By Olivia St. Denis
Originally Published on 01/09/2018
Greetings, Karma Sauce community! My name is Olivia, and over the last six months I’ve been working alongside Gene at The Karma Sauce Company. First as a farm laborer, then as a production assistant, and now as a full-time employee; picker of many peppers and taster of many sauces.
My Karma Sauce journey actually began in early 2017, when I was still living 1,600 miles away in Denver, Colorado. Since 2013 I had worked at a large Denver-based nonprofit corporation. Working in the nonprofit sector raised my awareness about social justice issues and incited a passion for systems and programs that create community equity. I am particularly drawn to food justice, or improving the unequal access to healthy foods in low-income areas. I’m fascinated by the effectiveness of community-based, grassroots responses to food justice issues. Cooperatives, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, neighborhood and backyard gardens, and food waste reduction initiatives are empowering people to address food scarcity at local levels.
By 2017 I determined that working in an office did not set my heart afire, so I began thinking about how to transition into the horticulture space. After mentioning to a high school friend that I’d be heading back home to Rochester to pursue #farmlife, she connected me to Gene and The Karma Sauce Company.
Most of all, I love the company's vision of creating small-batch food products from the produce grown at our farm in Bristol, NY. Its "locavore," farm-to-bottle ethos matches my own as a sustainability fanatic and environmental enthusiast.
Ultimately, I want to rally the energy, efforts, and passions of like-minded people to create positive impacts on social justice issues. I've already learned much about farming, food production and distribution, and how to start a small producing farm. In 2018 I look forward to engaging with our customers, retailers, fellow farmers, and Chile Heads!
Good Karma to you!