Ricciuti's Keeps it Local; “Farm to Able”, The Community Way

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The Olney restaurant partners with area farmers, bringing fresh cuisine to patrons and empowering farms and the local economy. One such partner is Our House Farms, a certified organic farm on a job training center that equips at-risk teenage boys with vocational skills.

Keeping volunteerism and business local makes them ‘farm-to-able’

Ricciuti’s Restaurant takes the “locavore” movement to heart, embracing food and philanthropy native to Montgomery County.

The Olney restaurant partners with area farmers, bringing fresh cuisine to patrons and empowering farms and the local economy. One such partner is Our House Farms, a certified organic farm on a job training center that equips at-risk teenage boys with vocational skills. For years, Ricciuti’s has purchased its vegetables from the farm, which are raised and sold by teen farmers. And where there is food, there is friendship. Proprietors James and Amy Ricciuti are invested in Our House’s success.

“Over the years, we’ve been impressed by the quality of the produce, but also by the qualities of the young men selling the food to us,” James Ricciuti observed. “They take pride in the food they grow, marketing it, handling inventory, and delivering orders to my door on time. I’ve never been disappointed.”

The Ricciuti family’s involvement with Our House quickly became personal. Last fall, the residential job training center, which also schools young men in carpentry, academics, and life skills, hosted a community Open House, kicking off a capital campaign for a new dormitory. Ricciuti’s donated and prepared the food to create an unforgettable event.

“We couldn’t do what we do without volunteers like James Ricciuti,” remarked Richard “Benny” Bienvenue, Executive Director of Our House. “James created great food and a great time for 160 people at a key point in our development”

The catalyst for the $3 million dollar campaign, according to Bienvenue, is growth. “Because of the success of our program, the State has asked us to bring in more kids—and that requires more space.”

The dormitory, to be built according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certification standards, will be erected by the students themselves, with supervision and guidance from expert roofers, electricians, and carpenters.

“We love supporting the kids of Our House,” said Amy Ricciuti. “Keeping volunteerism and business local makes them ‘farm-to-able’.”

About Ricciuti’s

Ricciuti’s highlights locally grown and seasonally-inspired dishes in its casual Montgomery County setting. Their award-winning menu features sustainable seafood and locally-farmed ingredients. An Open Table Diner’s Choice Winner in 2012, Ricciuti’s is celebrated by locals and “foodies” alike for its savory fare and eco-friendly philosophy.

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Meghan McQuade Boyle

Sandy Sponaugle
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