Store Spotlight - Gayla's Grits and Georgia Olive Oil

White Oak Pastures Team
What do grits and olive oil have in common? Not much. But if you ever find yourself in Lakeland, GA, you will come across two locally owned companies that lie a few miles from one another that break this mold - Georgia Olive Farms and Gayla’s Grits.

In 1997, a natural twist on a traditional Southern food was born. Kevin and Gayla Shaw began grinding natural white corn into grits for their own personal use. Their creation was a hit when they gave it away in Christmas gifts, so they decided to expand their market.  Gayla’s Grits has always prided itself in keeping the integrity and quality of their grits 100% all natural. In keeping with this standard, non-GMO heirloom seeds are used to grow the corn that is used for their grits on their family farm.

Store Spotlight- Cultural Traditions

White Oak Pastures Team

Located above Atlanta in Suwanee, GA is a locally owned and operated business called Cultured Traditions. Tanya and Charles Sharp bring their Russian tradition to the South with their variety of fermented foods.

Historically, when growing fresh foods was not possible, people learned how to naturally ferment foods to preserve them for storage and use during the winter months. Over time, the health benefits became obvious, and have since been proven to be even more significant. For this reason, consuming fermented foods strictly for their health benefits is quite common.

Irma

Laura Mortelliti

We were lucky that Hurricane Irma’s destructive path largely missed Bluffton and the surrounding counties where our employees live with their families. While natural disasters are unnerving, we’re never so reminded of the strength of a small town community as in times like this. We all came together on the farm to make sure we were as prepared as possible. Our field crews put in tremendous extra effort for days in advance and up into the pouring rain to make sure the livestock, equipment, feed and supplies weathered the storm. Our butchers came in on their day off to make sure our product was in the generator-powered coolers.  Our employees worked together to make sure everyone felt safe during the storm- offering their homes and helping hands to one another if need be. We are...

Growing Community, Owning The Future - Chef's Collaborative Summit Farm Dinner at White Oak Pastures

Laura Mortelliti

 

The 8th Annual Chef's Collaborative Summit "Growing Community, Owning The Future" kicked off its three day event right here in busy Bluffton, GA! We hosted an all-star group of chefs and farmers Friday night for a delicious farm-to-table dinner. Saturday morning we toured the farm and then the Collaborative headed back to Atlanta for the remainder of their three day summit. Friday dinner was an effort from the whole farm: the field, the store, and the restaurant all worked together to bring this delicious meal to our honored guests.

 

Chefs Collaborative is a national nonprofit that provides a support network for chefs and food professionals who are interested in building a better food system. "Change Menus, Change Lives" is their motto, and we couldn't agree more. Food and the...

Shotwell Candy Company

Laura Mortelliti

Shotwell Candy Co. simply wouldn't be where it is today without my family and friends”. Jerrod Smith started Shotwell Candy Co. in 2012. He was working full time as a corporate attorney but somehow made time for his wife and three young children and experimenting to craft the perfect caramel. Once his business began to grow, Jerrod’s family and friends stepped up to support him in cooking, cutting, wrapping and packaging the delicious caramels.

Know Your Farmer- Sabrina Carnley

Laura Mortelliti

 If you have called White Oak Pastures with a product question, and reached our Customer Service Department, you have likely spoke with Sabrina Carnley, our Order Manager. Sabrina says she has “made lifelong friends and connections here” and loves that “everybody feels like a family- I love the small town feel of everything”. Sabrina fully embraced White Oak Pastures life, moving down to Bluffton after her husband was hired by the farm. Sabrina is married to Ryan, our Permaculture Manager, and lives with her four dogs in downtown Bluffton in one of the homes the farm has renovated.

10 Things We Learned Growing Up On A Farm - By The Harris Sisters

Laura Mortelliti

Know Your Farmer - Nick Often- Cutting Room Breaker

Laura Mortelliti

 Our Red Meat Processing Plant has the capacity to process 36 cows a day. We depend heavily on our skilled butchers who work in the Cutting Room. There are different jobs in the Cutting Room, from Breaker to Boxer. Nick Often may be the smallest person in the room, but he has an amazing work ethic and energetic spirit, and this gives him the drive to be one of our three Breakers in the Cutting Room. Nick feels his Cutting Room coworkers are like family. He explains, “In the morning, you can tell when everyone comes in, if they’re feeling good. We've been around each other so long we can tell”. Nick believes the farm has afforded him an exciting, dynamic way of life which has boosted his self esteem. “I’m one of the only people who has worked in all three areas- the field, the Poultry...

Know Your Farmer- Bubba Jackson, Loading Dock Manager

Laura Mortelliti

 

A Sweeter Side of the Farm

Laura Mortelliti

 

Just forty minutes north of us in Dawson, Georgia is a quaint candy shop that has been around since the 1970s! Mr. and Mrs. Strickland started the business in the 1970s. Mrs. Stickland supposedly began selling candy to fund her husband's fishing equipment expenses. She sold peanut brittle and the recipe was so tasty, it became extremely popular in the area. Mrs. Stickland sold the business to the Bailey family and they produced Bailey Brittle out of the same shoppe. Finally, five years ago, a father-daughter team bought the business and have grown it to include several different candy options. Melvin and Kristy Gilley own and operate Papa's Sweet Shoppe which has flourished in our small-town community because their candy is authentic, hand made in small batches, and delicious. We...

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