Today we’d like to introduce you to Aimee Atkinson Dennis.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Our family started farming using aquaponics in 2015 as a way to combat illness caused by severe food allergies within our family. Our goal was to know our food and what we were consuming. We initially were making weekly trips to Whole Foods and decided to start a small greenhouse to go along with raising Wagyu cattle. I had a food service background, and we were quickly producing more than we could sell at the Denison Farmers market on top of it being seasonal. We were able to grow year-round with the large greenhouses. We added Lettuce Indulge, our food truck, to our business. We started in Denison as a lunch spot that included delivery to schools, doctors and businesses. Our menu centered on being farm to fork. We formed friendships with other farmers & ranchers in Grayson/Fannin and Collin County to use as many local, ethnically, and organically raised products into our meals that we could. We make everything from scratch so that we could serve with integrity. No hidden sugars, oils and steering clear from soy, MSG, and other known allergens. We moved into The Railyard Food Hall on Main St. Denison during Covid as we were transitioning and building out our full location with CJ’s Coffee Roasters in Gateway Village.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
We had made a clear plan of how we would go just to farmers’ markets to share our passion and knowledge and then added our food truck. We were excited to partner with my dear friend, Nancy Gentry, from CJ’s Coffee Roaster to open in a new location, Gateway Village. Then Covid happened. We had to completely pivot our way of business, navigate a path through construction buildout at Gateway. Many people thought we were crazy for continuing such a huge project with the unknown. We turned the farm into a grocery hub and did free delivery along with our farm and ranch friends due to the immediate need for food. Our goal was to feed and care for our community the best way we knew how during the shutdown. Continuing to provide nutritious food or meals to meet the demand.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Gentlesoll Farm is Certified Naturally Grown. We take pride in farming with integrity and welcome people to come see where and how we grow the products that we offer. We use aquaponics and have about 300 channel catfish that provide the nutrients to grow. I call them my accountability partners and favorite employees. We use these same principles of integrity and accountability in the meals that we prepare at Lettuce Indulge. We are a family operation with three generations involved in every aspect of what we do. My goal is to always have a family member at all locations so that anyone can ask questions about why and how we do what we do. The nutrition and seed to fork is my passion.
Can you talk about how you think about risk?
I think anyone will agree that farmers and restaurant owners take a risk every day. So many fail even with great products. In my opinion, I didn’t consider the risk as much because the passion for what we do overrides the feat that I may have experienced. Our county doesn’t have many healthy eating options. I knew the percentage of people out here that truly valued healthy, clean eating was lower than Dallas, but it was worth it to me to capture and educate as best I could.
- Email: Gentlesollfarm@gmail.com
- Website: www.Gentlesollfarm.com. www.lettuce-indulge.com
- Instagram: Gentlesollfarm Lettuce_indulge
- Facebook: Gentlesollfarm Lettuce_indulge
Andrew Cacho Design Local Socialight