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Poway Cafe Partners with Ramona Farm to Provide Local CSA Pick-Up Site for Community

Café Merlot owner Toni Kraft enjoys finding ways to “bring food to our guests” and the community.

Poway's Café Merlot’s Toni Kraft isn’t the biggest fan of eggs, but she’ll make an exception for the ones she gets from Connelly Farms in nearby Ramona.

“They feed semolina to the chickens, hens and ducks,” Kraft said, listing several other items. “I should eat so good.”

Kraft has had an ongoing relationship with Ryan and Ann Connelly, the mother and son farming team, for about two years. She says they helped transform Café Merlot’s herb garden into a 1.5 acre micro farm that now provides for her restaurant, catering services and employees.

Recently, she partnered with Connelly Farms to provide a local pick-up site for their community supported agriculture (CSA) program, which provides farm-fresh food directly to the community along with recipes for how to prepare it.

As a restaurateur who believes that food is medicine, helping to make healthy produce available to everyone is a natural progression for Kraft. Their second week saw the sale of seven “farm bags,” which she says narrowly fell short of their 10-bag goal.

“Our thought process was to bring food to our guests, and this is another way to do it,” Kraft said. “My niece is 100 percent vegan and she was one of our first customers.”

Farm bags cost $20, and can be picked up every Thursday if orders are in on the previous Tuesday by 6 p.m. For more information or to purchase a bag, visit the Connelly Farms website.

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