On the Farm: BarnStorming 101

Kuylen_TractorWhat better way to pave the road to sustainability than developing a working farm to supply product directly to restaurants … and beyond?

As curious, inquisitive restaurateurs we’re always looking for new, exciting opportunities and business practices to help our brands grow and achieve long-term success.

What better way to pave the road to sustainability than developing a working farm to supply product directly to restaurants … and beyond?

As curious, inquisitive restaurateurs we’re always looking for new, exciting opportunities and business practices to help our brands grow and achieve long-term success.

We wanted to share a Farmers Restaurant Group + Founding Farmers information gathering “BarnStorming” session we recently conducted. Our goal for this session was to not only explore opportunities to take the farm-to-table concept to the next level by developing a Founding Farmers-owned farm, but to also gather useful information to educate and inspire industry counterparts.

The Mission. To create a working, DC area farm to enhance our commitment to American family farmers and sustainable agriculture by having the ability to supply the Founding Farmers restaurants with farm-fresh ingredients. And beyond that: to possibly provide local school children, families in need, and communities at large with sustainable food products, education, and industry job training.

The Focus Group. Our first step? Conducting honest, useful dialogue with sustainable food and farming experts from the National Farmers Union as well as representatives from local area non-profits and thought-leaders such as: Hope Honey FarmsReal Life ConsultingDC Central KitchenDC Councilmember David Grosso’s office, FoodCorpsNational Farmers Union Institute alumni, and DC Public Schools Community Partnership.

The Outcome. The seeds, as they say, have been planted for developing an FRG/Founding Farmers-owned farm and even more importantly, we’re on our way to creating a successful model for farmers, restaurant businesses, sustainably minded consumers, and local area communities to follow.

January 21st, 2015
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Founding Farmers Tysons Opens February 5

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“We’re locked on our date, and moving full steam ahead to open the largest and most interesting and impressive restaurant in our group to date,” said Dan Simons, FRG partner and concept developer behind the restaurants. “Our playbook is in full effect, our teams are on site training, we’re receiving our deliveries, we’re firing up the kitchen – so it’s game on!” he added.

“We are pleased to welcome Founding Farmers to Tysons II and are excited to have Washington’s iconic farm-to-table restaurant in our master planned development,” stated Mark D. Lerner, a principal of Lerner, developer of Tysons II. “With a superb location just one block from the newly opened Tysons Corner Metro Station and near tens of thousands of office workers, Founding Farmers Tysons is positioned to become one of Northern Virginia’s most desired dining destinations,” he added.

With a mantra of ‘Everything Through the Eyes of the Farmer,’ the menus for Founding Farmers Tysons developed by Executive Chef Joe Goetze and the FRG culinary team, reflect signature dishes and guest favorites from the other restaurants, with new Virginia-specific nods to culinary and recipe traditions that comprises about 35% of the menu, with products and ingredients sourced from the Old Dominion. Highlights include: fresh meats from the in-house butchery, where whole and half animals will be received and finished to offer guests top quality cuts at an excellent price point; direct-from-Virginia products like Oysters prepared 3 ways: raw, shooters with optional liquor chasers, or baked style with different sauces. The lunch/dinner menu includes ‘farmhouse picnic’ ham, chicken liver mousse, and chips with dips starters; artisanal honey glazed hams; house-churned butters for cooking and on the tables for guests; Southern-style biscuits, and other baked items unique to FFT that will be made from scratch daily, on display in the bakery case at the entrance.

A large, u-shaped, 28-seat bar with additional perimeter seating for 30 will offer Founding Farmers’ award-winning bar and beverage program, with proprietary spirits, classic and original recipe cocktails, and 12 beer taps exclusively featuring Virginia-brewed beers.

Guests enter the space through revolving doors, into a large reception area, with the open pastry studio/weekday Farm Morning Grab & Go area to the right. Beyond the front desk, the expansive space is divided into areas or ‘micro-climates’ that offer different types of table arrangements and seating to correspond with different spaces on a farm or in a farmhouse. The bar is literally framed the structural wood beams of a barn; there’s a larder area with communal tables and a wall of sun tea; high-backed upholstered chairs make for comfy dining in the ‘living’ room, and large, luxurious circular booths embrace guests in the ‘boudoir’ area. With whimsical commissioned artworks and elements throughout, each seat offers a different view, always with something to see and enjoy beyond the table.

The restaurant opens early and stays open late, 7 days a week, including holidays. Weekdays, breakfast begins at 7am, Monday-Friday, with full service, sit-down dining, or the Farm Morning Grab & Go option with pastries, including the award-winning Jefferson Donut by pastry chef Ashley Soto, egg sandwiches, pour-over coffee, espresso drinks, and fresh, cold-pressed juices. The weekend option is the Farmers Market buffet style brunch, popularized at Farmers Fishers Bakers. The lunch and dinner menu is available daily from 11am, into the evening, and later on weekends. Online ordering for most of the lunch/dinner menu will also be available.

