Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Kieffer and Clair Moore.
Amanda and Clair, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Willow Provisions is born of our joint conviction that the most powerful and healing magic is made of mundane things like shared meals. We want others to experience love and connection through the caring and sustainable preparation of healing plants and animals. We want to bring memories of learning and community right into your home, where you feel most at ease and share with you the healing magic of plants.
We’re just a couple of friends passionate about food, community and fun! Cooking together and sharing meals has been a beloved part of our friendship as well as our healing and learning as individuals and as community herbalists. We experience so much beauty and connection together through cooking that we thought – why not share!
So, we held our first public supper club in November featuring local apples. Since then, we’ve held a public supper club each month (December – rosemary, January – cranberry, February – rose). At each supper, our botanical guest of honor is featured in every course and paired beverage. And at the start of each course, we teach guests a little about the plant (where and how it grows, medicinal properties, folk lore, etc). We also include on the table an additional way for our guests to interact with the plant (at our rose supper, for example, we had a rose-witch hazel & rose quartz cleansing mist for them to sanitize their hands; rose has anti-microbial properties). And, our guests leave with a parting gift featuring the plant as well. At our rose supper, guests received a small satchel of rose lotion buds – lotion drops infused with rose, calendula and plantain for healing dry winter worn skin). Our next supper is March 31st and will feature local roots.
Community and sustainability are important to us! So, when we’re looking for ingredients for our meals, we give preference to local farms and herbalists (yes, we’re herbalists too, but we can’t do it all)! We cook with local, organic or wild crafted produce, and healthy, pasture raised animals. It’s important to us that our meals aren’t putting an undue burden on our environment or on other animals! Our health (and yours!) are also important to us, which means all of our food is largely allergen free. We don’t cook with gluten, dairy, soy or industrial seed oils. We also avoid refined sugars, preferring things like honey or coconut sugar to sweeten.
Has it been a smooth road?
We are so excited about this journey that we jumped in with two feet and after our first event, found that some of the logistics needed to be tweaked. Since we aren’t a catering operation, we need to prepare the entirety of our meal in the host’s home – this means, every month we have to find someone who’s willing to host AND let us use their kitchen all afternoon prior to the dinner.
Atmosphere is also very important to us, and we want our hosts to be able to sit back and enjoy the experience, so we also bring our entire setup to each person’s house – including table decor, dishware, candles and gifts for the guests. Figuring out how to streamline the storage and packing efficiently for each event required some serious brainstorming.
Now that we’re about to embark on our fifth dinner on March 31st, we feel like we’re starting to hit our stride and each event just gets better and better. We love hearing our guests’ feedback, we love the community we’re building and hosts are already starting to ask to host their second or third dinner! We have some exciting things planned for our upcoming events and can’t wait to share them!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Willow Provisions story. Tell us more about the business.
Our business offers locally focused herbal immersion experiences for individuals and groups through supper clubs and a wide variety of workshops. We say immersion experience because we feel strongly that people learn best and most fully by engaging all of their senses and we strive to practice and cultivate whole body self care. So, at each event, whether it’s a supper or a workshop, we offer people a multiplicity of ways to engage with the plant and/or skill that we’re sharing. Everything we do is centered around herbs – we’re both herbalists, trained in the vitalist tradition, which emphasizes the importance of herbs in facilitating healthy movement, sleep, nutrition, and stress management. Everything we do is focused locally – we strive to connect people with the allies that grow right outside their doors, helping them understand that they can find exceptional healing from within their own communities. We connect people to local farms and vendors, hopefully ushering them a little closer to a sustainable way of living.
In addition to being trained herbalists, we have an array of critical skill sets between us that give our business a unique flare. Clair is a private chef and a soon to be yoga teacher. Her experience in the restaurant business brings a high level of professionalism and efficiency to our supper clubs and her proficiency with leading meditation and movement allows us to provide people with opportunities for deep relaxation and reflection.
Amanda is a seminary trained witch and tarot reader, exceptional home cook and sorceress of southern hospitality. Her home crafting skills and knack for creating ritual space bring a welcoming and magical atmosphere unique to the Willow Provisions experience. Her distinct way of finding enchantment in the everyday moments reminds our guests to pause, notice and appreciate the gifts that exist all around us.
We are most proud of the appreciative and heart felt feedback we’ve received from our supper club guests and workshop attendees. When our guests tells us, they’re leaving our suppers not only having learned about plants we love but also, feeling rejuvenated and moved by the experience, we feel the success of our endeavors. We’re also proud that we have repeat guests who have come to every supper and several that have driven in from out of state to attend, telling us that it was more than worth the trip. We feel proud when someone reaches out to us to let us know they’ve been drinking tulsi every day or they’ve cut sugar out of their diet successfully for a month because of a workshop they attended with us. This kind of feedback inspires us to keep going and keep growing with our mission to make a real difference in our community.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
We find ourselves in the crossover of two rapidly developing industries – food and wellness. We are starting to see huge shifts in the food industry as more and more chefs and restaurants start to focus on using locally grown, small farm ingredients. We love this change and hope to see more of it in the future! We have really appreciated getting to know our local farmers and find that being able to chat with them about the rain, the soil and sometimes, even being able to pick our own food brings a connection to our food supply that makes us appreciate the heart and soul that goes into providing nourishment to our bodies.
In the wellness industry, we are starting to see a shift from product dependency to skill set development. Our aim with our workshops (and our suppers) is to teach people how to work with herbs, food, movement and everyday, accessible resources to support their health in a variety of safe and reliable ways. While we love creating formulas and remedies ourselves, we want people to feel empowered to make their own choices about what they need, feel confident in their knowledge about how to work with plants and empowered to take ownership over their own health and healing.
- Supper Clubs, $90/seat
- Workshops, $40/ticket
- Address: 2 Clyde Street
Somerville, MA 02145
- Website: www.willowprovisions.com
- Phone: 601-618-7890
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @willowprovisions
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willowprovisions/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/willow-provisions-somerville?osq=willow+provisions
Clair Moore, Amanda Kieffer