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Watch: How Epiphany Farms Is Changing American Dining

The owners of the Illinois restaurant on why the farm-to-table format provides better food for diners

It’s on a dusty, quiet, two-lane country road where Epiphany Farms got its start in 2009. To be exact, the farm sits on land that was once the childhood home of owner and chef-farmer Ken Myszka. The 20-acre farm and its accompanying restaurant of the same name take hold in Bloomington, Illinois — an area known for hosting lush monocrops like wheat and corn. Still, the location of Epiphany Farms restaurant — open since 2013 — has been working against it since its inception.

In a college town best known as the birthplace of Steak ‘n Shake, there was a bit hesitation at first, say Epiphany’s owners, along with constant perceptions that the food would be pretentious. But “it doesn’t have to be fine dining,” says owner and chef-farmer Stu Hummel of the concept. “It has to be everyday nutrition.”

It’s part of the uphill battle the team at Epiphany Farmers has faced daily, even now in its nearly tenth year in business. But its dedication to educating locals, as well as clients like Chicago’s the Aviary and Next, is exactly what they set out to do in 2009. Hummel notes: “When you get people in the dining room, that’s the opportunity to capture them and educate them on why it’s important to dine here.”

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