Grateful Fed uses food to heal the soul and body

Published 6:28 am Friday, July 21, 2023

FARMVILLE – Grateful Fed is currently an off-site catering company, but owner Tammy Nelson hopes it can turn into so much more.  

Nelson is a fourth-generation restaurant owner in Farmville, as she grew up helping in her mom’s restaurant.  She always had a special bond with food, even when she left and became the first in her family to go to college. While in the corporate world, she felt like something was missing. 

During the pandemic, she came back to Farmville and created a fundraiser to buy food from local restaurants to give out to frontline workers. That’s when she realized she wanted to be back in the food business. 

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“Food is in my blood,” said Nelson. “There is power in eating a meal with family and I understand that.” 

Along with catering, Nelson runs the Sugar Magnolia Food Truck from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the catering company, located at 1811 W. 3rd St. in Farmville. The food served is homegrown, handpicked and homemade. Nelson calls it elevated Southern food as she serves a healthier version of Southern classics. This came about due to Nelson’s poor health when she started the business.

“Food is everywhere,” said Nelson. “We eat food when we’re sad, celebrating and on all occasions there’s always food. It soothes the soul and I know it’s important what we put in our bodies. It affects feelings and the body and there needs to be a balance between the two.”

‘A fifth generation farmer’s daughter

Along with being a fourth-generation restaurant owner, Nelson is also a fifth-generation farmer’s daughter. She knows how important it is to know where food comes from and to keep it as local and organic as possible. The menu will change with the season so that they always serve whatever is fresh and in season. 

The chefs also use a spiritual aspect as the food is Reiki infused. This means that as they prepare the food, the chefs put in positive energy and good intentions. Nelson jokes that the food is actually made with love as an ingredient. 

Another part of the Grateful Fed family is a food mentorship. According to Nelson, in America, 40% of food is thrown out. Comparing it to a local Hello Fresh, Nelson is working with people to create meal boxes to reduce waste and help families get more healthy foods into their diets. To find out more about this, click here

Looking ahead, Nelson plans to have a brick-and-mortar location. It will be small in order to keep her staff and make sure the quality remains the same. She hopes to have local vendors set up to regularly have an opportunity for residents to buy, barter and share with their neighbors.

“Everyone talks about shopping locally and supporting small businesses and I want to show how to do that here in Farmville,” said Nelson.