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By Erika Iverson
Tasty Harmony is a Fort Collins gem owned by Sacha Steinhauser and his wife, Jill. They opened the restaurant two and a half years ago and have grown a loyal following of customers and fans that enjoy eating fresh, local, organic meals.
When asked about the inspiration behind the business, Steinhauser remains demure.
“Well, it’s the only food I know how to cook!” he says.
But the real inspiration behind opening an organic, vegetarian eatery with locally grown produce is creating a connection or relationship between people and plants. The importance of local and organic produce has become much more evident in the past decade, and Steinhauser’s restaurant is geared towards this awareness. The most obvious reason we’ve seen is the health of our environment. Also, creating a local economy: Keeping money local supports the community and the future of Fort Collins. Steinhauser believes that the world is changing, and that we need to make sure it’s shifting in the right direction by learning from the mistakes of the older generations.
Tasty Harmony would love to be the future of restaurants in America, and in some ways it’s not far off, especially in the sense of going back to simplicity. It’s food made from scratch by people who love what they’re making and why they’re making it.
This isn’t saying that the world is going to convert to vegetarianism for the sake of its health, but it may be part of the equation. You don’t have to be vegetarian to eat here, just like you don’t have to be Mexican to eat at a Mexican restaurant. The most important part is the sustainability; that’s what will hopefully be the model for the future.
Speaking of the future, Steinhauser has many big plans for Tasty Harmony, including the creation of a several acre organic farm that would supply the restaurant. He wants to hire one person to be the main caretaker and have internships available with room and board. The interns would not only be learning about organic farming but also what goes into a business like Tasty Harmony – The connections and viability of local, organic farming in a business industry.
Many people want to learn what the best ways to be local are, and Tasty Harmony would strive to help with this type of education. The differences that the farm would make are many, most prominently the freshness of the food. There would also be a difference in the relationship that the restaurant would have with the plants; not only preparing them, but also watching them grow and then harvesting them. Not to mention that having their own farm would help Tasty Harmony reduce distribution costs.
Over the last two and a half years, Steinhauser has experienced the strain of operating an organic restaurant in Fort Collins. The distributors are different from everyone else’s, and they only have one. When something goes awry, they resort to going to Whole Foods, and buying in bulk there ends up being very pricy. The farm would hopefully be a solution to this problem. Not to mention that, with a full organic farm to support them (and the help of people who yearn to learn), Tasty Harmony would be able to move on to even bigger and better prospects, like possibly opening up sister restaurants in Denver and Boulder.
To learn more about Tasty Harmony or check out their delicious menu visit tastyharmony.com.