An update on recent events at Farm Table

As many of you know, Farm Table’s Restaurant closed on January 15th, 2023. The most immediate cause was the cancellation and termination of Farm Table’s lease with its landlord, Resilient Northern Habitats (RNH). The legal notice announcing the lease termination was served unexpectedly on November 7th, 2022; it followed close upon RNH stipulating the lease was hereby changed from annual term to “month-to-month” on October 3rd.

These events were a surprise to Farm Table’s Board as FTF had been negotiating a sale of the building with RNH during this period. It is particularly shocking given that the Landlord was one of Farm Table’s founders; a major donor to the organization; our former Executive Director; and a long-time board member.

RNH filed an Eviction Action against Farm Table on January 20th, 2023. On February 13th, Small Claims Court Judge James Krupa declined to rule on RNH’s Eviction Action and sent the case to Circuit Court. Mediation has been ordered, something Farm Table has been seeking for months, and will take place prior to further court hearings.

Farm Table’s legal position is that RNH erred in changing the lease from annual term to month-to-month, and as a result, RNH breached our landlord-tenant contract. And particularly, RNH gravely injured Farm Table’s restaurant; its nonprofit parent organization; its customers; and its farmers. We are seeking both injunctive and monetary relief to address this.

This is very sad. Farm Table’s staff wishes to continue its work as a premier local-food restaurant. The Board, our supporters, donors, and farmers—everyone is united in wanting the same.

Farm Table’s Restaurant had its best year in 2022, its best month in January of 2023. So a closure at the pinnacle of Farm Table’s success feels particularly ill-timed.

Happily, customer turnout during Farm Table’s final weekend was extraordinary; beyond extraordinary—as people stood and waited in line for one last table in our dining room every hour Farm Table was open. Thank you to everyone! Your embrace of Farm Table’s mission, your love of local farm products, and your good sense of wholesome and seasonal expressions of this region’s bounty—these are high praise and a great compliment to Farm Table and its staff.

As for what’s next: Farm Table Foundation is in the business of Growing Local Food Culture and will continue going forward. We want to express full gratitude for the relationships and connections that have flowed from our time at 110 North Keller. We walk chins up, knowing that Farm Table’s values are the cutting edge of a better future for every community. Small farms and local food were once the core of American society and agriculture; may those days return!

Farm Table is looking for a volunteer to serve as Board Member. The pay is lousy but the food is great! This is a unique time in this organization’s history as it works to sustain local food in the Amery community. Please contact us at 715.268.4500 if you have interest and unique abilities to help.