MEET THE FARMER: Mollie Engelhart

An Article from our partners Farmers Footprint

”I can remember exactly where I was. I was standing in my driveway in my little suburban neighborhood thinking I was doing all the things I should be doing to help the planet – I had a hybrid car, used my own reusable bags at the grocery store, ran a vegan restaurant, and sipped on oat milk lattes – and it hit me. I had become apathetic.

The local food movement is rising in importance for not only health reasons, but for survival. COVID has transformed many industries but few greater than the food industry. Supply chains that stretched across the world to bring a conventionally produced avocado to your doorstep shattered, the realities of the meat packing industry exposed, and the consumer was left with empty shelves and panic on their plate. And all of a sudden, the questions of why and how things got to be the way they are sat on the tongue of society.

It was these same questions that have inspired the work, the farm, and the life of our featured farmer and chef, Mollie Engelhart. She grew up barefoot, with soil between her toes, on an organic, 27 acre farm in upstate New York. As a kid, her free time was spent covered in dirt, splashing the pond, eating carrots she yanked out of the ground as she frolicked around the gardens and apple orchards of her family farm. Here is where her intrinsic love for healthy food and diversity was nourished.

Today, Mollie is a walking mosaic with experience and expertise as diverse as a handful of healthy soil. After graduating from the prestigious CalArts film program, Mollie began her career in entertainment working for the urban A&R department Epic at Sony Music under the guidance and teaching of Max Gousse. Her entrepreneurial spirit was quickly realized with the founding of Majestic Studios, which rapidly became the recording home for many artists on the Epic and Electra labels in addition to Virgin and many others. Mollie’s personal artistic talents manifested themselves in the form of poetry and spoken word where she recorded several albums, appeared on the HBO series Def Poetry Jam, as well as the groundbreaking documentary Sp!t. Then came an opportunity to focus her artistic talent and expression toward her lifelong passion for health and wellness through food. Mollie started the Vegan restaurants KindKreme and Sage which now has four locations in Southern California – Echo Park, Culver City, Agoura Hills, and Pasadena, and produced May I be Frank, a documentary exploring the transformations possible through healthy eating and positive thinking.

With this eclectic palette of passion across various roles and industries, we wanted to know how and when farming became part of her vision.