One doesn't need to be a food snob or live communally to enjoy and advocate for locally-grown food. In fact the booming locally-sourced food movement into commercial restaurants reveals the vast diversity of those behind it. That movement has found its way into downtown at the new McDowell Local where the Chamber recently held a ribbon cutting.
Aaron and Lauren Mathews, along with their three daughters, are the friendly family behind this new eatery. They are a close-knit, active family with a history in the restaurant business who know firsthand the benefits of working with local farmers.
"McDowell has a lot of farmers that produce quality food," he says. "Most of that food is shipped over to Asheville, but now we'll be keeping it here in McDowell."
Aaron and Lauren along with daughters, Nora (14), Anne Thomas (19), and Emma (23) recently moved to Marion and opened the restaurant on March 12, 2018 at 84 S. Main Street in downtown. With 25 years in the industry and a former co-owner of My Father's Pizza, Aaron is excited to bring the farm-to-table concept to downtown. He and his wife expressed their gratitude for the warm welcome they have received from the community and the area businesses since opening.
"We wanted to be a part of what was happening in Marion," said Aaron. "We are so amazed at the support we have had from this community."
There is a lot to like about restaurants buying from local farmers and food curators--less negative impact on the environment from long transport, fresh fruits and veggies retain their health benefits, money spent locally is better for the economy, and of course, fresh food just tastes better. Aaron's passion for sustainability and quality fuels the artistic vision for innovative recipes that are fun, delicious, and creatively crafted. The list of local farms with which they work is printed right on the large menu chalk board and more will be added he says.
Clean and comfortable, the interior offers tons of natural light from the large, street-front windows and bright colors add the casual atmosphere. Bright chairs invite customers to the counter for relaxed dining and front row views of the open kitchen. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and Sunday Brunch. They are open Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11-9 p.m. and Sunday from 11-3 p.m. They are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information call 828.559.0654.