knack for recreating recipes from taste and pairing ingredients, Tiffani’s passion for food has only grown over the years. Now you can almost always find her in the kitchen, cooking up a storm. You can also find her delicious pancake mix every week in the Fresh Harvest shop!