For info on forthcoming menus, hours of operation, access, reservations, and other related information on Founding Farmers Tysons, readers should visit WeAreFoundingFarmers.com, and to follow updates on Facebook (Founding Farmers Tysons) or on Twitter (@FoundingFarmers).

January 6th, 2015
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Posted in Farm Updates, Founding Farmers Tysons, Media Release, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Businessweek Profiles Founding Farmers!

Businessweek feature insideBusinessweek reporter Bob Parks went in-depth for the story, spending two full days with Partners and Concept Developers Dan Simons and Mike Vucurevich, and also chatting with NDFU President Mark Watne to learn more about our success story and how we do what we do – provide fresh, authentic, true American farmhouse-inspired food & drink day after day, year after year.
A full photo essay accompanies the article.

As we enter our seventh year for our flagship Founding Farmers location, as well as the fourth year for MoCo’s Founding Farmers, the third year for sister restaurant Farmers Fishers Bakers, and as we are about to open our Founding Farmers Tysons location, we could not be more proud, excited, honored, and humbled to do what we do – all because of our fantastic guests, staff, and supporters. THANK YOU everyone & best wishes for a healthy, happy, hungry, and prosperous 2015!

December 31st, 2014
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Posted in Farmers Fishers Bakers, FF Shout Outs, Founding Farmers DC, Founding Farmers MoCo, Notable News | No Comments »

Founding Farmers Tysons Opens in February!

Farmers Restaurant Group and Washington’s Greenest Restaurant Expand to Northern Virginia with New Menu Features, LEED Gold Design Standards

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The front entrance/reception area at FFT. Courtesy of GrizForm Design Architects.

Anyone that’s heard the latest news about Tysons, VA is familiar with the slogan “America’s Next Great City” – well, we want everyone to know that when the new Founding Farmers Tysons opens in early February 2015, at 1800 Tysons Boulevard, it will be the equivalent of the “Next Great Dining Destination” in the growing metropolis!

“This is our best work yet – but it’s not the next chapter of the Farmers Restaurant Group story, it’s the next book,” said Dan Simons, FRG managing partner and concept developer behind Founding Farmers. “When you look around at the billion-dollar developments going up in Tysons, and the Metro Silver line just a block from our doors, we know we’re in the right place at the right time. Tysons is ready for the Founding Farmers version of dining and we’re thrilled to be opening here.”

Founding Farmers Tysons is owned by regional and local investors, which include North Dakota Farmers Union, National Farmers Union, and a number of private individuals that share a passion for supporting and promoting sustainable agriculture and sustainable business practices.

Founding Farmers Tysons will offer classic, heartland-inspired dishes that millions of guests have come to know and love in the other Founding Farmers locations, developed by Executive Chef Joe Goetze and a deep culinary team. Approximately 35% of the food menu reflects culinary and recipe traditions of Virginia and new menu items. Open early and serving until late 7 days a week, the restaurant will offer breakfast, express breakfast (to take), lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch styled after the highly popular Farm Market buffet style found at Farmers Fishers Bakers.

Many new items and categories have been added, including: freshly butchered cuts from the in-house butchery, where whole and half animals will be received and finished to provide top quality meats at an excellent price point; direct-from-Virginia products like artisanal honey glazed hams; house-churned butters for cooking and on the tables for guests; Southern-style biscuits, and other pastry items unique to FFT that will be baked daily, and on display in the bakery case at the entrance.

Executive Pastry Chef Ashley Soto has built upon pastry and dessert signatures and favorites featured at other Founding Farmers locations, with delicious creations of special inspiration and note, such as: the Mille Crepe Cake, award winning, croissant-style Jefferson Donuts, and Butterscotch Bread Pudding.

The bar and beverage menu by FRG Beverage Director Jon Arroyo showcases a variety of Virginia-made products, such as Founding Farmers’ proprietary line of Rye Whisky and Farm Gin, produced in partnership with Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville, VA, wine from Virginia, and all 12 beer taps will feature only Virginia brewed beers. The back bar is a showcase of whiskies and other spirits from the Old Dominion, state. True to the Farmers brand, the cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages will include fresh house-made syrups, elixirs and bitters. With the opening, Arroyo and team will introduce a new cold-pressed bottled juice cleanse, a menu of peak-fresh nutrient-full juices for guests to enjoy in the restaurant or on the go, for detoxing or cleansing from processed foods, or as a healthy, vitamin-rich supplement to regular meal consumption.


FFT View 2 Dining Room-Bar

The ‘barn’ over the bar area at FFT. Courtesy of GrizForm Design Architects.

The design of the 12,000 square foot space was conceptualized by VSAG and designed by the GrizForm Design Architects team that also designed Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown. Designed to meet LEED Gold Certification standards, the restaurant has been organized with stylistic representations of rooms and areas typically found in and around a classic Virginia farmhouse. In both subtle and more visible or interactive ways, guests will experience the Founding Farmers version of a barn, a front porch, kitchen, dining room, formal space, living room, and a bedroom as they move through the restaurant.

