Hay was raised for our animals (we raised sheep), and neighboring farms. Being the youngest child means getting hand me downs, the best hand me down you can get on a farm is a lamb born from your sister’s Southdown sheep, Nibbles. Like my older siblings, I joined 4-H and was a member of the Southern Shepherd sheep club, and now I am a leader of a 4-H club here in Dutchess. 4-H meant many things to me, friendships, meetings, community service, public speaking, but every summer it was also a slice of heaven when I was allowed to live at the Dutchess County fair and show my sheep. When not trying to halter break my sheep or shear them my summers were spent picking corn, which was sold at a stand where my store sits now.
Fast forward to Arlington High school and activities like lacrosse on the first girl’s team at AHS, playing viola in the high school orchestra. My lucky break, or pivotal moment was when I signed up for Chef Lossess Baking and Pastry class in my junior year. Something clicked. Imagine our old farmhouse kitchen counters groaning under the load of sweets and treats I made. I could not get enough. Chef Losee inspired me to apply to the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park. In 2007 I started my classes to eventually receive my Associates in Baking & Pastry.
It wasn’t a difficult decision to stay on and achieve my Bachelors in Hospitality Management, especially since it came with the opportunity to travel through Spain for three weeks. Wait, did I say travel I meant I ate & drank my way through Spain. Traveling and eating new cuisines is amazing but I knew after graduation I would stay and work locally here in Dutchess.The Hudson Valley has my heart. Don’t spread it around but we live in a magical place. I feel passionate about supporting our local agriculture and when the opportunity arose to exclusively use Hudson Valley Fresh products to make homemade ice cream at own my own place, I knew I had to seize the opportunity. With the support from my favorite farmer in the world, my dad, a dream was realized.
Purchasing quality milk, burgers, honey and maple syrup from the hard-working men and women of the Valley, whipping up new flavors of ice cream, working with my incredible team at Zoe’s and watching the face of a child as they enjoy time and a treat with their family. I am lucky. Lucky to come to work every day. Just a lucky girl from Poughquag NY.
Now you know a little more about me. Tune in to learn more about our farmers…