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Meet Kristina Demirchyan of Friends of Farmers LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristina Demirchyan.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a private chef specializing in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. I have lived in Los Angeles most of my life and graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I always had a passion for farm fresh produce and community-supported agriculture. Not only does the quality of the ingredients make a difference in each of my dishes, but it also supports the health and vitality of those consuming it. Having spent years handpicking everything at the farmers market, I decided to start a company, Friends of Farmers LA LLC, that delivers organic local produce to the city of LA. We have been in operation for six months. It all started In March when I decided to bring some farmboxes to my friends and family to provide them with something nourishing and joyful in times of such uncertainty. I remember feeling anxious as I didn’t know if the local farmer’s markets would be closed, but I felt that there should be a solution. Not finding one, I created it myself.

My partner supported me and so together, hand in hand, we launched Friends of Farmers LA. My friends and family told their friends, who told their respective friends and just like that from a handful of boxes our first week, we grew into a couple of dozen boxes twice a week within a matter of weeks. I quickly realized that the city of LA needed this essential service more than ever, and the farmers were at the front center for me. You see, when the pandemic hit and quarantine started, many restaurants that would usually shop at the farmer’s markets closed and most farmers lost these huge sources of income that they had before. I felt that this would be a great way to help them minimize losses and to provide the freshest produce to our community in LA.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely not been a smooth ride. The initial challenges were being at the farmer’s markets and interacting with so many individuals at the height of the pandemic. I would say the biggest challenge was the day to day changes and uncertainty that was felt during the first 3-4 months of the pandemic. My partner and I were initially the ones doing everything from acquiring all the produce to packing all the farmboxes to delivering them straight to people’s doors. As our numbers started growing, we quickly realized we would need extra hands as work was plenty. I felt especially grateful for my community and friends who, without hesitation, landed a helping hand for our small growing business. We couldn’t do it without them. It really does take a village.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Friends of Farmers LA delivers farmboxes filled with local organic produce from local farmers. This creates a local food economy that not only decentralizes the monopolized food systems within our country but also provides living wages for our local farmers. You see, local organic farmers do not depend on monocultures and pesticides to grow the food that we deliver to people’s doors. They engage in restorative practices such as soil regeneration and biodynamic farming that heal Mother Earth and mitigate climate change. We are probably best known by our clients for the seasonal basil in our farmboxes. Ask anyone who has gotten one of our farmboxes and I promise you, the first thing to come out of their mouth will be the basil. As a society, we have forgotten what a difference fresh herbs make to any meal. In grocery stores, they’re usually sold in small little packets lacking flavor and for that matter, aroma. Basil that has been picked the morning of the day you get it at your door, now that’s different. We are proud to serve our community the best this city and its surroundings have to offer. When I started bringing farmboxes to people, I wanted my friends and family to have the tools to create gourmet restaurant-level meals right in their own kitchen. For this reason, I have named the farmboxes based on the type of chef you’d like to be that week. It’s all really fun and we’re always working on providing more recipes for our community to work with.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was always interested in medicine but as I made the transition from high school to UCLA, I realized that I was more interested and inclined to herbal medicine and food as medicine. Since I was 15, I was always trying some new trendy diet to see what the fuss was all about. I love to find ways to heal and to not just talk about them, but experience them. I have found that nothing could beat a nourishing plant-based meal providing you all the necessary building blocks and pathways for your cells to regenerate and heal.

Pricing:

  • Commis Chef Farmbox- $35
  • Elevated Chef Farmbox- $55
  • Executive Chef Farmbox- $65
  • Suns Harvest- $35

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Seva Jagat, Maryline Mckenna

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