“The farm house was a gathering place, a place to come in from the cold, a place to relax, a place to eat, a place to talk, a place for ideas,” describes architect Griz Dwight. “While the modern farm house restaurant should not look like its inspiration, it needs to fulfill all of the functions of the original version.”

Other unique design elements in the restaurant include: eye-catching, commissioned artworks and installations by emerging and established artists such as hand whittled creatures, farm scene vignettes, a quilted colonial flag, woven bird’s nest basket lighting fixtures, a large family tree sculpture and others that will be included in a ‘gallery tour’ on the website; a phone closet for guests to take or make calls in private without having to leave the restaurant, as well as custom designed furniture from artisan craftsmen at the Beachley Furniture Co., in Hagerstown, MD. As in all Founding Farmers restaurants, and to all finishes, upholstery, and the carpeting are made from reclaimed, recycled, or post-consumer content materials when possible.

December 2nd, 2014
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Posted in Events & Outreach, Farm Updates, Green Design, Media Release | 3 Comments »

The Farm is Hosting a “Greener Future” Hiring Open House!

  • Are you a fan of our restaurants and wondered what it would be like to work in one?
  • Do you want to expand your food service experience and work with the best?
  • Ever wonder how green it is on our side of the fence?
  • Or, maybe you know someone who would be a great addition to our team?

Well, now is the perfect time to explore the work and career possibilities with Farmers Restaurant Group! We are currently hiring for all positions, and are seeking energetic, outgoing, motivated, friendly team members to grow with us.

Learn more about working with The Farm during our Open House Hiring Event this week and next. We’re hosting ‘meet & greets,’ informational sessions with refreshments, informal chats with staff and management, quick tours of the restaurant, and the opportunity to apply on the spot for a role with our team.

We invite anyone interested to learn more about working with us to come by our popular Georgetown Waterfront destination, Farmers Fishers Bakers, on any of these dates between 2pm-4:30pm (only):Founding Farmers 9159

· Thursday, Aug 21
· Monday, Aug 25
· Tuesday, Aug 26
· Wednesday, Aug 27
· Thursday, Aug 28
· Friday, Aug 29


Bring a copy of your current resume for review.

Laptops will be provided to complete the online application process on site. Hourly parking is available on K Street, NW, along the waterfront and sides streets; in several parking garages in and around at the Washington Harbour complex, and the Circulator stops right on K street a couple blocks away.

We are seeking motivated, energetic and talented individuals to join our close-knit and successful team. We can’t wait to meet you and show you what makes everything greener at Farmers Restaurant Group!

August 18th, 2014
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Now HIRING for all Positions for Founding Farmers Tysons!

BTysonsLogo_Web_Color copye a part of the highly successful and expanding Farmers Restaurant Group and the globally recognized Founding Farmers team by applying for a position at the new Founding Farmers Tysons, opening in November.

The new Founding Farmers Tysons is located just ONE BLOCK from the brand new Silver Line metro Tysons Corner station stop, and there is also paid parking available on site. We’re accepting applications now and will begin the hiring review and setting up interviews through September – now’s the time to get your application in!

All the details on all Front of House and Back of House positions may be found HERE, or by clicking on the “JOIN US” tab above.


August 1st, 2014
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Marilyn Hagerty Reviews Founding Farmers

June 11, 2014


marylynNorth Dakota food critic, Marilyn Hagerty, began reviewing restaurants during the mid seventies and has gained popularity for her candid review style. Founding Farmers DC was thrilled to learn that the legend’s granddaughter was sent to dine with us by Hagerty herself. The younger Hagerty had fantastic time while enjoying great food and service. She relayed stories of decadent mashed potatoes and a staff both courteous and knowledgeable. We were glad to introduce the younger Hagerty and her guest to the Founding Farmers signature dish “Chicken and Waffles!” Founding Farmers thanks both Marilyn Hagerty and her grand daughter for a fantastic review and welcomes both ladies on their next trip to the District of Columbia. Read the full review here.

July 24th, 2014
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Bethesda Magazine Celebrates the “Best of Bethesda”

Bethesda Magazine hosted their first ever “Best of Bethesda” gala on Thursday, May 1st. The event, held at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, featured the 9 restaurants who were named the Best of Bethesda 2014. Founding Farmers MoCo was in attendance whipping up our signature cocktail, The Bone. For those of you who have not had a chance to try The Bone yet, it includes Knob Creek Bourbon, Lime Juice, Tabasco, and a Bacon Lolli garnish. Check out more pictures of the event here.

We would like to take a chance to thank all those who came to help us celebrate and those who voted Founding Farmers MoCo the Best of Bethesda. Also a big thank you to the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, the venue was amazing! If any of you are looking for a place to book for a corporate event or party check it out!


the bone
May 2nd, 2014
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